First author interview – thanks MMB

First ever (online) author interview – supposed to be featuring in tomorrow’s edition of the local paper – but not counting chickens yet on that one.

Delighted though to have talked to MM Bennetts – you can catch up with the interview on her blog

(Though I don’t think my uni friends would recognise her description of my St Andrews days!)

Wet Windy Edinburgh, but thanks…

Home from a wet and windy Edinburgh.

A HUGE thanks to everyone who attended Blackwells or Waterstones for the Launch
and who contributed to making both events a success. Special thanks to Marianne Wheelaghan and Prof. Ian Campbell for chairing the events and keeping me calm! Able to eat again – didn’t feel like it at all on Thursday – for anyone who knows me well a sure sign of just how nervous I was!

How nice is that?

First debut novel ‘event’ tomorrow in Blackwells, Edinburgh, discussing ‘Writing History’ as part of the ‘Previously’ Festival.

Then official book launch in Waterstones, Edinburgh on Thursday… a little bit scary…

And an event in Eyemouth next week as part of Book Week Scotland. 1

I am delighted to have received messages from Cathy Kelly, Anne O’Brien and Jeffrey Archer – People’s Novelist Competition judges – sending me ‘best wishes’ for the book launch.

How nice is that?

A dangerous profession? Please comment…

Preparing for a discussion on ‘Writing History’

title=”Writing History”> and have just had a thought -provoking (scary?) email from the person chairing the discussion:-

‘History of manic depressive illness among writers is well documented, and Kay Redfield Jamison who is Honorary Professor of English at St Andrews University in her book Touched By Fire, Manic Depressive Illness and the Artistic Temperament, says that while not all writers suffer from mental illness, a higher rate of writers than the normal reading public do suffer from some form of mental illness or addiction. I other words it’s a dangerous profession. So, what do you do to stay sane as writer?’

I’d love to hear from others what you think of this / what you do.
As a first-timer I maybe need to be prepared!

First Gallery Photograph.

A steep learning curve for me here – I’ve just uploaded my first photo to Gallery – Winning the Historical Fiction section of the Harper Collins / Alan Titchmarsh People’s Novelist competition was my first step towards finding a publisher. How I felt at the time is related on a guest blog for the Writers Workshop

title=”Guest Blog for Writers Workshop”>

How I feel now – I’m 100% sure that the various competition wins and listings were a major contributory factor in my achieving publication and well worth the time and effort I gave to them. (And sometimes the one you think least likely may be the one you win…)

A huge thanks to Richard who ‘captured’ the stock photography for me and to Annette who sent me a quick guide to Word Press.

Starting out.

This is my very first post on my own blog, which hopefully I can post without older son at my elbow to point the way. (Tried earlier today and lost one into the ether somewhere… reward to finder.)

Two weeks to publication of my debut novel I’ve discovered that I have lots to do behind the scenes – guest list for launch for publisher / choosing readings / and aagh – what to wear? At least it’s not as problematic as 1574 –

Women’s apparel

None shall wear

Any cloth of gold, tissue, nor fur of sables: except duchesses, marquises, and countesses in their gowns, kirtles, partlets, and sleeves; cloth of gold, silver, tinseled satin, silk, or cloth mixed or embroidered with gold or silver or pearl, saving silk mixed with gold or silver in linings of cowls, partlets, and sleeves: except all degrees above viscountesses, and viscountesses, baronesses, and other personages of like degrees in their kirtles and sleeves.

Velvet (crimson, carnation); furs (black genets, lucerns); embroidery or passment lace of gold or silver: except all degrees above mentioned, the wives of knights of the Garter and of the Privy Council, the ladies and gentlewomen of the privy chamber and bedchamber, and maids of honor.

None shall wear any velvet in gowns, furs of leopards, embroidery of silk: except the degrees and persons above mentioned, the wives of barons’ sons, or of knights.

Cowls, sleeves, partlets, and linings, trimmed with spangles or pearls of gold, silver, or pearl; cowls of gold or silver, or of silk mixed with gold or silver: except the degrees and persons above mentioned; and trimmed with pearl, none under the degree of baroness or like degrees.

Enameled chains, buttons, aglets, and borders: except the degrees before mentioned.

Satin, damask, or tufted taffeta in gowns, kirtles, or velvet in kirtles; fur whereof the kind groweth not within the Queen’s dominions, except foins, grey genets, bodge, and wolf: except the degrees and persons above mentioned, or the wives of those that may dispend £100 by the year and so valued in the subsidy book.

Gowns of silk grosgrain, doubled sarcenet, camlet, or taffeta, or kirtles of satin or damask: except the degrees and persons above mentioned, and the wives of the sons and heirs of knights, and the daughters of knights, and of such as may dispend 300 marks by the year so valued ut supra, and the wives of those that may dispend £40 by the year.

Hope to see lots of folk at the three events I’m currently preparing for, but don’t expect velvet…

Once that’s all over I hope to be able to post interesting snippets from my research. Mostly 16th century,as that’s the period I’m writing in just now,though I can’t always control my curiosity, or where and when my mind drifts to…

Available now…

‘Turn of the Tide’ is a year old!! You can buy it in bookshops in the UK and find it on Amazon

It is all very exciting, and a little scary!

I’m working hard on the sequel just now but some of the characters are being a little difficult – refusing to do as I tell them and insisting on going their own way…doing a bit of travelling too and getting into dangerous waters.