Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Book Launch!

Had a very swanky book launch on Wednesday at the Italian Cultural Institute in Berkeley Square, a really lovely place. It was a very smart affair, champagne all round and a great gathering of family and friends. Once my speech was over (I kept it short!) I was able to enjoy Sara Girolamo singing some Italian folk songs, and Micheal Campari (great name!) crooning some appropriately Italian-themed standards like 'That's Amore'! Thanks to everyone who turned up, and to our gracious hosts at the Institute. Back to reality now with some more book signings around London, and then back up to my beloved north country next week for an event in Colne.

Friday, 19 March 2010

MS handed in! And RNA lunch

OK OK this is really more of a diary than a blog as I don't really keep it up too well! But my excuse is that I'm genuinely busy writing the books so the blogs get neglected! 2 HUGE weights off my shoulders in the last week. One, I handed in my copyedited manuscript for Botticelli Secret...whew...so now there's just the cover and blurb to finalize before it comes out on May 6th. There are also some very exciting PR plans to promote the book, more of which when they're confirmed. Second thing: I sent three chapters of my new novel to my agent and luckily she loves them, so I can crack on with it with impunity rather than putting it in the bin!

Had a great and rare publishing jolly on Tuesday at the RNA lunch in Kensington this week - sat with a great bunch of gals from my agent's stable and had a lovely time - the champers was flowing! Congratulations to all the nominees/winners especially great family friend Helene Wiggin (Leah Fleming) and thanks to my lovely neighbour Lisa Jewell for letting me cadge a lift in her cab.

Monday, 4 January 2010

Happy New...you know the rest

Well, here we are in 2010, or 'twenty-ten' as everyone seems to be calling it. It's the day after my birthday (I got very spoiled) the TV is full of ads for diets and holidays, people have dumped their Christmas trees on the street (it's not even Epiphany yet!! I thought The Lord was supposed to strike you down if you de-decorate early) and the kids' rooms are littered with Christmas plastic. I just stood on Buzz Lightyear - it REALLY hurt.

Still, I refuse to be downcast. The UK proofs for The Botticelli Secret arrived in the post and now I'm starting to proofread. This is quite a fiddly process and quite painstaking, and will be impossible to concentrate upon fully til the kids go back to school, as you can't copy out minute proofreading heiroglyphics while simultaneously trying to referee an argument about who's got the most mini marshmallows on their hot chocolate. The fun bit is getting to read a book you haven't read since you wrote it. If you're lucky you'll enjoy it and thankfully that's the case here. I'm actually getting caught up in the story, so that's a great relief. The plot is very different to my past books as it's much more of a thriller/treasure hunt as the characters race to decode the meaning of a Botticelli painting. Its actually great to be in the company of my heroine again - Chi-chi, full time prostitute and part-time artist's model - I love her so much I have a feeling I'll be featuring her again some day.

One funny thing about a career as a writer is how your books begin to overlap each other. I've just been working on my fourth book, set in eighteenth-century Siena at the end of the Medici empire, and now I'm temporarily back in fifteenth-century Florence for Botticelli when the Medicis were at their most powerful. Plus, as The Glassblower of Murano has now just become available on iTunes (check it out if, like me, you find it hard to find actual reading time!) I've just been listening to the 'voice' of my very first heroine, set in modern day Venice. Confusing. Incidentally, Kate Magowan, who brings Glassblower's Leonora beautifully to life in the recording, is married to John Simm, who I've just seen all over the Christmas TV as the scenery-chewing Master in Dr Who. So not only time periods but universes too are collapsing and colliding!