Madame Mathilde

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I’m just back from France where I was researching my new novel Madame Mathilde.

I had an amazing time, met loads of interesting people and saw some beautiful places – in particular this village called Cordes-sur-Ciel which is in the South-West, Tarn region and will be the setting for the novel.

In the meantime, The French Perfumer is coming along nicely. The editing process is almost complete and I have now seen the first cover proposal which I’m looking forward to revealing soon. It will be released in March 2017.

This book has quite a new look which will be replicated in a re-issued edition of The Olive Sisters. I’m so thrilled that Penguin have decided to re-release The Olive Sisters as people often ask me where they can buy a copy and it’s been tricky for the last couple of years since it went out of print.

So good things to come! You can see more about my research trip HERE

On the move…

img_2778There are really two main aspects to the writing life, either being stuck inside writing or going out in the world to have a good look around and develop new ideas.

So, now that ‘The French Perfumer’ is with my publisher, I can enjoy the second part and am off to France to conduct research for the new novel I’m working on entitled ‘Madame Mathilde’.

You can follow my journey HERE

Winter Light

IMG_0533This time last year I spent a month in the South of France researching my new novel ‘The French Perfumer’ and captured this beautiful play of light and shadow in the back streets of Cannes.

For me, the research aspect of writing is one of the best parts – and a lot easier than the actual writing! I love the fact that the research experience is simply about opening the mind, observation and creative composting. It’s good to undertake the process with ideas, without being locked into anything and so allow for possibility.

The last 12 months have been steady writing and, at the 3rd draft, I sent the manuscript to a select few for feedback. It’s a great gift for any writer to have readers who take this role seriously and respond with well thought out and constructive feedback. It’s nothing to do with proof-reading (although anyone with particular expertise who can pick up factual slips is a huge asset) it’s more about the reader experience, finding out where the story does or doesn’t engage, loses credibility or momentum. I’ve had some very insightful and specific feedback relating to different elements and so now it’s on to the 4th (and no doubt 5th and 6th) revision.