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Showing posts from July, 2016

A Fresh Start

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Is it me or do the seasons seem a bit out of sync this year? It's nearly the end of July and already the wildflowers on my balcony are past their best bloom.  They still look pretty though, especially on a sunny Saturday morning, and they attract the bees and other pollinators in droves.  Insect-friendly plants are both attractive and essential and, in my work in conservation, I meet lots of people who are letting parts of their gardens 'go wild' in an effort to give nature a home when its natural habitat is under more threat than ever before. So go on, do your bit for nature and plant some wildflowers next spring :)


I find, like nature, my writing tends to go in seasons too. I usually start a new book with clockwork timing - January, May and September. This year, like the seasons, I am also a bit out of sync for several reasons.  Having put my last book to one side, and jettisoned my recent partial for the foreseeable future, I've taken a few weeks off to consider tw…

RNA Conference 2016

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The annual Romantic Novelists' Conference is one of the highlights of my calendar, and this year was no exception. Held at Lancaster University, the venue was lovely even if the weather wasn't exactly sultry and summer-like.  Getting together with good friends over a bottle or three of Prosecco was the absolute high spot of a wonderful couple of days. The sessions were interesting and inspiring, among them HQ Harper Collins 'Reaching the Top in Commercial Fiction,' Vasiliki Scurfield on 'Writing the Foreign Hero' and Kate Walker on 'Emotional Punch.' One of the most illuminating sessions, from my point of view at least, was Sonia Duggan's workshop on 'Rekindling your Romance with Writing.'  Having been writing for almost ten years and as yet unpublished, this one really struck a chord with me.  Sonia gave us an exercise on composing a Dear John letter to our writing and what I wrote both surprised and shocked me and, for the first time, I wa…