Well, here we are at the start of another year and I have a wonderful reason to celebrate – a brand new publication! Today is the launch of Dreaming of Mr Darcy in the US – the second in my Austen addicts’ trilogy. It was published in the UK in April last year as The Perfect Hero but has a brand new look for the American market. What do you think?
And I’m delighted to report that the ebook edition of my romantic comedy, Molly’s Millions, is currently riding high in the Amazon Top 100 chart and is Number 1 in the Humour Chart!
Today is also a very special day as it marks the ban on barren battery cages for hens. From today, these wonderful birds will have a little more room in their cages, somewhere to perch and somewhere private to lay their eggs. It’s still not ideal and it’s far from the free-ranging life that they should be leading but it’s a definite step in the right direction and my three ex-bat girls approve wholeheartedly!
Last night, after a tour of historic St James’s with Jane Odiwe and Monica Fairview…
I had the great privilege of meeting my US publisher, Sourcebooks, together with fellow authors for dinner at The Reform Club in Pall Mall. This is the club famous as being the setting of the bet in Jules Verne’s book, Around the World in 80 Days. We were in The Strangers Room in the company of Charles Dickens and WM Thackerary – their fine portraits staring down at us from the pannelled walls.
Here I am with authors Freya North and Erica James.
There was a lot of talk about books – how wonderful it is to write them but also how important it is for writers to get away from their fictional worlds once in a while and talk to real live people!
It was a lovely evening that ended all too quickly. And now it’s back to my own fictional world. The rewrites for Dreaming of Mr Darcy are almost complete and it will soon be time to start the next novel…
I have had the most amazing week! I came back from the Jane Austen Festival in Bath late on Monday and, on Tuesday, went to my first fashion show as part of London Fashion Week. With Helen from my publishers, I attended Elizabeth Emanuel’s amazing show, Little Black Dress. Here we are pretending to be a couple of celebrities!
Wednesday night was launch night for my dear friend, Christina Courtenay, who’s book, Trade Winds, is out now. Here I am with Pia and some other writer pals.
Thursday was my blog day at Austen Authors which was enormous fun. It was lovely to connect to so many writers and readers who are all as obsessed with Jane Austen as I am!
Friday meant another trip to Bath as my husband had four beautiful paintings in an exhibition – one of which was ‘highly commended’. I also had reason to celebrate myself on Friday as A Weekend with Mr Darcy was in the Heatseeker’s chart at number 10!
I also got down to my rewrites on Friday for Dreaming of Mr Darcy – the second book in my Austen addicts trilogy which is to be published in the summer. And then Saturday was a lovely day out on the south coast where we went chicken-shopping (I’m now the proud owner of some very fine galvanised feeders!) and painting and walking (Roy painted whilst Molly and I walked).
Next week looks a little quieter but there’s another book launch to look forward to. Now, I really must get back to those rewrites …
I can’t believe how quickly the summer is passing and I can’t believe how bad the weather has been! Still, there’s been a lot of fun like the brilliant day I met up with writer friend, Deborah Wright, last week. We visited the beautiful Wallace Collection in London and then had a picnic in Hyde Park before taking a ride out on the lake in a pedalo. It was great fun but suprisingly hard work and I’d like to report that the two dodgem-style incidents were due to the lack of skill in others and had nothing to do with us!
The writing has been going well too and I’ve just finished the second book in my Austen addicts trilogy, Dreaming of Mr Darcy. This is the one set in lovely Lyme Regis and I had so much fun researching it. The next one, Mr Darcy Forever, will be set in Bath and I’m looking forward to spending a few days there next month when the Jane Austen Festival is in full swing.
And the big news is that we’ll be welcoming home some feathered friends in the autumn. We’re rehoming some ex-battery hens via the amazing British Hen Welfare Trust. I’ve been wanting to keep chickens for ages and can’t wait to welcome them to our little patch of suburbia. It’ll be like a scene from The Good Life here!
One of the things I love about summer is that you can decide to go out as late as six o’clock and still have hours of daylight to enjoy. That’s what we did yesterday – heading off into Oxfordshire. Roy’s painting a series of pictures along the Ridgeway and this means me and Molly get to enjoy some glorious walks. The countryside is laced with chalky footpaths and, because it’s too difficult to choose just one, we decided to explore all of them!
One path led to a pretty little ruin. I love how the crumbling arches frame the countryside in this picture.
The evening sunshine turned everything golden and Molly kept having to pull on her lead to remind me we were on a walk and weren’t there just to stand and stare!
On with the novel now and I’ve almost completed the first draft of Dreaming of Mr Darcy – the second in my trilogy about Jane Austen addicts. It’s always a moment of great relief tinged with sadness when you finish a novel and I’m both looking forward to and dreading it!