Newsletter January 31st 2014


It is going to be a busy year! This is largely, though not entirely, due to the coming commemorations of the outbreak of World War 1, which have aroused interest in my ‘Leonora’ trilogy. At present I have invitations to talk as follows:

March 14th. Talk to Ellesmere Port Library book group.

April 8th. Talk at Sheffield Library.

April 13th. Talk at Ilkely Playhouse.

July 15th Talk at High Wycombe library.

Tuesday Sept 9th. Ellesmere Port Ladies Luncheon Club.

Thursday Oct 2nd. Manor Gatehouse Club, Burton.

But please note I am still open to offers!

Apart from this, I shall be recording the audio version of OPERATION KINGFISHER for Soundings which will take three days in March; and I have been invited to teach a course on Historical Fiction at the City Literature Institute in London over the weekend of July 12th and 13th.

Also, my next novel, APHRODITE’S ISLAND will be published some time in April.

In the middle of all this I am trying to get on with a new book. It’s a bit of a departure from my previous work, in that it is set in the 12th century and tells the story of Queen Matilda and her battle for the throne against her cousin King Stephen. It is not a period that has been much explored but I am finding Matilda a really fascinating character – married off at the age of 8 to the Emperor of Germany, widowed at 23, forced into a new marriage with Geoffrey of Anjou by her father Henry 1. She was his only legitimate heir after the death of his son by drowning but was beaten to the throne by Stephen and has to fight for her rights. What an extraordinary life!

Add to this an expedition to Canada to attend my son’s wedding in Edmonton, with an extension into the Rocky Mountains afterwards, and it seems I am not going to be at home very much this summer. Looks as if the garden is not going to get as much attention as usual!

No temptation to get out in garden today! It’s blowing a gale and pouring with rain. No excuse not to get on with some writing!