This has been an amazing couple of weeks. I’ve had the great pleasure of seeing my first UK novel, Molly’s Millions, in the bookshops. Here I am in a branch of Smith’s next to Cherie Blair!
I also did a spot of signing with fellow author, Lola Jaye. We ventured into central London on the hottest day of the year and signed as many of our books as we could find. If you can find an unsigned one, it’s worth an absolute fortune!
Here we are at Smith’s in Victoria. Thanks to the lovely Ines who was so sweet and helpful.
I also attended a wonderful garden party at Oxford’s St John’s College with my Great Uncle Peter who was a student there in 1949. The sun shone for us and there were cucumber sandwiches, heaps of cake and strawberries and cream. It was perfect!
Whilst in Oxford, we visited The Eagle and Child (also known as The Bird and Baby) where the ‘Inklings’ used to meet. It was amazing to step into the pub where early readings of The Lord of the Rings and the Narnia stories would have taken place, and my uncle told me he was in Oxford at the same time as Tolkien and CS Lewis!
It was the Oxford Literary Festival this month and I got to meet children’s writer and one-time laureate, Michael Morpurgo. His books Private Peaceful and The White Horse of Zennor are amongst my favourite. Whilst in Oxford, I met up with one of my other favourite writers, Julia Golding, and talked about fantasy, festivals and the horrors of getting the right title for your books. I also managed a quick chat with Joanna Kenrick between events.
At Waterstones with Lisa Jewell
Then there was a fabulous fiction panel at Notting Hill’s Waterstones which I attended with Helen Salter. It was great fun and lovely to chat with Carole Matthews, Isabel Wolff and Lisa Jewell who has given me a lovely quote for my novel Molly’s MillionApril also meant a trip to the London Book Fair where I met up with my lovely German agent for lunch. There was also time to meet up with Juliet Archer for a writerly gossip on the steps of Earl’s Court.
Then, a surprise trip to Pembrokeshire where I managed to finish the first draft of my new novel, Connie Gordon’s Clan, and completely killed my right shoulder doing so. Ouch! The coast and countryside glowed with yellow flowers: primroses, celandines, cowslips, dandelions, buttercups and the ever-present gorse.