Excited to be whisking up to London tomorrow. Showtime is upon us: the RoNA Awards will be presented by Richard and Judy in the elegant surroundings of the RAF Club in Picadilly.
I am looking forward to the glitzy occasion, not just because of the whole intake-of-breath thing that happens just before each winner’s name is announced and the treacherous tingle that whispers for a split second, “It could be me. Probably not … but it could.”
No, the reason that I’m really looking forward to it is because when a bunch of writers – who, let’s face it, spend most of their days stuck on their own at a keyboard or writing-pad, scoffing gingernuts and talking to the walls while wrestling mulish plotlines into submission – get together, a special kind of buzz happens. Read More…
My UK publisher – Sphere/Little Brown – has done it again!
Not only did they come up with a moody and magnificent cover last December for the export edition of SHADOWS ON THE NILE, they have now produced a stunning new cover for the UK edition, to be published on 20 June 2013. Here it is – beautiful rich colours and a sweeping image of the Nile that makes the back of my neck tingle. Wonderfully evocative. Thank you, Little Brown.
A bright New Year – and it has kicked off with wonderful news for me. My book THE WHITE PEARL has been shortlisted for a prestigious RoNA Award. I am thrilled!
The RNA does a fabulous job of raising the profile of authors and there is always intense competition for one of its elegant crystal trophies. There are six categories:- Contemporary, Comedy, Epic, Historical, Young Adult and Short romance. THE WHITE PEARL is up for the Historical Award against an array of fantastic writers. I am honoured and delighted to be in the company of such an impressive shortlist. Congratulations to them all.
The fun starts on 26 February when we will all gather in the sumptuous setting of the RAF Club in London, where Richard and Judy – to whom the book-world owes a real debt of gratitude for making reading cool – will host the event and present the awards. Lots of wine and laughter. Loads of killer heels. Publishers looking proud, authors preening feathers. Can’t wait. Time to break out the party frock!
Here it is – Publication Day in Australia and New Zealand (sorry UK and US, you have to wait until 2013).
Down-Under is doing me proud with impressive promotions. Hachette NZ’s Publisher’s Promise is amazing:- if you don’t like SHADOWS ON THE NILE, you get your money back. How cool is that? Boosts a gal’s confidence no end!
So what’s the book about? It’s 1932. Jessie Kenton is living a busy life in London in turbulent times when her brother Tim, an archaeologist of Egyptian artefacts, goes missing. Jessie vows to find him and teams up with Monty Chamford to follow a trail of clues that Tim has left in his wake. Together they decipher the clues that lead them to Egypt but there are powerful people who do not want her brother found. In the relentless heat of the desert Jessie and Monty fall in love, but nothing is as it seems. Jessie starts to wonder how much Monty really knows about her brother’s disappearance …. while death and deception stalk the Nile.
There is an element in the story that will come as a surprise, I think. It goes in a different direction from my other books – but I’m not going to reveal it here. You gotta read it to discover what it is! I hope you enjoy the journey.
I’ve been tagged by the elegant Victoria Fox, author of the delicious Temptation Island, as one of her Next Big Things. This is a great scheme in which authors answer ten questions about their latest book and tag a few writers they think you should watch out for, who then continue the chain. Here goes ….
What is the working title of your next book?
SHADOWS ON THE NILE – to be published in Australia/New Zealand in December 2012, then in UK in June 2013 and in US in October 2013.
Where did the idea come from for the book?
I blame David Lean’s film ‘Lawrence of Arabia’. I fell in love with wild desert sands and troubled blue eyes. So Egypt 1932 it is. But within that setting of pyramids and hidden tombs I examine the strange unpredictable dynamic that exists between siblings ….. I am one of four.
What genre does your book fall under?
Historical romance and adventure. Big and bold.
What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
The delectable Benedict Cumberbatch as Sir Montague Chamford. The weirdly intense Ben Whishaw (the new Q in ‘Skyfall’) as Georgie. But no way can I cast anyone as Jessie because she is too real as herself in my head.
What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?
Love, adventure and evil burn fiercely in the sands of Egypt.
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
SHADOWS ON THE NILE will be published in UK by Sphere/Little,Brown and in US by Berkley/Penguin – both brilliant publishers.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
I am a slow writer. About a year, including research. But I revise fast with my ruthless red pen.
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Hmm, difficult. Maybe the books of Diana Gabaldon and Kate Mosse.
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
Peter O’Toole. Flowing robes racing across the sands on a camel. Yesss!
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
The story is about Jessie who finds love while searching for her brother who has gone missing in 1932 Egypt. But parallel to it runs the extraordinary story of Georgie – brilliant, autistic and my favourite character. He alters Jessie’s world.
Now to pass on the baton. These fantastic writers are the ones to watch and will be posting their own answers to these questions as part of The Next Big Thing:-
John Shors: http://www.johnshors.com - his Temple of a Thousand Faces is a powerful story of love and danger in the breathtaking setting of the ancient world of Angkor Wat.
Rosanna Ley: http://www.rosannaley.co.uk - her The Villa is a beautiful book that will touch your heart.
Jane Sanderson: http://www.jane-sanderson.com - her Ravenscliff is a superb read with characters you won’t forget.