Award winning outback romance

Bookings are now open for my three 2020 residential writing retreats, co-tutored with RNA Chair Alison May. Details can be found here.

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Ideas for pressies

Books generally are great - but I have a special love for old and antique books.

Books generally are great – but I have a special love for old and antique books.

It’s officially December and you know what that means… Christmas shopping.

Most of us spend at least some of this month scratching our heads as we try to come up with just the right gift.

So I thought I might put forward a few suggestions for the writer in your life—gifts for writers are just so easy.

Let’s start with the obvious. Continue reading

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It’s knitting season

Roll on snow - I want to wear this lovely cowl.

Roll on snow – I want to wear this lovely cowl.

It’s a while since I’ve posted a knitting blog – and not for the reason you are thinking.

Here in the northern hemisphere, summer is gone and WINTER IS COMING – cue portentous music (thank you George R R Martin).

I didn’t stop knitting in summer. I knitted my heart out – and made not one but two projects which… I hated.

One of the great things about any creative project is … if it doesn’t work out you can have another go. Unravel the knitting, edit the story, paint over a canvas. And that’s what I did. Continue reading

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A personal tribute…

This week, the publishing world lost one of its best and brightest… agent Carole Blake. Her sudden death was met in equal measure by shock and grief. A world without Carole was somehow unimaginable – even to those who imaginations light our lives every day through the pages of their books.

How we will miss her.

The sad news was announced on her agency website.

The sad news was announced on her agency website.

I first met Carole through the Romantic Novelists Association – of which she was a staunch supporter. When I joined as a terrified and awestruck unpublished writer, I heard about Carole Blake – the super-agent and co-founder of Blake-Friedmann. She was the agent every aspiring writer dreamed of having. She was spoken with in awe, and at times, with a touch of fear.

And then I met her. Continue reading

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Technical meltdown

Of only it had been true!

Of only it had been true!

I had it brought home to me this week how totally we now rely on technology.

My website went down. Yes this one, which I assume is back up or no one is reading this. With it went my main e-mail.

It was down for more than two days. Actually – worse – it was up and down for two days so I have no idea what mails went out and what didn’t or what mail I received or what was lost.

As some of you know, I work in technology, and I understand that technical failures happen.

But what I totally didn’t understand were conversations that went like this…. Continue reading

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Merry Christmas and thank you

Another year has passed – and what a great year it has been. Books, good friends, travel and more books.

Thank you to all my friends and readers who have helped make this such a wonderful year. I love you all.

I’ll be back in the new Year – ready to do it all again. In the meantime, I hope this holiday season is filled with people you love, and may there be many  book-shaped presents under your tree.

stubborn_cat-t2

 

 

 

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Books, buses and bits..,

No buses at Heathrow Airport - but there was my book.

No buses at Heathrow Airport – but there was my book.

Books aren’t like buses… they are sometimes red (not read of course – that would be a terrible pun), but they aren’t that big or noisy.

Yet….

Like buses, you can wait ages for one, and then two will come at once.

Not only that, they may also cause you to stop unexpectedly in your tracks, or start running towards an open door.

That’s a pretty good description of how things have been for me this past couple of weeks. Continue reading

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A tuneful new addition

This is no ordinary guitar.

This is no ordinary guitar.

 

We have a new addition to the family… a lovely guitar – but not just any old guitar. This one was custom made and is very very special.

It all started when webmaster John went to a folk festival without me. (That is always a mistake, she says, smiling.)

John met a man who makes guitars out of… wait for it – hardboard.

It’s all the brainchild of Felix Byrne – a musician and designer who wanted guitars that combined his ecological ideals with his musical needs.

He couldn’t buy one – so he built one. Now he’s making them for other people as The Hardboard Guitar Company

Continue reading

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Imperfect poetry

While no one is ever totally perfect - in some of his poems, W B Yeats comes very close.

While no one is ever totally perfect – in some of his poems, W B Yeats comes very close.

Tread softly because you tread on my dreams – W.B. Yeats (1865–1939)

It’s a phrase quoted to me many years ago by a teacher – and I have never forgotten it. The imagery is beautiful. The words are musical. The sentiment profound. It’s wonderful. It’s poetry at its very best.

I write very very bad poetry.

To be totally honest…. Continue reading

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Much more than just pointy ears

Leonard Nimoy gave life to one of my favourite characters of all time.

Leonard Nimoy gave life to one of my favourite characters of all time.

 

I was going to blog this week about a big hole in the ground in Wales – but got diverted by the sad loss of Leonard Nimoy – universally known as Mr Spock.

Spock was possibly my first great love – when I was about 11.

Leonard Nimoy and the Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry developed a wonderful character in Spock. With the news this week of Nimoy’s death, I started to wonder exactly what was it about Spock that was so very fascinating. Continue reading

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Proud of what we do…

Contemporary Books

I read a lot of contemporary novels. I look forward to trying some of these.

This week the RNA announced the shortlists for the Romantic Novel of the year awards.

As the RNA website administrator, I spent a lot of time working with the shortlist images and uploading them for everyone to see.

One thing that immediately struck me was the incredible diversity of the novels on that shortlist.

Some of the authors are old favourites – Julie Cohen, Barbara Erskine, Jenny Colgan, Jill Mansell and others are authors I read and enjoy and have for a long time.

The list also has lots of authors who are new to me, but won’t be for long. I always try to read as many of the shortlisted books as I can. Continue reading

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Writing retreats 2020 - Intensive tutor-led retreats with Janet Gover and Alison May

Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence Finalist for The Wild OneColorado Romance Writers Award of Excellence Finalist for The Wild One
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