On the Road Again

The suitcase is out again. I’m off to England later this week to inspect some of my grandchildren, catch up with some friends and, most important of all, to meet some of my readers. The Hampshire Festival of Book Clubs takes place next week at Lord Wandsworth College. What a lovely place to go to…

Read More

Writer NOT at work?

Writers sometimes hit the buffers. Maybe the brilliant idea they thought they’d had turns out not to be so brilliant after all. Maybe there’s a basic structural fault in their construction. Or, they think they’re suffering from writer’s block. Years ago they’d sit slumped over the typewriter snivelling, ‘I’m blocked.’ Nowadays they can find reams…

Read More

Publication Day!

So it’s out!  Anyone for Seconds, now available in all good book shops and perhaps in some not so good ones. It’s my seventeenth novel  –  at least, the seventeenth I’ll admit to  – and I’m sorry to say that for me publication days aren’t what they used to be. They used to be a…

Read More

Back in Business

By which I mean, behold my spiffy new-look website. What’s changed? It’s less cluttered and it is small screen friendly. This, I’m told by those in the know, is very important these days when even grannies use mobile devices and anyone under the age of 45 has the attention span of a flea. I’m not,…

Read More

Builders In

A quick pit stop to pick up clean clothes and to announce that I have the builders in. My website will be getting a spruce-up in the next week or two, so I won’t be posting again until it’s done. I had an utterly delicious time in France, made all the more so by the…

Read More

Travel Companions

It’s been a long time since I had a do-nothing kind of holiday but this year I’ve been invited along on two such, so how lucky am I? The first will involve little more than dipping in the pool occasionally and murmuring words of gratitude when yet another meal is placed before me. And reading,…

Read More

All in a Working Day

I’m back from the Ilminster Literary Festival in lovely Somerset, where I was the follow-on act after Dot Allbones. An unenviable task. But the audience at the Warehouse Theatre were awake and friendly, two conditions no author ever takes for granted. In my time I have spoken to single figure audiences and I have spoken…

Read More

A Three Hundred Mile Hop

Nizhni Novgorod was the furthermost point of my Russian trip before I turned for home. Four hours by train from Moscow, which to Russian minds is a mere hop and a jump. I had no literary agenda there, though from 1932 until the collapse of the Soviet Union the city was renamed Gorky, after its…

Read More

And Then, Melikhovo

I began to despair of seeing Anton Chekhov’s country house because its administrators suddenly announced that on my appointed day they were closing for spring-cleaning. But there was a quick shake-up of my itinerary and off I set, wedged between two Sumo-sized Russians in steaming raincoats for the fifty minute train ride to Chekhov. I…

Read More

More Notes from Russia

There’s plenty of a literary flavour to keep a person entertained in Moscow. In just one morning I visited Chekhov’s apartment   –  his name plate is still on the door and I’ll show you if ever I manage to wrestle the photo from my phone  –  and Bulgakov’s, and then I sat in the…

Read More