September 2011

Welcome to my brand new website! It’s like walking back into a shop that’s been made over by Mary Portas; I don’t know where to find anything anymore, it’s so glossy and slick. Being me, I want to scuff it up a bit and create a comforting mess, but that’s what this Blog is for. I hope to keep this page updated regularly, which my clever webmaster assures me that even a Luddite like me can do.

While my site has been offline for its reinvention, I’ve been busy editing. My next novel is now almost ready to go into proofreading stage. It has a new title, The Love Letter, which I think is gorgeous and sums up so many themes in a book about reading between the lines in life and romance. It also reminds me of all the times I’ve poured my heart out on paper at moments of high romance and drama in my life, yet never posted the results (probably because it would have to be sent freight due to the fact I write so much, along with illustrations and even chocolates Sellotaped to the page as I recall). How differently might life have worked out had my loving outpourings actually been delivered to the object of my affection after all? And in the case of my heroine, Allegra, some things are definitely best not taken as read.

The Love Letter is also going to get a new jacket look, which I’m eagerly waiting to see. I always find it a very strange process as a writer, taking so long to create a fictional world that comes to life in one’s imagination, and then handing over the responsibility for naming and illustrating it. The jacket has such influence over whether people buy the book. I was immensely lucky with my first few novels that I had a ‘look’ which was very unique. More recent jackets have toyed with new images, from the cartoony to the glitzy, and I hope the publishers will be able to find a look that stands out for me again. As a wise agent once told me, ‘you are responsible for what’s on the inside, not the outside – the jacket is just one page of five hundred’. I am consequently running backwards and forwards through the plot making sure everything’s as tight as can be, all loose threads tucked in, the characters fully formed, the jokes punchy and the twists fast and furious.

A big thank you to all visitors to my website who take the time to write to me and let me know what you think of my books. Apologies if I’m slow replying; I have no email program on my ‘writing’ computer (one if many cunning tactics I have had to employ to try to stop myself seeking distractions), so I have to set time aside for replying to lots of emails at once, and that time often gets used up by a crisis, although I always get there eventually. Kiss and Tell has received some fabulous feedback on here and via Amazon and other sites, which is immensely cheering in such a difficult market. It’s also absolutely romped along as an eBook, which is great to know. Please do post something up about it if you can, especially in the equestrian world where I long spread the word that ‘grown up pony books’ do exist!

Life is Worcestershire remains lovely, with the children growing apace – Dora starts school next week, Winnie’s following fast behind and both are bursting through shoe and clothes sizes faster than the Incredible Hulk in a grump. Sam is teaching dressage morning noon and night in the ‘back garden’. The horses are a great joy to us all, and I’m plotting how to get lots into my next book, which I’ll start next month. I particularly long to write in some Spanish horses inspired by our Iberians here; they have such fabulous characters – all that Mediterranean heat and passion, and so much heart. As for heroes, I have an idea for an adventurer this time, all dusty walking boots, backpack and leather bushman’s hat with testosterone and charm in abundance. In fact, dreaming of him is keeping me going as I finish crossing ts and dotting is with the final The Love Letter edit, so whilst it will be hard to let go of the two gorgeous men inside those written pages, I know there’s compensation waiting. I’ll miss my heroine, Allegra, most of all. She’s such fun and she feels like a firm friend now, but of course I’m really looking forward to readers getting to know her.

Comments and Conversation

13 Comments so far, please join in

  1. Rosie says:

    Hi Fiona,

    I must say how much I love your Oddlodes books and hgave been re-reading them recently. Is The Love Letter another installment? If not, are you planning on writing any more?

    • Fiona Walker says:

      Am feeling a total idiot that I’ve only just figured out how to reply to comments, but now that I’ve cracked it I can FINALLY say thank you for posting one! The Love Letter isn’t an Oddlode book, but I definitely hope to revisit the village before long. x

  2. Karen Hutchings says:

    kiss and tell has become another firm favorite of mine. i absolutely love the hugo and tash stories and bringing rory, etc into it is brilliant. more please.
    another about felix and phoebe would be fab too!!!

    as always fiona walker books are fantastic. can’t wait for the next.

  3. Caroline says:

    Dearest Fiona,

    I have been a fan of your work since I was a teenager, keenly awaiting new novels and secretly wishing for further installments of Tash and her awkward little lust for life! I have read all of your novels, and your work still continues to amaze me to this day, I juggle such a hectic work and family life – that I save your new releases (and old) for my summer holiday breaks. I adore reading these in the sun, by the pool or sneaking in a cheeky little pimms while I remain engrossed.

    For me you have been such an inspiration to my life, your characters have helped mould me to the loving doting wife and mother I am now today, growing from an awkward teen myself (with Tash) to becoming a woman who lives for the loves of her life my husband and child.

    I and many many others long to see your books hit the silver screen, I enjoyed lucy talk when Gerard butler was still just a scottish lad breaking out. I confess- I long to see Tash, Alexandria and everyone else brought to life on screen.
    I enjoy all your novels (even without Tash etc) and like a fellow fan above stated – would be nice to have Pheobe Fredericks make an encore too.
    However an additional story of Tash and Hugo lounging in another french relations holiday would just bring me to tears yet again- I love when you have all family together again, and seeing as its now extended to Becky and Lough, wow what amazing possiblities you have left open.

    Forever in awe
    and
    forever in thanks (for taking this awkward teen to 30′s)

    Caroline
    (a dedicated fan now and forever)

    ps – thanks for bringing your imaginative world to our lives, we adore you x x x x

    • Fiona Walker says:

      Thank you soooo much for such a wonderful message, Caroline, and I can only apologise that my inability to master anything technological in under six months has meant it’s taken so long to reply and say how much reading your comment on the site meant to me. It’s been very a frustrating wait! Very relieved to be able to pop up now to say so, however late in the day and to agree that seeing Gerard Butler playing one of my characters would be SO perfect! xxx

  4. Kate Honeybill says:

    Hi Fiona

    I just had to write and second everything that Caroline has already said! I too began reading your books when I was 14 years old – starting with French Relations I instantly identified with Tash (being the dorky teenager who always got things wrong and hated having to dress up for any occasion – Tash wearing jeans to Sophia’s posh party was absolutely brilliant!). The Tash/Niall/Hugo love triangle in Well Groomed also opened my eyes to the complexity of love – something which I would encounter in my early 20s (and somehow I also ended up with my Hugo).

    I was so so happy when I discovered that you had decided to pick up the Tash and Hugo story, 10 years on. Though I have had Kiss and Tell for a while I finally got the chance to read it while on holiday at the beginning of October, and I was hooked from start to finish! Even though 10 years had passed, it felt just like catching up with old friends, and I was so pleased that you also tied it in with the Lodes Valley set :-). Are there going to be any more Lodes Valley stories coming up in the future? I also agree with Caroline and would love to see some of your books hit the big screen – have you ever thought about who could play the main characters?

    Thank you again for all of your wonderful stories!

    Kate xxx

    p.s. (and probably best not to include this on the website) I am also a fellow member of New Era – I was in A Murder is Announced with your mum :-).

    • Fiona Walker says:

      Hi Kate….I’m afraid you’re Murder Is Announced billing with my lovely Ma is a website legend now! (apologies for that…I didn’t press the button that posts comments on here as have been fumbling around in confusion for six months trying to master how to reply, which as you can tell I am now doing to joyful excess). Huge thanks for such a lovely message on the site. I absolutely love the fact that you have read me since you were 14 and still do; it makes me feel like I have a family of readers growing up with me and the characters whenever I hear that said. Would love to revisit Oddlode (and indeed almost every main character I’ve ever written because I always hate letting fictional places and people go), so I’m sure they’ll pop up again. And as for actors playing the parts, I confess I ‘fantasy cast’ my books all the time, so most of the cast of the new Sherlock series are in them, along with the Downton Abbey lot. An author can dream…! xx

  5. Frankie says:

    Hi there, i live in spain and have survived the past 10 yrs out here on just about anything i could get my hands on at book swaps charity shops. I got given my first book Four Play about a year ago and really loved it so i kept an eye out for any more the next one i got was about 6 months ago Tongue in Cheek, since then have been having to order books online, now totaly hooked and is costing a fortune!! I also pass all good books on to my mum who also loves you but reads much faster than me and is constantly on my case to finish the next book. I think we have all the cotswold books and have just started on your earlier books. Between Males was the first to arrive, finished in a few days. snap happy and lucy talk arrived a weeek ago and have just finished snap happy loved it! I have just ordered kiss chase and well groomed. Hopefully will be here before i finish lucy talk. The only probelm is I end up reading all books in the wrong order hehe feels like cheating. Kiss and Tell was great!!!! And although not a pro i used to ride alot show jumping my favorite unfortunatly gave it up when moving to spain, and now i am pregnant with twins so i won’t be taking it up again for a while, so it’s great to read about it. Can’t wait for your next book. LOVE everything so far. x

    • Fiona Walker says:

      Thank you, Frankie! I’m so thrilled you’ve discovered all the books. The one I am writing now is party set in Spain, so it might strike a few chords,. Hope the twins are blossoming (not sure if they’re out in the big wide world yet, but I’m sure one can blossom beforehand!). xx

  6. Gillian Wilkins says:

    Fabulous job, Fiona!
    I have just finished reading 3 of your brilliant books, but in the wrong order as I stumbled upon Love Hunt, then Four Play, then Kiss and Tell.
    Looking forward to catching up with the previous books now.
    Great characters, marvellous story and my favourite themes of sex, horses,drugs and rock and roll!
    Good one, Gillian

  7. Louise says:

    Hi – Please can you tell me the correct order to read the Oddlode books in? I have read all the French books and want to read the others now – love them by the way!
    Louise

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