Saturday, 7 March 2009


A member of the Book Group from North Walsham Library emailed me to repeat that she had really enjoyed reading Blood and Water, which they had done as a group prior to my talk. Kindred Spirits is a follow-on novel to B&W, but is also a stand-alone read.
She writes a mini review of all the books they read and this is what she said about B&W :
"Thought it was very well written. Perhaps too many problems in one book, but it was lively and interesting . Glad there was a list of characters - I still got lost with the birth mother of the twins and the MP’s wife. Interesting that at the beginning of the book I thought the main character, Mo was a bit ‘away with the fairies’ and in the end she was so clever and innovative. It certainly was not a boring book and a good criteria is when you cannot put it down. I read it in record time. Definitely would like to read another of this author’s books."
In her email, she then said: "My last comment about reading the next book by this author is more of a compliment than you may realise, because I have not got a favourite author, I enjoy a wide range of books and for me to put that I would look for and read another book 'by this author' is accolade indeed!Your words about your young life struck a cord with me when you said to-day that you were brought up in a home with books. I remember so clearly and affectionately Sunday afternoons spent with my Mother and Father sitting round the fire in the dining room after Sunday Dinner, reading and enjoying our books. It started a life long interest and I was horrified when I heard, when my children were young, that there were homes where there were no books. I found it difficult to imagine such a place!!"
I hope she enjoys the next one as much. Thanks for letting me know!

Thursday, 5 March 2009


In the last couple of weeks I've given my first two talks on Kindred Spirits, the first for the Wymondham Rotary Club, who kindly invited me to lunch and let me talk to them as their post-prandial speaker. Peter, who had asked me along, was a little nervous about the fact that I was going to tell them a ghost story, but in fact several sane-looking businessmen came up afterwards to tell me their house, or other place they knew of, was haunted, or they had had other psychic experiences.

Then yesterday I went to North Walsham Library to speak to the Book Club. It was a great turnout and many of the ladies had alread read Blood And Water, my first novel and the one that precedes Kindred Spirits - although you don't have to have read B&W to understand KS.

They were a great audience, enthusiastic and interested with some very pertinent questions. One was: which did I love most about the writing process: writing about the environment (the Crystal Palace area in B&W and Norfolk in KS), the characters, the historical research, or the intricate plotting. I had to think about that, as they all come high on the list of what I love about fiction writing. In the end I said that all my books take a house I have lived in as a starting point, but the characters are my greatest love and the historical research the hardest work - though also very rewarding.

The Bunwell Book Launch (Bunwell is the South Norfolk village where I live) is the next big thing I have to think about. With two and a half weeks to go (it's on Monday 23rd March, 7.30pm at Bunwell Village Hall - all welcome!), I've got my friend Kathy, a genius at marketing and event organising, in to help with the arrangements. The area is plastered with flyers, the kids have had great fun biking around the village posting invitations in letter boxes and there's a bit of an email campaign going. Hopefully a few people will turn up, and if they do they should have a good time. As well as launching Kindred Spirits on its home ground - the book is set in both the present day and WW2 in a South Norfolk village not unlike Bunwell, in a house not unlike my own - it will also be something of a celebration of the six years we've lived here, the real life kindred spirits I've found in this village and the vibrant and supportive community that is all we hoped for to bring our Russian adopted daughters up in.

Here's an update of dates and places when I'll be talking about Kindred Spirits (or other things) in the near future:

Friday 13th March, 11pm - BBC Radio Norfolk's Lunchtime Ladies

Wednesday 18th March 7pm - Diss Library

Monday 23rd March 7.30pm - "A Bunwell Book Launch" - local launch of Kindred Spirits, Bunwell Village Hall, The Turnpike, Bunwell Norfolk. All welcome. Enquiries: 01953 789951

Saturday 28th March 6.30pm - North Norfolk Writers' Workshop. Enquries: 07891 480247

Tuesday 31st March 2.00pm - Reepham Library

Tuesday 21st April 6.30 - Long Stratton Library

Wednesday 22nd April 7pm - Holt Library

Tuesday 5th May 10.15am - Attleborough Library

Any queries, please leave a comment on the blog or email me at