Sunday, 21 December 2008

Happy Christmas

I just want to wish all my readers a happy festive season and to thank them for the support they have given me throughout 2008.

At this time of year things get hectic and it can be hard to keep focused. But I am dutifully combing through the copy-edited manuscript of the Sequel to The Russian Concubine - (to be called The Concubine's Secret in the UK and The Girl from Junchow in the US) - while I chop chestnuts with one hand and dangle chocolates on the tree with the other. Already plans are pouring in for 2009 - a new book cover being designed, a tour of the UK in February, a research schedule and, of course, a new book to write. As if I could forget that!

But times ahead are looking tough for 2009 in every part of the world, so I hope we can all find respite in the books that give us pleasure.

Happy reading and happy Christmas.

Saturday, 6 December 2008

Romantic Novelists Association Party

Now that I have finished my latest book (the sequel to The Russian Concubine - in the bookstores summer/autumn 2009), it's time to get out and about. The other week I hopped on a train up to London and went to the RNA winter party. I had a great time, meeting up with other authors, editors and agents.

As a writer it's very easy to forget, when closeted in my study and immersed in my characters' lives, that the real world consists of more than just a keyboard on my desk and a cat curled up on my lap. There are other authors out there who wrestle with the same problems, utter the same moans and revel in the same ecstatic delight when it all goes right. In the glorious setting of the IMEC library, I was relieved to see in many eyes the slightly manic gleam of puppies let off the lead for the first time - the gleam I knew was bright in my own eyes. The RNA and its magazine does a great job of keeping authors in touch with what is going on in the publishing world.

Under a Blood Red Sky has made a great start. Already on The Times and WHSmith's bestseller lists which is exciting to see. I have spent time going round signing books and enjoying giving talks to readers about why I wrote the book and how I did my research. I'm doing another talk at the Palace Hotel in Paignton this week and in February 2009 my publisher is lining up a tour of events in Wiltshire, Gloucestershire, Devon and Kent. Can't wait! A great way to start the new year.