Random thoughts about Gwyneth & celebrity break-ups

Let’s get one thing straight. I don’t know Gywneth Paltrow. I know people who do, since she used to live not far away in North London, but I’ve never met her myself. I’ve never even seen her walking along the street, working a casual be-jeaned and tassley booted look. From what I gather from those that know her, she’s quite a laugh and I like the fact that she clearly … Read the full entry

Check out the proofs of my new book Check out the proofs of my new book

The A-List Family  is out in May (April for those of an e-reading persuasion). The final cover design is not yet confirmed, but in the meantime, here is a picture of the proof copy which I think is very classy indeed. I love that turquoise and the its clean lines. Hodder always seems to avoid the cliche with their covers and I’m sure the finished product will be just as … Read the full entry

The mortification of the author photo

I’ve tried, but I can’t put it off any longer – it’s time for a new author photo. I hate them. Childbirth would be preferable and I think I probably look better in the throes of that than I do squinting and squirming into a camera lens. I worked in a newspaper office once and it was curious to see how many people there were wandering around the building who resembled … Read the full entry

I pack my husband’s holiday books – is that wrong?

I remember once discovering that a friend did her husband’s holiday packing for him. The toothbrush, the pants, the shaving foam, the extra-strength anti-perspirant. The works. I was shocked. It seemed both controlling and subservient to be taking over such a basic adult task. My friend seemed to be infantalising her husband and belittling her own time to take over what is a boring but essential task. Yes she was … Read the full entry

Are you and your house absolutely stuffed?

There’s a great neologism ‘suffocation’ to describe the way so many of us feel overwhelmed by all the things that silt up our houses and, by extension, our brains. It’s part of what I was trying to address in The Pile of Stuff, the way that it can become symbolic of the lack of control we feel generally. I’ve written a piece about this for this month’s Woman & Home. I think many of … Read the full entry

From comfy slippers to taxi shoes - publicising books From comfy slippers to taxi shoes – publicising books

The contrast between writing books and publicizing them is like the difference in wearing comfy slippers and vertiginous heels. And I mean that literally as much as metaphorically. Writing is about being alone or, if like me you work in a library or cafe, alone among others. Your only company is your characters and, as mine are never straightforwardly heroic or sympathetic, this is not the jolliest of parties. Well-meaning … Read the full entry

The, ahem, creative process The, ahem, creative process

Back in March I wrote a guest blog for Jon Rance, a very talented novelist who not only writes clever books, he’s also clearly much better at blog creation and updating than I am. (That’s his book cover on the right). It expresses quite well the way that I feel about the ‘creative process’ in that, in my case, it feels anything but. The more ruthless, uptight and organised I … Read the full entry