I think I’m getting boring!

At the risk of being a bore, I’ve just got to show you this. It’s the second book from my back-list to be published on Kindle by Endeavour Press, and I think this is another excellent cover.

I’m impressed by the speed in which they’re putting up my books. I can barely keep pace with them. It’s all rather fun.

This one was originally published in 2015 so there’s a review alongside it already. Reviews are very very helpful to authors. Hint!  So if you read it or have read it already and would be prepared to rate it and give it a review, I’d be very grateful.

And yes – there is a mermaid in it!  Or maybe there isn’t.

Here’s the link should you be interested:  http://amzn.eu/2C9a21r

This entry was posted on July 13, 2017. 1 Comment

Guess what!

I gave my first press interview yesterday, about the two books that are going to be published by Endeavour Press and great fun it was. But…

In order to be prepared for any possible questions I did my usual homework and discovered to my surprise that the e-book that I was expecting to be published on August the 1st is already up and running and ready for purchase. So I thought I’d better let you know too.

So here’s the Kindle link: http://amzn.eu/8DOahXQ

Very happy interview by the way, sitting in the sun in the garden. I’m all for having my books published in the summer.


This entry was posted on July 6, 2017. 3 Comments

One really good thing after another.

I must say this quietly in case the Chinese Gods hear me and pay me out for my presumption, they’re a bit too good at that, these old Chinese Gods. But I’m really beginning to feel that my life as a novelist, which has been in the doldrums ever since my previous publisher went bust or ‘ceased trading’ as they insisted I should say, is now picking up at last.

Last week I saw the cover for Everybody’s Somebody and thought how good it was and I’d no sooner digested that when I was sent the cover of the e-book of Girl on the Orlop deck and I think that one’s even better than Everybody’s Somebody one. At last I have covers that say ‘this writer is intelligent’. I shall get a swollen head if this goes on!


But it’s given me quite a kick, I have to admit, especially now that I’m going to give interviews to the local press which makes me believe that the book really is going to come out.

The second happy moment happened when I was watching the Glastonbury Festival and saw Jeremy Corbyn speaking to that enormous crowd and offering them hope, quoting Shelley’s ‘Rise like lions after slumber,’  to encourage them I’ve been using that quotation over and over again on various social media over the past few months, so it was like meeting an old friend.






Rise like Lions after slumber,
In unvanquishable number.
Shake your chains to earth like dew,
Which in sleep had fallen on you
Ye are many – they are few

And then, just to put the icing on the cake, I’ve had a special guest to stay with me. He arrived on Thursday, stayed with me for three days and kept me company day and night, joining me at breakfast, sharing my lunchtime sandwich – he was very partial to smoked salmon – and my evening meal and helping me to write my novel. He’s a dab hand or perhaps I should say a dab paw on the keyboard. We only had one slight difference of opinion when he discovered the fireplace and the chimney  and decided to try his hand or paw at being a chimney sweep. I am, of course, now quite enamoured.




And over the weekend, naturally enough, two of my great-grandchildren who are equally enamoured came to visit him, bringing their parents with them! We had a great time in the garden, playing with the cat, lounging on the hammock and picking a good crop of cherries. Sometimes life is just so good.









This entry was posted on July 5, 2017. 2 Comments

Latest news on publication of Everybody’s Somebody



Thank you to all the people who have contacted me asking for more information on the publication of this book.

I now have two dates. The paperback will be out on September the 1st but it will be available on e-book and for pre-order in August.

I suppose this is a business blog, quite a change for me! Back to my usual style for the next one, I promise!

A new Endeavour


Fasten your seat belts. I’m going to take you on a journey. And it’s one, until quite recently, I wasn’t expecting to take myself. Let me explain.

I wrote this book for another publishing house which went bust – or to use the jargon my then editor desperately urged on me ‘ceased trading’, just before my novel was due for publication. Thereby hangs another and uglier tale which I’m certainly not going to tell all over again here.

But lo and behold, my clever agent sold this unpublished story to a new and up and coming publisher called, splendidly appropriately, ‘Endeavour’. And now it is going to be published on September the 1st and this is the cover. I think I can allow myself one, small cheer!

So what sort of book is this poor creature that nearly died the death? Well, as always, when I write a long, family saga, it’s a Christmas pudding and the ingredients are many, varied and sometimes peculiar.

For a start, it had to begin in the Sussex countryside. My amanuensis and I chose a very pretty place called Binderton, which is north of Chichester and is so small that most people haven’t heard of it. In fact we drove straight through it before we’d realised we’d arrived.


And then one of the other settings had to be the Borough Market because I liked it so much, having visited it the first time when I was seventeen. It’s very up market now but the sights, sounds and spirit of the place are still comfortably the same, even, as we’ve recently discovered, when they’re under attack. Respec’!

The third setting was in the miasmic trenches of the First World War. I heard a lot of fascinating things about that fearsome place when I was knee high to a grasshopper and sitting at the feet of a distant relation who had served four years there.


Relations are wonderfully useful. I had another one who had been a suffragette and told me all manner of things about that. So that’s another ingredient I had to include in my Christmas pudding.









And I certainly couldn’t leave out the terrifying, fascist rallies that were held in London and Worthing and elsewhere, by Mr Oswald Moseley despite furious opposition.

So are there any sweeties in my Christmas pudding? Well there’s an artist who employs my heroine as a model and Elstree Film Studios where she is employed as a bit-part player in the early films. Writing that was fun.

And now here she is, up on the cover and ready to meet you. I hope you will like and enjoy her, as much as I did while I was writing her.

My new publisher will tell you even more:








This entry was posted on June 15, 2017. 7 Comments

Shed tears. I have a moribund mouse

No, not the furry variety I hasten to add, although there are times when I wonder how much longer our daring mouse-thief will last. Remember him? The one who helps himself to suet cake, to the disgust of my birds. No, the mouse in question is the mechanical kind which has absolutely no business doing anything but work non-stop to satisfy the demands of its owner. Mine has got it’s wires crossed in every sense of the word and now, I have a frozen cursor and can’t get into my desktop computer, no matter how many times I turn it off and on or how much I threaten it with the direst of punishments.

I am reduced to writing this blog on my laptop, which is a very old war horse, willing, but long in the tooth. In fact, I’m not at all sure it will have the energy to pass this on to you. Although I’m living in hopes.

I have told it that the most dire punishments await any machine belonging to me which doesn’t behave in exactly the way I want. My iPad has been put in the washing machine with the dirty clothes and given a thorough wash. It hadn’t done anything wrong, poor thing, but that’s what I did to it. That was somewhat moribund afterwards. In fact so moribund, I had to buy a new one, which cowers under the bed-clothes every time I look at it.

My mobile phone was left in the fridge overnight and hasn’t been speaking to me since. My mechanical appliances cower in terror every-time I enter the room.

Ah well! Press on regardless as we used to say. Lets see if I can send this over the airwaves to you. Wish me luck.


This entry was posted on May 31, 2017. 2 Comments

A tale of superb talent and touching modesty

Last Tuesday I went to a reception in the V&A Museum, having been invited there because I was one of the three judges who chose the prize winners for this years Illustration Awards. It was a happy experience from start to finish.

For a start there was a display of the work of all the prize winners, which was, without exception, stunningly good. And then came champagne and the awards.

Here I am standing beside the overall prize winner, a delightful young man called Richard Allen. His award winning entry was a subtle and brilliantly executed cartoon of Donald Trump as the ‘Hokusai Wave.’ When I first saw it before the judging session, it took my breath away, because it was so apposite and so daring. I was very surprised to think that he could have got away with it in a national newspaper, but he had and it made me want to cheer.

So when I found that I had been the judge chosen to give him his prize, I was really chuffed. An honour, without any doubt. The short speech I had to make before I presented him with the prize was one of the easiest I’ve ever made, for really all I had to do was say how much that drawing had impressed me and how skilled and subtle it was. Then I handed him his envelope and his trophy and discovered that this talented young man was modest. He took the microphone to say thank you and for a few seconds, didn’t actually know what to say, how refreshing is that.

And he wasn’t the only one. All the other prize winners, had come forward looking shy and unsure of themselves. I could have hugged them all and in-fact I did hug some of them! It’s not often you find superb talent linked with such touching modesty.

I salute you, prize winners. Respec’ !






This entry was posted on May 24, 2017. 2 Comments