Categories
Fiction Historical Fiction

Overture Cover Reveal

I’ve reached a very exciting stage in the genesis of my latest novel, Overture. I can now reveal the cover, and the Kindle version is on pre-order on Amazon.

As ever, my designer JD Smith has come up with a great cover design, which I believe really conveys the flavour of the Belle Epoque period in France.

Categories
Fiction Historical Fiction

Epic Sale of WWII Novels 

The eagerly-awaited film “Dunkirk”, directed by Christopher Nolan, premiers very soon. To celebrate the release, 40+ authors of the Facebook Second World War Club have joined up to put together a Dunkirk Week WWII Epic Novel Sale – a real reading feast for devotees of WWII fiction.

Categories
Fiction

Happy New Reading Year 2017

 

happy-new-reading-year

 

Wishing all my readers a very happy, peaceful and healthy 2017, full of good reads and literary contentment.

 

 

 

 

Categories
Fiction Historical Fiction

Nursing in World War I: the French Experience

World War I - military nurse

Writing a credible historical novel is like doing an obstacle course with your hands tied. A significant challenge for me in writing The House at Zaronza was to find out about nursing from a French viewpoint on the Western Front during World War I, where about a third of the novel is set. Countless books exist about “the war to end wars” but few of them give much space to French experiences of nursing.

Categories
Corsica Fiction Novels

Vendetta in Corsica: Myth and Reality

Olmeto - Colomba Carabelli plaque
Olmeto – Colomba Carabelli plaque

We’ve visited Corsica six times. L’Île de Beauté is a captivating place, with a savage beauty and a culture all its own and I strongly advise a visit. In 2014, we went to Olmeto, once the home of a woman who was the inspiration for Prosper Mérimée’s Colomba. His novel is about vendetta, an integral feature of Corsican history and culture.

Categories
Corsica Fiction Novels

Revisiting Inspiration on Corsica

 

Special Corsican village
Special Corsican village

Should you go back to places that have a special significance in your memory, or where you have found inspiration? It can turn out to be disappointing. They might have changed beyond recognition, or the magic you experienced might simply have dissipated.

So, it was with some misgivings that I recently revisited the Corsican village where I found the inspiration for my novel House at Zaronza. But something rather exciting happened while we were there.

Categories
Fiction Novels

NaNo or NoNo? How to Survive National Novel Writing Month

Nano logo

Is it that time of year again? Well not quite, but it comes upon you before you know it. Having spent the past few months on paid work, my fiction-typing fingers are tingling and the ideas are flowing. I need space to write and I can’t do it with clients and deadlines snapping at my heels.

But now the next deadline is looming – National Novel Writing Month (NaNo for short). A recent, and timely, conversation in a Facebook group made me think about it.

Categories
Fiction Novels

My Biggest Lesson on my Book’s First Birthday

Front cover final

 

Where does it go? Time, I mean. It’s not so long ago that I was slaving over a hot computer to write The House at Zaronza (actually, it will be three years in November). And surely it’s only yesterday that it was published? No, today it’s my novel’s first birthday. Now it enters the terrible twos.

Categories
Author interviews Fiction

On the Chaise Longue with Vanessa: Meet Author Tim Taylor

Author Tim Taylor
Author Tim Taylor

On the Chaise Longue with Vanessa: Meet Author Tim Taylor

My latest victim guest on the chaise longue is author Tim Taylor. We share some things in common: a first degree at Oxford University followed by a career in the public services (although I worked in book publishing in between). We also have publication by Crooked Cat Publishing in common. Tim is a versatile author who can step seamlessly between periods of history. He tells us today how he came to write and about the genesis of his latest novel, Revolution Day.

Categories
Author interviews Fiction Novels

On the Chaise Longue with Vanessa: Meet Author Sue Barnard

On the Chaise Longue with Vanessa: Meet Author Sue Barnard

Author Sue Barnard
Author Sue Barnard

I’m very pleased to welcome back my friend and fellow Crooked Cat author Sue Barnard – who is also my editor! She is a lady of many talents and has a range of short stories, poems and three published novels to her credit. She wrote a great guest post for me a while ago about the role of the editor. Now, let’s hear a bit more about her writing and, in particular, her latest novel, The Unkindest Cut of All