September and . . .

3 September 2015

. . . it's publication time. Watch out for Thursday, when the campaign really begins, but in way it feels like the end of things, rather than the beginning. The business of publication is all about a multiplication of words – writing about the novel, doing events about the novel, answering questions about the novel . . . most of August has been spent gearing up for 3 September, with the result that Connie and Cassie are as real to me as friends, family and neighbours. I'm out and about a fair bit in the next month – see the

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18 August 2015

This week, though there will be writing in the morning, is mostly a week of talking. Three days at the glorious Edinburgh International Book Festival: on Tuesday 18th August, I'll be talking to Lady Antonia Fraser about her memoir My History and then later that night, will listen to spooky literary ghost stories with novelists Aislinn Hunter and Jonathan Kemp; on Wednesday 19th August, I'll debate the nature of justice and freedom with Shami Chakrabati (the jacket for her book On Liberty must surely be one of the best of the past twelve months) - oh, and doing an event

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Edinburgh Calling

27 July 2015

A little premature, I know, but for me, Autumn publication always begins at my favourite festival, Edinburgh International Book Festival.   A beautiful city at the best of times - always - there's something particularly magical when the tents of the book festival take over Charlotte Square.  Edinburgh is always a mixture of sunshine and showers (on the streets) and, in the tents, a terrific blending of familiar names and writers from all corners of the globe.    Poetry, music, ideas, stories, deckchairs and Jura (though I'm not fond of whisky myself), I try to sneak in to as many events as

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A Change of Scene

14 July 2015

Just back from two weeks in the South of France. The trip was the usual writer's mix of research (for my  Burning Chambers Trilogy), family holiday and a change of writing scene (to help me finish the first draft of a new play, The Old Timers).  For many of us, this abandoning one desk to set up in another place - one far from home, where the phone isn't always ringing, where there aren't emails to answer, where you don't have any domestic responsibilities - is a key part of either kick-starting a new project or to help with that

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Summer Time Is Festival Time

19 June 2015

It's not just all the music festivals, but the book world leaps into action - in fields, tents, church halls, bookshops, chapels and churches - in the summer. On Friday, at the Festival of Chichester is hosting a Book Barney, where four of us argue it out about the one single book we'd save if our house was on fire - well, that's how I'm selling the idea. It's a balloon debate essentially, so we're all sharpening our pens (claws?!) to defend 'our' chosen book in front of an audience of readers and fellow writers .... Then next week, I'm

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