Sunday, 28 September 2008


Son's Burmese cats visiting.

Apologies for the long gap between this and my last post. I like to maintain the illusion of being an author in control, a writer whose life is calm and runs to a well-ordered schedule - with the word count flowing smoothly on to paper each day, talks and book signings effortlessly slotted in, deadlines hit with days or even weeks to spare.

Hah! Not quite. That's the trouble with illusions - they tend to shatter when you throw a brick at them. The brick, in this case, was a fast-approaching deadline, plus my son's wedding to the lovely Liz and a visit from a bunch of family and pets over in UK for the wedding. Total meltdown. Mixing metaphors, I know, but that's exactly how my brain felt. Mixed. Scrambled. Too much going on in there to even think about writing. Delays and distractions.

But at last here I am, emerged like a butterfly, fluttering my gaudy writing wings once more and hoping to dazzle my publishers so that they won't even notice what the date is.

The book I'm working on at the moment is the sequel to The Russian Concubine and is due out in the stores in June 2009. It has been enormous fun being back with Lydia again, exploring where she'll take me this time. Watching her grow up and struggle to discover what it is that she wants her life to become. The end is very much in sight and I know I shall miss her when she's gone. It's like losing a beloved friend. Though, I admit, she can be so darn wilful when she chooses! Always shooting off in directions I hadn't planned and leaving me to pick up the pieces.

As soon as I hand over the manuscript, I shall be delighted to leap into the launch of my new book Under a Blood Red Sky, published by Littlebrown/Sphere on November 6th 2008 in UK and Australia. (It was published by Berkley in June 2008 in the USA under the title The Red Scarf - yes, I know it's confusing. Talk to my publishers about it, not me!)

So an exciting time coming up. After all the recent self seclusion, I shall enjoy going round talking to readers about Under a Blood Red Sky, finding out their reactions and listening in on their discussions. I'll keep you posted about some signings and talks. But it's always great to read your responses here too.