Party, party,party

Writing is a solitary occupation.

Joan Hessayon contenders 2014

Joan Hessayon contenders 2014

That’ll be why Lin Treadgold is seen here, front centre, partying.

JK Rowling famously wrote in an Edinburgh café. I’ve written on stage sets when the actor needed extra words or different words. I’ve also written in a café, but I wouldn’t like readers to think I’m jumping on any bandwagons.

I did, too, rush to record my impression of arriving in Istanbul airport. It was busy with a returning pilgrimage and crowded with people in their pilgrimage clothes. Not a little surreal to be surrounded by large bearded gentlemen in pristine white robes. I needed to get the impression down.

But truly, the most common experience of writing is in a bubble of aloneness. Here’s Edinburgh JH contender, Jennifer Young.

Jennifer Young

Jennifer Young

A lot of dramatic work these days, particularly comedy scripting is collaborative. It’s really hard to go on thinking up fresh ideas, so having a buddy or buddies to test them against is a good thing. Here’s Helena Fairfax, glamorous in red, with friends.


Helena Fairfax

Helena Fairfax

As always, the Romantic Novelists’ Association put on a lovely evening at their Summer Party following the AGM. Sponsored by Dr. David Hessayon in memory of his late wife, the Joan Hessayon award marks that moment when a writer ‘graduates’ from the New Writers’ Scheme into publication. I was a contender last year with Mariah’s Marriage and like the three ladies mentioned above, I wasn’t the winner on the night, but I had a wonderful time.

Party, party, party because tomorrow you return to the cave and solitary contemplation.

ps the winner in 2014 was Jo Thomas with The Oyster Catcher. Congratulations. Mariah’s Marriage amazon US Mariah’s Marriage UK Bella’s Betrothal US Bella’s Betrothal UK


Lin Treadgold – Debut Novel – Goodbye, Henrietta Street

First time novelist, Lin Treadgold’s debut novel, GOODBYE, HENRIETTA STREET hits the book shelves on 1st July. Lin has an exciting launch tour booked in the Scilly Isles, but you can read a few of her thoughts about location and David Tennant here.

There’s also a chance to win a copy of Goodbye, Henrietta Street and an extract from the book to tempt you. Thanks for dropping in here, Lin. Although we’ve been in touch through the Romantic Novelists’ Association for some time, it was good to learn a little more about you.

9781908208149 - Goodbye Henrietta Street cov

Qu) Like many other great inventions, the e-reader has taken off. Do you read in both electronic and paper mediums? Which do you prefer?

I’m old fashioned I do like a book with a cover, but I also have a Kindle and when I go on holiday the Kindle goes with me. When I am at home, it’s cosy to curl up with a paperback. I think the Kindle helps you to read the book more consistently, because if the phone rings you are always on the right page with Kindle and I can adjust the font to suit my eyes.  A very useful tool.

QU) Do you travel to find locations or do you use the ability to go anywhere in the imagination, to do just that?

After travelling abroad for the last 40 years or more I have visited more than thirty countries.  Finding a location isn’t a problem for me.  I spent many months travelling the world by sea  in the 1970’s and now I live in Holland I travel through Europe.  I tend to stick with the UK because most people know the places well.  In a novella I have in mind, my main character takes a trip to Italy. My father was a prisoner of war in Northern Italy and he left me a pile of war letters from his time in Italian and German prison camps, so one of my novels will surely be inspired by what he wrote.  I was an only child and had to make my own entertainment and I think that helps me make up locations too.

QU) What is the most important physical sense of your current heroine? (Taste, touch, sight,hearing or smell

I think with Pippa Lambton as the main character in my book Goodbye, Henrietta Street, she needs to be touched.  She has gone through so much pain in the past and now she has the chance to move her life forward. She knows it will be a struggle but we find out _MG_4913through reading the book how she copes. So I would say touch is important to her, to feel wanted again. To hear the sounds of the sea and birds helps her to recover from her grief. With Sven around her, she will gain the confidence she needs through his touch.

QU) Who is your favourite fictional hero?


In my book I adore Sven Jorgensen he is every woman’s hero, but in other books/TV etc I would have to say this is a difficult question for me but if I was to be a bit cliché I would have to say David Tennant as Dr Who.  I also like David in his Shakespearean roles, he is a magnificent actor and I especially enjoyed his part in Casanova.   Dr Who is certainly my favourite fictional character, I like Matt Smith  in this role too.

Will you share a short extract of your current book/story with Novels Now, please?

A short extract from Goodbye, Henrietta Street.

Story so far;-

Pippa is on the beach enjoying a quiet afternoon by herself, when Sven surprises her and wants to spend some time with her. From being the local ornithologist and tour guide, his mood changes, and his playfulness soon turns to a more serious tone. What’s really going on his mind? 

Pippa didn’t need to think too much. It must have showed. How could she have a relationship or even have a quick fling with him before going home? She had thought the unthinkable. It was an absolute ‘no’, but going back to Rob? Sven was making it difficult. She gazed at the title of the book she had been reading; she could have secrets of her own and not a soul would know.

Alone, like this, she might be able to accomplish her search for happiness. If she allowed herself to be sucked into this illusion, did it matter? Rob would never know and probably wouldn’t care. She wasn’t sure anymore. Here, she could put her worries behind her, for a short while at least.

She slid her fingers across her lips, back and forth as she watched him washing his feet in the sea. She couldn’t take her eyes off him. With his blonde hair falling over his ears, he was difficult to resist.

On his return, he sat with his legs stretched out, hands patting the wet sand, and his back against the sun-warmed rock, a place he had sat before where thoughts often turned into reality. He saw how she had written her name in the sand and scrubbed out another name—he retraced her writing and with his index finger he wrote SVEN, after PIPPA &.

Pippa realised what he had done and what might be coming next; she had to be prepared, but now was not the right time—and would it ever be?

Goodbye, Henrietta Street will be released on 1st July 2013 with a launch party on the Isles of Scilly in Cornwall.


Your chance to win a copy of Goodbye, Henrietta Street – offer closes 25 June 2013. First correct answer wins!

To order your paperback copy or download go to

Maytime Blog Tour: MARIAH’S MARRIAGE

MARIAH’S MARRIAGE launched on 3rd May and has already collected TWO five star reviews on Amazon. Accolade for Mariah's Marriage at RNA summer party??????????????????????I’m touring blogs through May and into June telling the world of readers and writers all about her. How did she come about? What matters to her? Why did I want her to be a teacher – as if I had a choice. Here’s the timetable. I hope you’ll be able to drop by and leave a comment for me, Mariah or our hosts.

20th – that’s today – I’m with RNA associate, Lin Treadgold.

21st – that’s tomorrow – I’m sharing a Dear Reader letter on my publisher’s blog. MuseItUp are here:

23rd – that’s a Thursday – I’m talking about dancing and its effect on young hearts at Rosemary Gemmell’s Reading and Writing blog. that’s here:

31st – that’s Friday of next week – I’m guesting with Cheryl and answering a few of her perceptive questions. Link to follow.