Summer 2023 Update

Another  long silence, as threatened (or promised,) while l wrote with huge excitement and at speed – the best way – and  I am pleased to say I met the deadline for the first draft of ‘the next book’ which is now with my publisher.  I hope to start the final edit next month. I think I have all the extra bits of research under my belt so they are ready to slot in and I am looking forward to an intense  few weeks this autumn polishing the story. I always greet each stage in the writing with immense enthusiasm. The first draft, the first readthrough and revision, the jigsaw rejuggling of some of the plotlines and characters, the final edit ... and then at long last discussions about details like jackets.  I love every intricate part of the process. And, yes, I think we have a title.


The last few months haven't all been writing.  Well, almost, but there was the workshop in Hay Castle which was great fun – for me at least - I don‘t know about anyone else, but I learnt a lot about the art of creative writing in those two days with my co-tutor, Kath, and our group of  awe-inspiringly talented writers.


Several more of the older books have now been issued on Audible and the rest are in the pipeline, all read by brilliant people who I think really bring the stories to life and it was  wonderful to see some of those titles back on the best seller lists.


Then there are other plans afoot, top secret at the moment, but very exciting, and decisions to be made about the next, ‘next novel’. One is already planned, but there are discussions to be had about possibly moving it on down the line and heading in another direction  first. There is something very special about trying to capture and tie down vague  ideas and thoughts, hints and shadows which might turn into a new novel. More about all that anon.


And finally, I want to thank everyone who sent their birthday wishes to me via the Barbara Erskine Book Club.  I think you all know about my problems with Facebook, who seem to have decided that I am trying to impersonate myself, so I can’t reply, but I do get to see your remarks and it is so heartening to read your comments. You are a lovely group. Oh, and by the way, for the record, I did indeed live near Manningtree and Mistley  - for 23 years in fact,  and I was living in the area when I wrote Hiding from the Light. I vividly remember giving a talk in Manningtree about the book and other spooky things one evening years ago, and we lingered, talking on for hours afterwards, and then  at last I walked through the deserted town back to where I had left my car on the Walls,  alone, in the dark –  magical, looking out across the water, listening to the night birds and, yes, it was just that little bit spooky .... I also remember many wonderful meals with friends at the Thorn! I moved to Hay-on-Wye full time ten years ago but still have many friends back in Essex and Suffolk  and so many memories.


Afterthought: For emergency access to my books for people who live in Manningtree, if you still  can't find them, you could do a lot worse than go to Red Lion Books in Colchester who have not only heard of my books, and supported me with enormous enthusiasm for my whole career, but provided the books for a talk I gave in Colchester this last Christmas and sold out! Thank you again to Sarah and Pete and thank you to everyone who bought them.