This category contains 32 posts

The City and the Road – August in America

It’s good to be back on the Literary Sofa again after spending almost all of August in the States. If you know my blog or my fiction you already know that I have a thing about America which dates all the way back to my very first taste of it as a 22-year-old.  Somewhat bizarrely, … Continue reading

My American Holiday TBR 2013

My Top Summer Reads 2013 has attracted a lot of interest and it’s great to be getting positive feedback from readers who’ve discovered titles they loved amongst my selection.  Of course I’ve already read them, so when it comes to my summer trip I relish choosing what else to read.  I find the books I read … Continue reading

On Location #5 – South Africa

My husband JC and I share a love of travel. Just a couple of months after we met, we Inter-Railed around Western Europe (back when Eastern Europe was off limits!) for a month with a tent and a daily budget of £5 (really), which could have brought a a good thing to a swift end…. … Continue reading

Week in New York – A Disaster

As you may know, I was in New York last week.  I got home yesterday feeling very disoriented; it’s not just down to jetlag, it’s as if I’ve come to land in a strange place I barely recognise.  That place is normality.  My son S and I thought we were going for a relaxing time seeing … Continue reading

A Place in my Heart – The Lubéron

Well, we got back from our two week trip to Provence on Sunday night and this week is proving every bit as frantic as I expected –endless laundry and unpacking, getting my sons back to school, preparing for my interview with Jane Rusbridge at the Ham & High Literary Festival next week (details below), polishing my … Continue reading

A Summer’s Afternoon in Marylebone

It says something about this year’s so-called ‘summer’ in the UK that an afternoon out in my home city without getting soaked merits a blog post, but this, in pictures and words, is the tale of a lovely outing yesterday with my husband and 10 year old son. The London district of Marylebone is one of the … Continue reading

A World Away – Geographical Settings in Fiction

Every time I write a new piece for my blog I end up with ideas for two or three more!  I’m now compiling my Top 10 Summer Reads listing (coming 18 May) and I’m aiming to include a wide variety of settings from Australia to England; coastal, city, country.  This got me thinking about how important … Continue reading

On Location: #4 Côte d’Azur/The French Riviera

I won’t get into why France is so significant to me (another time), but at a guess, I’ve been there 100-150 times.  I’ve visited most parts of the country, but it’s the Provence-Côte d’Azur Region in the South-eastern corner that pulls me back the most often.   I recently spent a week with my family in … Continue reading

On Location: #3 Coney Island, Brooklyn

Time for another post in the On Location series of places which feature in my novel Nothing Happens for a Reason (though obviously I don’t tell you why!).  Coney Island is synonymous with old-fashioned beach and amusement park culture and a cherished New York icon.  It’s beyond this little piece to go into the fascinating history of Coney Island or the great controversy … Continue reading

Columbia Road Market in Words & Pictures

Yesterday was the day for one of our festive family traditions.  By that, I mean my own little family, which is me, my husband and our two sons age 13 and 9, whose childhood experiences of Christmas are different to mine in every way.  I took a few pictures, which gave me the idea for this … Continue reading