Monday, 28 January 2013

A Floor of Bones

Near where I grew up in Devon is a wonderful old National Trust house called Killerton. And in the grounds of this house is the Bear Hut - an old summerhouse tucked away among the trees. It is wonderfully rustic, wood and thatch and a ceiling of fir cones.
It is called The Bear Hut because in the 1860's it was used to house a black bear brought back by one of the family from Canada.
But one of the strangest things about this hut is this section of the floor. It is made up entirely of the knuckle bones of deer. Weirdly macabre - and looks like a lot of deer to me!

Saturday, 19 January 2013

The Curious Fox Launch

Last Thursday I headed up to London for the Curious Fox launch party which was held at Dr Johnson's house - a wonderful old building tucked away among offices of glass and steel.

It's a while since I've been to London and the city looked amazing. I headed from the station out over Waterloo Bridge, lights reflected in the Thames and from one angle Big Ben was framed by the London eye. But what struck me most was the number of bicycles, racks and racks of them by the station and fleets of them moving along the roads.

And then to the party, fizz and canapés, interesting people and great conversation. My fabulous agent came along, and it was lovely to see the Curious Fox team again and to meet the other authors. The MD gave a speech and introduced our books and they had a big banner made up with the covers of all our books on it! It was such a thrill to see my book there among the others!

There were games to spark our curiosity, and fascinating people from all over, but all with a shared passion for books. There were lots of photos taken and I'll post a link should any come online.

The evening flew and it felt all too soon that I was heading back over Waterloo Bridge to the station, and to my friend's where I was staying. And when I looked inside my goody bag on the train back I found a lovely copy of Sharon Gosling's The Diamond Thief which will be one of the first Curious Fox titles to launch!

I woke the next morning to a white world, driving home through snow and spray. But by the time I reached the New Forest the snow had stopped. I passed oak trees, jagged branches etched in white, and patches of heath and gorse where the snow covered the vegetation in lumps. Every so often it fell from the trees as I passed underneath in a flurry of ice shards.

I reached home, still buzzing. Back to those edits.....

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Weird Weather

As 2012 has drawn to a close there has been a lot of discussion in the media about the extreme weather we have seen.
The weather in this country has always been unpredictable.  Extreme weather events are certainly not unheard of, but this year has been a year of particularly extreme rainfall - and not on just one occasion.
This is a picture of my garden after the most recent downpour, shortly before Christmas. My garden never flooded before this year - for starters we live on a hill and our soil is quite sandy and normally drains really well. But this year the ground was so saturated  and the rain so intense that it just couldn't drain away fast enough.
And back in the summer the downpour was even heavier, and my garden even more of a pond. Water was bubbling up in the road from drains that were unable to cope, and the river, backed up by a high tide burst its banks and flooded the town.
This is the footpath through the marshes a few days after the rain had stopped. The saddest thing to hear were the cries of the terns, their nests and chicks washed away. Although one brave man from the RSPB swam out with inflatable rafts for them and some were saved.
They say that extreme weather events like this will become more common as global temperatures increase. This is certainly the case in the world in which Danni, my heroine in Red Rock, lives. Britain has become a colder, wetter place.
I fear that the world I imagined when I was writing her story may soon become a reality for us all!

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Signing my Contract...

What better way to welcome in the new year!


2013 is going to be a big year for me. It is the year I am going to be published. At the moment I'm in the middle of the edits. Exciting stuff!

I've also set myself up a facebook page, as well as a profile on Goodreads, which you can find by following the links to the side of this page.

So Happy New Year to all my blog readers, and thank you for joining me on my writing journey. And extra special good wishes to anyone else who has a book coming out in 2013.