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BOOK LAUNCH OF MILLER STREET SW22!

It’s this week – the official publication date of my third novel, MILLER STREET SW22, and consequently my online book launch. Early reviews from Netgalley for the ebook version have been very gratifying: I absolutely loved this book – it was beautifully written – an enchanting read – what a lovely read – the writing is extremely good – the story is engaging – the book is very hard to put down – the characters are relatable and well-drawn. The online book launch is this Wednesday February 24th from 6.00 pm onwards on Zoom. If you would like to be...

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Lockdowns without Letters …

It would have seemed unimaginable to previous generations. This past twelve months or so have, after all, deprived us of much, but gifted us – or some of us – chunks of time that are elusive in the normal scheme of things. And people have been responding. Homemade bread has evidently become ‘a thing’ with sour dough for some reason being given star status and the subject of endless WhatsApp communications. Neglected flutes, guitars, violins et al have been picked up, dusted off and some semblance of sound encouraged out of the instruments by their owners who last attempted a...

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Online Book Launch – Wednesday 24th February

It’s beginning to feel commonplace – an online event. Yet a year ago, if anyone had told me I would be launching my third novel, MILLER STREET SW22, in this way, I would have been utterly bewildered and perplexed. Not now, however. And hopefully, it will feel comfortable and enjoyable for people to join me any time between 6 and 7.30 pm on Wednesday 24th to hear a little bit about MILLER STREET SW22, ask questions about this or my previous novels and generally have some fictional, bookish chat to while away the early evening. If you don’t yet have...

How Fictional Can Fiction Be?

I am not by nature a particular, precise sort of person. Indeed, quite the opposite. Give me a recipe that requires 10 different ingredients and I’ll probably substitute half of them for whatever is handily in the cupboard and proceed to ignore the prescriptive method to go my own way. I am hopeless at following instructions, preferring an imaginative approach close to guess work rather than working methodically through How To manuals for sensible advice. Brute force and an exertion of will are my go-to resources when putting things together or attempting to take them apart. And since fiction is...

Those Were The Days My Friend …

Groping my way in the darkness towards the alarm this morning, sliding into the shower vaguely conscious and casually cladding myself in garments that mean I appear at least somewhat respectable from the waist up to my online students, I remember other January mornings of other Spring terms – and however undesirable our particular current conditions are, I assure you I’ve had far more unpleasant starts to the new year! Take the Spring term – an inappropriate name for a stretch of some 3 months spent mostly freezing and chipping ice from windscreens – of 1978. Most of you probably...

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My Unwritten Retrospective Diary of 2020 …

I don’t write a diary. It seems to me that if life is going spectacularly well, there is no time nor point in transcribing that happiness to paper. And if life is bleak – well, who wants to squander time in morose self-obsession that, read later, will seem simply that. So no diary for 2020. But if I had written one it might well read something like this … JANUARY – something very vague and easily dismissed on the news about some virus in a remote city in China – 9 dead, evidently, how awful. FEBRUARY – at Athens airport....

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So Where Were You When …

As a Capricorn, I embrace the idea of the goat’s slow, steady progress up the mountain and although the zodiac sign insists on a sea goat, a mythological creature, I prefer to identify with the mountain goat – the kri-kri – only found these days on the island of Crete. I am never the leader of the herd, always the one catching up after everyone else has reached the tape. Us Capricorns are renowned as late starters, but our finish is worth waiting for – however long it has taken us to climb. So it tends to be with films....

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The Contents of Writers’ Handbags …

How much can you tell about a person from the way she writes? (and I am limiting myself to the feminine gender for the sake of this blog – however biased and partial that might seem!) The other day I was re-reading one of Penelope Lively’s wonderful novels. I love them all and have read all of them numerous times – initially, of course, for their stories, but in more recent years to see quite how she does it. They are relatively short. Not a word is wasted, nothing surplus to requirements as it were. No fussy unnecessary adverbs or...

WELCOME TO MY NEW LOOK WEBSITE!

It’s been a while – I am sure your lives have been rolling along absolutely fine – lockdowns permitting – without my weekly or fortnightly musings on matters vaguely writerly or readerly – but a lot has been happening behind the scenes and now I am able to blog again on my newly designed website and introduce you to a few new features. For a start, there’s my splendid logo revealed today for the very first time! Hope you like it. Then, if you take a tour around the new website, you will see that in future, readers will be...