Award winning author

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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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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War of the Worlds

My leather bound HG Wells compendium - which features original illustrations.

My leather bound HG Wells compendium – which features original illustrations.

Everyone has heard of this classic HG Wells book – but not necessarily because of the book itself.

This early sci fi tale is one of my favourites. It has stood the test of time – and of adaptation. Since its publication in 1897, it has never been out of print.

I recently saw it again -as a rock opera spectacular at the huge O2 stadium… with giant Martians and pyrotechnics – and the lovely Liam Neeson. The staging was awesome…

But I think the reason War of the World lives on is the strength of the tale – and it’s emotional impact. Continue reading

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The blog is on tour this week…

I’m lost this week – lost in the America of the 1950’s – and before. I’ve been on a road trip from New Orleans to Chicago -totally immersed in Jazz and Blues and even a bit of country music. I had hoped I would have time to blog – but guess what… there are too many other things happening.

Starting next week, however,  I will be sharing things with you – graveyards and blues joints, slave pens and archaeological digs… it’s gonna be fun – so drop by again next week for the first instalment.

One of the great places I stayed on the road trip.

One of the great places I stayed on the road trip.

 

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The perils of old televisions

In my head, Mickey Rooney will always be young and wearing a cloth cap.

In my head, Mickey Rooney will always be young and wearing a cloth cap.

 

The death this week of Mickey Rooney got me to thinking about old movies.

I remember watching Mickey Rooney films as a child. They were in black and white and most seemed to feature horses. Or Elizabeth Taylor. Or both.

I started to think about my favourite black and white films.. started googling and then I made a startling discovery – many of my favourite B&W films are actually in colour. Continue reading

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I learn a lot about sandbags

Early morning - and a bit of a shock at the water levels

Early morning – and a bit of a shock at the water levels

 

Like much of the country, we found ourselves in the midst of a flood emergency this week.

We had some very worrying hours as we sandbagged the house and watched the water rise. We were among the lucky ones – we escaped major damage. Many others fared far worse…

As a reporter, I covered my fair share of floods… but this time I was on the other side… and that taught me a few things.

The first thing I learned is that filling sand bags is very hard work. Continue reading

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Back Garden Archaeology

I didn't have enough potting mix to fill the pots - but hopefully its enough to keep them going for the winter.

I didn’t have enough potting mix to fill the pots – but hopefully it’s enough to keep them going for the winter.

I was gardening yesterday. Yep. Gardening. Despite the rain and the freezing temperatures. Well – I did the gardening in a short minute when blue skies appeared above our house, but I was well aware that it wasn’t actually gardening weather.

I had to plant two bushes I’d been given for Christmas into big pots. Hopefully, they’ll – if not flourish – at least survive there until the spring. When I’ll decide where in the garden they should be planted.

You see, my thumbs are more brown than green. And its not my fault – honestly! Continue reading

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A new look

The old site was nice - but it was time for a change.

The old site was nice – but it was time for a change.

You may have noticed – my website and blog look different now.

I’ve been working on this for a while.

I am currently writing books set in the Australian outback – so I wanted the site to reflect that. The background image you see is a photo of red soil taken on the edge of the desert. Continue reading

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It’s Christmas – how did that happen?

Such a pretty cover...

Such a pretty cover…

 

I’ve been so busy these past few weeks getting two books ready for publication, I barely noticed how close the holidays are.

Bring Me Sunshine is now launched into the world.

I had such fun doing that – thanks you to all my Facebook and Twitter friends who joined in.

And thanks to everyone who bought it – I do hope you like it.

I know I shouldn’t obsess about Amazon rankings – but we all to (to some extent). Continue reading

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A plea to the BBC… please get it right.

The Clangers was just the best TV ever made. Ever!!!!!!

The Clangers was just the best TV ever made. Ever!!!!!!

 

I read the other day that the BBC is about to do a remake of the Clangers.

For those of you who did not grow up in the UK in the late 60’s – the Clangers are small pink knitted aliens who live on – or rather mostly inside – a very small planet not far from Earth. They talk in whistles.

They are / were just magical.

I was a late comer to the Clangers. They didn’t have them when I was growing up in Australia, but I fell in love with them the moment I saw them, and promptly wrote a short story about Clangers (which you can read here) Continue reading

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Friends, fiends, fangs and the apocalypse.

It was my month for catching up with the books my friends have been writing.

And it’s always a pleasure to be able to honestly recommend a friend’s book. Of course – some of my friends are pretty fine writers. 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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