All-Hallow’s Eve – Hallowe’en

31 October 2014

A special blog today to mark Halloween, the Vigil of All Saints' Day. A festival with Celtic associations too, in Ireland this is the first night of Samain (the end of Summer). As the sun goes down and bonfires are lit to mark the season, winter is thought to begin. However, in much of the UK today, the day has become celebrated as a time when witches and spirits and ghosts are abroad. The night when the boundaries between our world and the next are traditionally said to be less defined. Games like apple bobbing or love divining—with apple skins,

Read More

Another Red Letter Day

23 October 2014

You wait for ages, then three come along at once ... Today - I'm thrilled to say - the beautiful paperback of The Mistletoe Bride and Other Haunting Tales hits the shops. What with the fun of publication for The Taxidermist's Daughter in September and now this, it's been a busy Autumn.  Watch out for posters and a light-hearted piece from me in Sunday Times Style Magazine this Sunday. The third? Why, the beautiful new cover for The Winter Ghosts, of course.

Read More

The Sloe Fair

20 October 2014

After a week of talking and interviewing, this week is - mostly - a week of researching and writing.   Today, though, I'm going to try to stay away from my computer, from libraries, from archives and, instead, try to celebrate my birthday.   It's easy in Chichester since it is the day the fair comes to town for one day only. Sloe Fair - believed to be so called because of the sloe trees that once grew here - is held at Northgate, about half a mile from our house.  The first fair was held in 1007 or 1008, when King

Read More

Words, Words, Words

13 October 2014

As all writers know, after the writing comes the talking... talking about the writing, talking about other people's writing, talking about inspirations for books past and stories to come.   This week, though, I will be at two of my very favourite festivals.   On Friday, at the Electric Theatre, I'll be taking part in the Guildford Book Festival.  Not only is it (kind of) local to me in Chichester, but under the direction of Jim and Adele Parks, it's becoming one of those wonderful boutique festivals which successfully manages both to attract big names (Sheila Hancock was one of the opening

Read More

Support your local bookshop with Books are My Bag!

6 October 2014

       Over the past couple of books, like many authors, I've visited lots of wonderful independent booksellers to do readings, events, promotions:  Mr B's in Bath, Toppings in Ely, the Chorleywood Bookshop, Hayling Island Books, Booka Books in Oswestry are just a few who have made me welcome.   This Saturday - 11th October - is launch day for Books are My Bag, a campaign supporting indies up and down the country.   I'll be in my home town of Chichester giving a talk about The Taxidermist's Daughter in the beautiful bookshop in Pallant House Gallery. Given this year's bags are designed by

Read More