Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Blenheim Palace

On Sunday I had the great pleasure of speaking at Blenheim palace, with Shelagh Foyle, the perfumer at Floris. We'd been invited to be a part of the 4th Independent Woodstock Literary Festival and it was truly amazing driving up through the grounds to the palace. We were taken to a beautiful green room and given refreshments (and goody bags!) until it was time for our event. We were taken to a beautiful room hung with immense paintings and spoke in turn about how the book and the perfume 'Madonna of the Almonds' came about. We got a very friendly reception,and Shelagh had every one spellbound with her perfume masterclass! Many thanks to those who came to see us, and the organizers of the event.

Earlier in the day I was at Warwick University signing copies of both books at a trade fair. It was great meet all the independent booksellers who have been supporting both books in what has been a very difficult economic year for small bookstores. I also was delighted to see Sara from Pocklington, and Christine and Jo from Colne, bookseller friends I have made at previous events. Thanks to Michael, Andy, Neil and all the Turnaround team who are responsible for physically getting the books out to shops around the country. Without you, I wouldn't have the best job in the world!

Monday, 14 September 2009

Back on tour!

Hello everyone and apologies for being an incredibly lazy blogger. Just been dormant for a bit for children's summer break but now they're back at school and I'm back touring with my second book The Madonna of the Almonds. This week I was up in Lancs for an event organized by two fantastic book-loving ladies called Christine and Jo who run the The Bookshop in Colne. We had a lovely Italian meal in a canal side restaurant, and I met some great people and talked my head off! As always there were some very interesting questions following my talk and we discussed different aspects of the book. I also had the great pleasure of meeting Mary, who runs the mobile library which my Mum visits. I'm a big fan of mobile libraries, I think they are so important in rural communities like the little Dales village where my Mum lives, especially for the old and infirm. It's so important that everyone can get access to books, wherever they live, whatever their age.
This week I'm back at home working on my next book which is set in Siena. I'm just going through all the photos from my research trip-slash-family holiday (!) in the summer, and pining for Italy. The Dutch version of Madonna has just arrived in the post, and my UK publishers Beautiful Books are now discussing cover art with me for my next book The Botticelli Secret....all very exciting, can't wait to see it.