Thursday, 31 October 2013

Next stop:

Back from the Isle of Wight (bad weather, good sessions, both my own and others', and appreciative audiences) and next stop Cairo. I'm going to Egypt to visit my  Egyptologist daughter and her twin daughters. I might even re-read one of my own books, set in Egypt, on the journey. Death Beyond The Nile  features Tamara Hoyland, who was the heroine in six of my novels.  She's a creature born of fantasy, and of her author's discontent, in that she has all the attributes I'd have liked  myself, being brave, beautiful, athletic and above all completely  independent and free. She is an archaeologist and a kind of spy, travelling along the Nile  in an up-market kind of  group. The last book she appeared in was Faith, Hope and Homicide which appeared 21 years ago. In it, Tamara  falls in love. Spying adventures and happy marriage didn't seem compatible, so I wrote no more about Tamara. But her children must be off her hands by now.  I'm toying with the idea of a come-back.

Wednesday, 16 October 2013


I love islands: the Scillies, the Hebrides, the Canaries and many others. In my novel No Man's Island, an (imaginary) off-shore part of the United Kingdom declares itself independent, as the Shetlands might have done when the discovery  of North Sea gas gave them the prospect of unimagined wealth.
So I'm thrilled to be going to the Isle of Wight this weekend for its second Literary Festival.  Lots of exciting writers to listen to, meet or at least see, and friends to meet up with. I'm doing a session on crime writing with N.J, (Natasha) Cooper and Jason Goodwin (a chance to mention DEAD WOMAN WALKING) and another about the fifties (pushing  THE FIFTIES MYSTIQUE) with Victoria Glendinning. And I'll have the pleasure of listening to interesting speakers - among others,  Max Hastings, Robin Hanbury Tenison and  Penelope Keith and M.C.Beaton who are doing a joint session. If you're within easy reach, do come!