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Saturday, 5 September 2020

New Stuff!

 Well, it's been a while, hasn't it? And here I am, older and wi...well, older anyway. And with two new books under my belt!

Firstly, A Seagull Summer was released at the beginning of August, which was lovely. 

And then, with much fanfare and general fanning of various types, The Country Escape was released on Tuesday of this very week. It's currently off on its blog tour, being escorted around various lovely bloggers' sites, being trotted up and showing off its not-inconsiderable paces. I understand it is behaving itself impeccably and hardly biting anyone. Which is nice. 


Now, as you are loyal (and even, in some cases, besotted) followers of my writings, I thought you may like some 'original content' and insider secrets about The Country Escape and writing thereof. So this is the perfect place to let you in on said secrets.


1) Harvest Cottage was very much based on my living accommodation whilst I was writing the book. It wasn't so much a cottage as a house, and in deepest, darkest Yorkshire rather than Dorset. But it had all the other attributes - damp down the walls, plants growing behind the furniture, no heating and woodlice in just about every orifice. Not everywhere in the country has double glazing and central heating... I wore a lot of jumpers.


2) Patrick is based on an amalgam of ponies through the ages. Now, I am a reasonably heighted person, at around 5 foot 6 inches, but due to a peculiarity of biology, I have short wee legs. This means that whilst most persons of my height ride elegant horses, I was doomed to the world of pony, to avoid looking like a paperclip on a sofaback. All my life I've ridden the Patricks of this world - stocky, hairy and frequently outdistanced by, well, woodlice. 


3) I have raised three daughters through the 'Poppy' stage. Mostly they were a little less abrasive, but they all had their moments. And no, none of them got a Versace handbag, never mind two.


4) The original cover of The Country Escape didn't have a pony on. It had a ginger cat. I'm not entirely sure why, since cats only get a passing mention in the book. I suppose the countryside is full of cats, so the chances are that one or two would frequent the garden of Harvest Cottage, but not on my watch. The very lovely people at Boldwood changed it for me.


5) I have a friend who sews exquisite patchwork quilts. Honestly, the work that goes into making one, with all the cutting of templates and the fitting together and the sewing - well, I don't even have the patience to describe all the stages, let alone to actually do them. I am to sewing what Andy Murray is to...well, sewing, I suppose. Unless he has a whole alternate career in embroidery, which I doubt.


6) This is the fourth book to be set in or around the fictional Dorset village of Christmas Steepleton. I had to draw a MAP! I kept forgetting which way round the bays went and where the harbour was in relation to the shops. I do not think I will be causing Ordnance Survey any sleepless nights, since the resulting map looks as though it was drawn by a nine year old 

Please don't laugh. Please. I know I can't draw. And I couldn't find any plain paper. I don't know how to explain the stains, but that's pretty nearly the story of my life.

Anyway. There you go. The Country Escape.

Now, off you pop and buy it...

Saturday, 25 April 2020

Not being possessed by a demon

Ooh it's been a while since I had anything to report, hasn't it? It's been a quiet time on the publishing front, although, rest assured, I have been scribbling away like a person possessed. Actually only possessed of a very literary demon though, I mean, if I were possessed by something else it would be pointless, as I'd have pages and pages of


which I haven't. Or, if I have, my editors have been too polite to point out.


There is news!

I have signed a four book deal with the lovely Boldwood Books and the first of the four will be coming out in September.

In August, 'Seagull Summer' will be published by Farrago. 
It's a book about a seagull. And summer, obviously. I mean, there's other things, a book about a seagull wouldn't be that gripping, I wouldn't have thought. Lots of 'fly fly fly fly, steal chips, fly fly' going on.

And, with all this lockdown thingie, I am hoping I shall squeeze in the time to finish my Otherworlders trilogy of books, that started with Vampire State of Mind then went on to Falling Apart. These follow the adventures of Jessica Grant, who works in the underfunded Otherworld Liason office at York City Council, trying to keep the vampires under control. The third book is tentatively entitled Even Demons, but don't quote me on that.

So. There's that.

In other news, I've moved house. Not very far, but I am now ensconced (can you be ensconced if you aren't a candle? I am choosing to be ensconced because I like the word. And am also waxy with a tendency to drip) in my lovely little cottage with your actual heating and double glazing and the world's most annoying dog. With whom I shall leave you a picture. With.I shall leave you of a picture with whom...

Look, here's a picture of the dog.