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Bookish Joys

Learning to read is one of those rites of passage that, unless it’s a particular struggle, goes unnoticed. And as someone who has never quite mastered numbers in any form, doing her lifelong, level best to avoid their challenge I sympathize hugely if words cause the same barrier as numbers provoke for me. But if...

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That Loving Feeling …Valentine’s Day and all that

Hearts and flowers and all things romantic tend to divide opinion radically when it comes to literature. Mention the word, ‘romance,’ and many people think immediately of Mills and Boon. Of unlikely handsome heroes and beautiful, loving heroines who will find each other after various obstacles have been conveniently removed from their respective paths and...

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STREET PARTIES 2022!

When I started planning my third novel, Miller Street SW22, the idea of a unifying street party came to mind early on. I had been involved in three such events and the one that really resonated and propelled the occasion in my novel occurred when I was living in London, not actually in SW22 –...

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We Wish You A Very, Merry …

There’s a familiar pattern to the arrival of Christmas cards. At least I find there is. Every year, it’s the same friend whose card arrives early when December is still in single figures. Just as there’s always the one that arrives late, just scraping in by Christmas Eve, with the tang of suggestion that it...

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Christmas Fairs and all that …

What more ideal gift is there to give than a book? Think of it. It’s easy and satisfying to wrap. It suggests careful thought and consideration. And if signed by the author it is particularly personal to the receiver. All of which, of course, is my unsubtle way of drawing your attention to the fact...

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How much Information is too much Information..?

Characterisation is obviously key for a writer. All writers. For writers whose novels are character driven rather than dependent upon a page-turning, precipitous plot, this becomes even more vital. But the problem is: how much information do readers want or need? Obviously, if an aspect of physical appearance impacts upon their nature or disposition, knowing...

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Season of Mists and All That …

Dark mornings, brief afternoons, cold nights – the foliage might be spectacular, the chance to pull out the wool sweaters and warm slippers vaguely engaging, but let’s face it: Autumn is a herald only to one thing and confirms that long, bleak months lie in wait for us. So it’s books we can turn to....

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It’s All Made-Up, Anyway …

Writing fiction makes no sense at all. As an occupation that delivers scant financial reward, it is something only a fool would do. Logically, it is absurd to pursue it. After all, what does writing fiction contribute to an author’s well-being? Their sense of worth, stability, equilibrium and peace of mind? Absolutely nothing. Instead, it...

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And the Living is Easy …

Summer. Even the word has a softness about it – the sibilance of the ‘s’ then the two syllables of the word itself. Spring sounds like it is – it’s almost onomatopoeic. The word for the season of spring in Greek is the same as the word for ‘open’ – how appropriate and logical is...

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