The past is always with us

I'm often asked to talk about research, as I am again in March as part of the Portsmouth Book Festival. I like to surprise people by demonstrating that we're more in touch with the past than we suppose. My mum was brought up by her grandparents, who were Victorians. It gives me insights and vocabulary that I use in the Bera books - not pretending to be old Norse but a slightly distant vernacular. Sometimes you can literally touch the past. I was writing about William Blake a few years ago and asked to see this woodcut: They brought me the actual block. I felt like I was the next person to touch it after Blake and could see the marks of his fine tools. Those of you who witnessed the Blood Wol

The power of moving house

I want to talk about the power of moving house. It’s about letting go. So many people have noted the number of times I’ve moved as an adult (seven, plus five years sailing round the Med) and declared, ‘Oh, we’ve lived in the same place ever since we got married.’ Or, ‘I’m only a mile from where I was born.’ I shrug. Home is what I create, over and over. Yes, I held on grimly at first, until change was forced upon me by serial miscarriages, divorce and my new partner’s dream of sailing round the world. Now I’m grateful. I think we all need to shake ourselves up. Our ancestors were nomadic, after all. Leave the past behind and look forward. Change brings renewal, whatever your age. Some friend

One day that changed my life - I buried my mum in the back garden

Whilst sorting through some of my belongings since moving house (again!) I came across this article which was written a few house moves ago. It made me consider my attitude to change and how i've changed throughout our many moves. Now I appreciate challenges and change. I think we all need to shake ourselves up. Our ancestors were nomadic, after all. Leave the past behind and look forward. Change brings renewal, whatever your age. I think this attitude is seen in my writing as Bera adapts to change and goes through her personal story. All life experiences lead to inspiration!

See Me At Portsmouth BookFest 2019!

I am thrilled to have been invited back to Portsmouth BookFest to give a talk. For those aspiring authors and those already established it's a great event to connect and share experiences. The event is amazing value: friendly and informative. You'll be able to meet many authors, (including me!), attend workshops, get signed copies of books and explore the fab facilities the Portsmouth City Library service have on offer. On the weekend of 2nd March, i'll be giving two talks. I’m doing one slot on Research - The story comes first but novel writing is then a series of decisions. What world does your protagonist live in? I’ll talk about how and where to research and when to use it. The second wi

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