January 2014

I’m not a very accomplished Facebook user – in fact I’ve not dared go back there since five year old Winnie decided to ‘share’ multiple snapshots of her Christmas Pet Spa app on my wall when she was playing it on the family tablet a couple of weeks ago. The sight of a fluffy white seal pup in a sparkly pink Alice band captioned ‘My Sweet Cutie Pie’ came as a shock to old friends who clearly thought my new year’s resolution was to take up laudanum, although it nevertheless received more ‘likes’ in the few hours it was up there than most links I share.

It’s therefore with some trepidation that I prepare for my first Facebook ‘chat’ tomorrow, and this is a rather last minute call to anybody interested in taking part to join me there…. So for anyone who has always wanted to write a book – especially if you’re trying to do it whilst caring for small children – I’ll be taking part in an hour’s live Facebook Q&As as a part of Mother & Baby Magazine’s Working Mum’s Club on Thursday 16th January at 1pm.  Simply follow the link to https://www.facebook.com/motherandbaby and I’ll answer any questions on the subject you’d like to put to me. If you’ve missed it by the time you read this then it should remain online for you to check out later, no doubt containing embarrassing spelling errors and typos on my part.

On which subject, I have just spent the past week working through the line-edited manuscript of next summer’s novel The Country Escape and dived beneath the desk more than once to see a goofy bit of Walker phonetic spelling corrected in the margin (‘Yo Sammity Sam’ had a polite note ‘did you mean Yosemite Sam?’….ditto ‘Kahoonas’….and my failed attempt at a sausage dog pun doesn’t bear repetition). Despite that, I’m really proud of this one, which I think is incredibly good fun with characters that I hope readers will fall in love with as much as I have. Set in and around a Herefordshire estate, it features an animal sanctuary which comes under threat when the neighbouring stately pile is sold to a hunting-mad billionaire, and having re-read it, I’m rather embarrassed to admit that I found myself giggling quite a lot at my own jokes (when I wasn’t hiding under the desk at the sight of my typos). I can also happily report that my mantra to write shorter books has yet to be chanted because The Country Escape remains a big, action-packed romp through one of the loveliest corners of Britain, and I’m thrilled that the editor agreed that it’s fast and furious fun as it is without needing to be cut back. It will be published on 5th June. The cover is still being finalised – more news as soon as it’s done; we have a wonderful illustrator on board who has created some of my favourite jackets, so I can’t wait to share the end result.

Whether you find me on here, typing badly on Facebook chats, tweeting as rarely as a Golden Oriole or hanging furtively around the end of the fiction author alphabet in Waterstones, I’m always grateful for your enthusiasm and interest in my books and look forward to adding more news to this page soon.

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