Liz Harris

Author of contemporary and historical fiction

A tip about tips – literally!

To clarify the heading, the ‘tips’ in question are my fingertips, and the ‘tip’ is something that might save you money.

To show you my tips, here I am, holding a tiny Julius Caesar – I have the complete works of Shakespeare in miniature, each one being the unabridged play. I thought a reference to Shakespeare most suitable for the weekend upon which we mark the 400th anniversary of his death.

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You’ll note that my nails are a deep plum shellac. Since I have them done once a month only, you’ll appreciate that they get long, although not talon-long, and that being shellac, they’re hard. The result all too soon, alas, of something as hard as (my) nails hitting the keys with force as I type my novels is a bald computer keyboard, which has to be replaced.

About a month ago, while working on the third – yes, the third – keyboard I’d had since January, I noticed that the letter E had almost vanished, and the O was looking iffy. The erosion had begun again, I realised. It always started with the E, since E is the vowel that appears most frequently in the English language, and O swiftly followed suit. After the E and the O, I’d say goodbye to the T, to the R, to the S, and so on.

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I sighed deeply. I’d soon have to buy my fourth keyboard of the year. My frustration was great – there wouldn’t be a thing wrong with the keyboard I’d have to throw out, apart from the lack of the letters I use most frequently. But as I can’t touch type, that ‘apart from’ couldn’t be ignored.

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I was sitting back in my chair, staring miserably at my keyboard, when my eyes landed on a bottle of clear nail varnish that was on my desk next to the computer. I’d fixed a nail a few days earlier and hadn’t returned the varnish to its home (A not unusual situation, I’m afraid – it accounts for the mess of things that builds up on my desk).

I sat upright. I wonder, I thought, and I leaned forward, picked up the varnish and painted every key on the keyboard with it. Then, about ten minutes after that, I gave each key another coat of clear nail varnish for luck!

It was an inspired thought, though I say it myself! It’s now a month later, and the remains of the E and O are exactly as they were four weeks ago, and not one of the other letters has started to disappear.

It wasn’t the cost of each keyboard, which is relatively inexpensive, that hurt. It was having to throw away a keyboard that was perfectly good, apart from one thing. It always felt such a waste. But happily, that’s a feeling I won’t have again for a very long time now.

So my tip to you is CLEAR-VARNISH YOUR KEYS!

Spring seems to have arrived at last. Enjoy!

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I never knew that!

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I never knew that there were events that were FREE to attendees EVERY SINGLE DAY of the week of the Oxford Literary Festival, which takes place annually at the beginning of April. But apparently, there are free events for all ages throughout the week, with the weekend slots being given over to local authors.

DSC02208I’ve opened the programme of events for the week to show how many there were.

All the free events took place in Blackwell’s Festival Marquee, which had been set up in the courtyard of the Bodleian Library, opposite the famous Blackwell’s shop in Broad Street. Underneath my photo of Broad Street, you’ll see photos of Blackwell’s and of their Festival Marquee.

DSC02194Broad Street

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I hadn’t known about the marquee events until I was invited by author Sylvia Vetta, a fellow member of the Oxford Writers’ Group, whose publishing arm is Oxpens, to go to her talk about how she came to write Brushstrokes in Time, a beautiful and moving account of life in the dreadful, oppressive regime that flourished in China in so recent a past.

Arriving at the marquee on the Saturday morning, I found myself surrounded by books on one side, a café on the other and the sight of a lounge at the far end. Sheer bliss! I bought a couple of books and a coffee, and wandered down the marquee to the Shakespeare Lounge, which overlooked the beautiful Bridge of Sighs, and there I took a seat.

Below you have the view from my sofa looking ahead towards the books, and my view when I turned to look through the window behind me.

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I’m happy to say that the talks were sandwiched in the most pleasant way possible – the sandwich filling was lunch with friends in a venue not far from the marquee.

Before our lunch, I listened to Sylvia’s fascinating and informative talk, after which she signed books.

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And after the lunch, I went back to the marquee to hear Barbara Hudson give an amusing introduction to her debut novel, Timed Out, in which her central character, deciding that retirement was not the end, but a new beginning, placed a lonely hearts’ advertisement on the Internet and embarked on her new life, suffering disappointments and learning hard truths about herself.

Brushstrokes in TimeTimed out

 

 

And here are the covers of Sylvia’s and Barbara’s novels.

 

 

 

 

 

 

After the marquee events, I couldn’t resist going across the road to Blackwell’s. And lo and behold – look what I found on the shelf!

 

DSC02197Some of the four anthologies of stories set in and around Oxford, published by the Oxford Writers’ Group.

 

And now it’s time for me to stop writing and to get on with reading one of the novels I bought last Saturday, so I’ll say goodbye for this week!

 

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Write a series – a don’t, or maybe a do

Conversation was lively at the monthly RNA Oxford lunch last week, as it always is, but I found one topic particularly interesting. This may have something to do with the fact that I initiated the topic! It was about what was fair to the reader and what wasn’t.

IMG_20160405_131928Caught by the camera while waiting for others to arrive, Barbara Hudson, Heather Rosser, Maggi Fox, me, Jean Fullerton, Janet Gover, Mary Nuttall

I remarked that I’d been very disappointed at the end of the thriller I’d finished the night before, Broken Promise, written by one of my favourite authors, Linwood Barclay, as I hadn’t found the conclusion a satisfactory one.

I’m always gripped by Linwood Barclay’s novels, and Broken Promise was no exception. Slightly unusually, though, there were two main story lines. I’d predicted the ending of one of the story lines, and when I finished the book, I was pleased to discover that my prediction had been correct.

I also had ideas about the second main thread in the novel, and wanted to know if I was right, but when I reached the final page, I found that the thread had been deliberately left open. Instead of a satisfactory conclusion to this story line, too, the reader was given a chapter from the opening of what was going to be the second in the series.

I hadn’t realised that Broken Promise was the first of a series, the Promise Falls Series, but even if I had, I don’t think I’d have been any less disappointed as I expect every novel that I read to be complete in itself.

In the ensuing discussion, I quoted the Montana Sky Series Novels written by Debra Holland, several of which I’ve read, and said that each story in the series was satisfactorily rounded off, even though each contained a hook within it that intrigued the reader about a subsidiary character.

But that subsidiary character isn’t part of the main story line, so the fact that their story isn’t developed or resolved doesn’t stop the novel from reaching a satisfactory conclusion. Nevertheless, the reader is intrigued about what happened to that other character and, needless to say, that other character’s story is the next in the series.

Leaving a main story line open, I saw as a ‘don’t’: intriguing the reader into wanting to get the next book, I saw as a ‘do’.

In our discussion, I realised that I was the only one at the table who felt strongly cheated at the end of a series book if I found that I had to buy the second book in order to conclude a story line started in the first, and I’m curious to know if others feel as I do.

Does anyone else feel as I do?

 

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Kick him out, Helen!!

It’s no secret that I’m an Archers’ addict – I frequently comment on twitter about the storylines, and I’m noisily grateful to the The Archers’ producers for many hours of excellent listening. And in addition to that, The Archers was responsible for my great stroke of luck prior to the publication of The Road Back.

The stroke of luck was that I was introduced to Colin Dexter, author of the Inspector Morse novels, at an Oxford Writers’ Group party. Later, Colin read the manuscript and asked to endorse it with the words, ‘A splendid love story, so beautifully told’.  And he came to my launch at Waterstones Oxford.

Book Launch_14 Sep 2012_8526Colin Dexter addressing the guests at the launch of The Road Back

Colin and I had bonded at the OWG party over our mutual addiction to The Archers. At that time, we were both critical of the many new, difficult-to-identify young voices who’d suddenly been added to the cast, and we felt that the storylines needed a good shaking-up.

Well, we certainly wouldn’t make those same criticisms today! The story of Rob’s physical and emotional abuse of Helen has been absolutely gripping.

And this is despite some early confusion about Rob’s character. Let me explain what I mean.

When Rob moved into Ambridge, he was at loggerheads with his then wife, Jess, and it wasn’t long before he’d started a relationship with the emotionally-fragile Helen. Later, he divorced Jess and married Helen. Some time after that, Jess visited Helen, claiming to be pregnant with a child fathered by Rob after he’d married Helen. We, the listeners, believed Jess over Rob, and even more so when Rob refused to take a paternity test until he was effectively forced to do so. However, defying the listeners’ expectations, the DNA test results said that Rob wasn’t the father. Hmm, we thought.

p025zm44Louiza Patikas as Helen; Timothy Watson as Rob; Rina Mahoney as Jess

And then some of us started to suspect that Rob, who was already showing a nasty side away from Helen, had falsified the notification of the DNA test results. This idea was fostered by the return of Dr Richard to Ambridge. But we weren’t to learn if we were right as the issue of paternity was suddenly dropped. (Of course, it might still surface again.)

For a short time after that, it seemed that Rob’s preoccupation with Henry, Helen’s young son, and Henry’s sudden emotional disturbances and nightly bed-wetting, might be related. But this line was dropped, too. It would have been too dark for The Archers, I’m sure.

At the same time, we were watching Rob’s actions outside the house. For example, he tried to put a wedge between Adam and Ian prior to their marriage. Why try to do this, we asked. But we were never given an answer. He then seemed to have been dishonest at work, and promptly resigned when financial discrepancies were raised by his boss, Charlie. But Charlie didn’t pursue the matter. Why didn’t he, we asked. But again there was no answer.

timothy-watson-rob-archers-large‘Rob’

By then, the story of Rob’s abuse of Helen was beginning to surface, an abuse which was to result in her loss of self-worth, and in her blaming herself for her ‘failings’ as a wife and a mother, a sense of guilt induced in her by Rob.

For the listener, Rob’s verbal attack on Helen, which happened in real time, made for chilling and harrowing listening. It has had a profound affect on people, with Helen’s plight being taken to heart by listeners, and more than £80,000 being raised through a JustGiving fund set up by Archers’ fan, Paul Trueman, to help victims of domestic abuse.

louiza-large_trans++klybc9mpbXiHpaRsGe-RM1cFNNfxoPje6B6a_U8c3_8‘Helen’

Looking back at the different directions taken by Rob since his introduction to the show, it’s hard to avoid concluding that the writers originally intended Rob to go down one path, but then, drawing ideas from the way in which the actors/characters sounded together, changed their mind and sent him down several different paths until they happened upon the path on which he’s ended. This necessitated them turning their back on the several false starts and focusing solely on the domestic abuse of Helen.

The nature of radio means that storylines which are started and then abandoned, are done so in front of the listener. To give a literary analogy to this: it would be like experimenting as we wrote the novel with the ways in which our different characters could be used, and then publishing the novel without any editing.

Cavalier disregard for storylines that have already been started can be seen as an insult to the listener’s intelligence. However, when the story ends up being as powerful as the Rob and Helen story, I can forgive (almost) anything, and judging by the response from the numerous listeners, so can many others.

We authors are lucky in that we don’t have to leave the workings-out for the readers to see. If we have new insights into a character while writing the novel, we edit what’s gone on before so that every aspect of the story agrees with our changed vision. After that, the publisher’s editor will check that the novel works as a whole. By the time that our novel is put before readers, any inconsistencies and diversions will have been ironed out, and everything that happens in the story will be relevant to the story.

It’s Sunday morning and looking at the clock, I can see that it’ll soon be time for the omnibus edition of The Archers. As I don’t want to miss a single minute of it, I’m going to end now.

Over and out!

9781781893012The Lost Girl, out in paperback on 7th August

 

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And cake, too!

Two of the things that authors enjoy most are meeting readers and talking about their books, and last Thursday afternoon, three of us had the chance to do both of those things as Jean Fullerton, Janet Gover and I had been invited to give a talk at a Romantic Afternoon Tea, to be held at Hoddesdon Library as part of the Hertfordshire Literary Festival.

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And what a lovely afternoon it turned out to be! Throughout the afternoon, there was a warm and friendly atmosphere in a room so crowded that people were standing at the back. We were thrilled to learn from the Hoddesdon librarians that the turnout for our event was their highest turnout for an adult event.

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Not surprisingly, we all thoroughly enjoyed telling the readers about our writing and answering the questions they put. At some point, too, each of us gave a short reading from one of our novels.

 

2016-03-17 15.13.52 - CopyWith Janet and Jean as we get ready to start the event.

At the end of our session, we joined the readers for tea, cake and chatter. Amazingly, I met a reader who’d actually been born in the same hospital as I!

I’d intended to take a photo of the delicious selection of cakes on my plate but funnily enough, they’d all vanished before I remembered my intention!

The librarians couldn’t have been more helpful and friendly, and the audience couldn’t have been more delightful. It was my first visit to Hoddesdon Library, but I certainly hope that it won’t have been my last.

2016-03-17 15.07.08A temporary (I hope) farewell to Hoddeston Library

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The changed face of The Lost Girl

Not literally, of course! No, Charity Walker is still 100% Chinese and looks it. Her Chinese heritage lies at the heart of the novel. But she’s going out into the world of paperbacks with a different face.

When The Lost Girl comes out as a paperback on 7th August, it will do so with a different cover. The striking cover for the digital version, which came out at the end of last year, did not transfer well to the paperback, so a new cover was born, a cover full of the atmosphere of the West.

Allow me to introduce the changed face of

THE LOST GIRL

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What if you were trapped between two cultures?

Life is tough in 1870s Wyoming. But it’s tougher still when you’re a girl who looks Chinese but speaks like an American.

Orphaned as a baby and taken in by an American family, Charity Walker knows this only too well.  The mounting tensions between the new Chinese immigrants and the locals in the mining town of Carter see her shunned by both communities.

When Charity’s one friend, Joe, leaves town, she finds herself isolated. However, in his absence, a new friendship with the only other Chinese girl in Carter makes her feel like she finally belongs somewhere.

 But, for a lost girl like Charity, finding a place to call home was never going to be that easy …

 

I found this a fascinating period of American history, about which I’d known nothing until I stumbled upon it by chance, and I loved writing the novel. I’m thrilled that readers are saying that they, too, were caught up in the story, characters and events. If you would like to see what the readers are saying on Amazon, click here.

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Retreating to Kent

 

My little piece of paradise

What better place to begin than with a photo of the plush armchair in which I spent my writing retreat, and my laptop. You’ll notice that I’m not one for a spartan attic. My radio is visible (for The Archers, of course) and just out of sight, I have coffee, tea, large quantities of cheese, wine and so on.

Seekers is a non-denominational, non-sectarian centre, which offers prayer and healing, but it also offers quiet, comfortable guest accommodation (see the above photo), where people can stay for whatever reason they wish. Each visitor has one of the terraced cottages that surround a green.

Arriving at my accommodation

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I was not alone on the retreat- I went to Seekers with friends Rosie Dean and Cara Cooper, both of whom have been before. For me, it was my first visit. In the second photo, you’ll see Rosie’s room on the left, and mine on the right. Cara’s cottage was next to ours.

Half the fun of a writing retreat is to talk with friends over dinner in the evening about what we’ve been doing in the day, and to attempt to sort out each other’s plot problems. It’s amazing how easily someone other than you will see something that you can’t see for yourself. And there’s no nicer place for this discussion than in a restaurant.

Our first evening With Rosie and Cara, on our first evening. This pub/restaurant is in comfortable walking distance from the cottages.

A healthy mind and a healthy body are desirable attributes, and the area around the Seekers is perfect for walking, especially when the woods abound with snowdrops. When one of us was in the mood for a short break, she’d ask if the others were so inclined.

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In the photo on the left, you’ll see the woods. To the right is the view looking towards the golf  course. Alas, my photos don’t do justice to how attractive the area around the Seekers is.

It was also possible to have a slightly less healthy sort of break during the day. Seekers has a little café which sells coffee, tea and homemade cake on certain days of the week. There are worse things to do while waiting for inspiration!

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At the end of our time there, we all felt we’d achieved a great deal: we’d had some great conversation; eaten one of the best chilli spaghetti and prawns ever in a lovely restaurant in the very attractive nearby West Malling; Cara had bought a fabulous pair of boots, and we’d all achieved an impressive daily word count.  It was a win/win situation and I would happily go there again.

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All good things have to come to an end, and Cara’s came to an end the evening before Rosie and I left. So from the remaining two of us,   CHEERS!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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THE LOST GIRL

THE LOST GIRL, set in SW Wyoming in the 1870s and 1880s, was published last week amid a mass of enthusiasm on the social media. I feel that the image below, taken at lunch on that day, best captures the essence of what was a truly lovely Publication Day.

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What if you were trapped between two cultures?

Life is tough in 1870s Wyoming. But it’s tougher still when you’re a girl who looks Chinese but speaks like an American.

Orphaned as a baby and taken in by an American family, Charity Walker knows this only too well. The mounting tensions between the new Chinese immigrants and the locals in the mining town of Carter see her shunned by both communities.

When Charity’s one friend, Joe, leaves town, she finds herself isolated. However, in his absence, a new friendship with the only other Chinese girl in Carter makes her feel like she finally belongs somewhere.

But, for a lost girl like Charity, finding a place to call home was never going to be that easy …

 

Welcome into the world, THE LOST GIRL!!

To buy a digital copy from Amazon, click here

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The RNA Summer Party – as always, a night to remember

Twice a year – once in the summer and once in the winter – RNA members and friends converge from all parts of the UK in the Royal Overseas League in Park Place, off St. James Street, in order to party. The Summer Party 2015, which took place on the evening of May 21st, was even better than ever, and once again, I’m going to indulge myself by posting some of the photos I took, which allows me to re-live the fun I had.

To start at the beginning. The AGM preceded the party, and during this, I was confirmed as RNA Libraries’ Liaison. After the AGM, with a short period of time before the party was due to begin, the balcony and the glorious weather beckoned, and we headed for a glass of wine in the sun.

On the balcony …

Christina Courtenay, Jenny Barden

Christina Courtenay, Jenny Barden

Alison May, Myra Kersner

Alison May, Myra Kersner

 

Sue Moorcroft, Evelyn Ryle

Sue Moorcroft, Evelyn Ryle

 

Gill Stewart

Gill Stewart

Christina Courtenay, Catriona Robb

Christina Courtenay, Catriona Robb

Susie Vereker

Susie Vereker

 

The view from the balcony

The view from the balcony

 

Wendy Prove

Wendy Prove

Jules Wake, Jane Eastgate

Jules Wake, Jane Eastgate

Jane Eastgate, Alison May, Sarah Waights, Lyn Vernham, Kathryn Freeman

Jane Eastgate, Alison May, Sarah Waights, Lyn Vernham, Kathryn Freeman

 

We’re now on our way into the party …

 

Janet Gover, whose hair...

Janet Gover, whose hair is cleverly …

... is co-ordinated with her latest book!

… co-ordinated with her latest book!

 

Product Details

 

 

 

Tracy Hartshorn

Tracy Hartshorn

Liz Cooper

Liz Cooper, Anita Chapman

Lizzie Lamb

Lizzie Lamb

 

Carl Pengelly, Catherine Lawless

Carl Pengelly, Catherine Lawless

A. J. Pearce, Lizzie Lamb, Debbie Flint

A. J. Pearce, Lizzie Lamb, Debbie Flint

 

Radmila May, Christina Courtenay

Radmila May, Christina Courtenay

 

Mags Cullingford, June Kearns

Mags Cullingford, June Kearn

Brigid Coady

Brigid Coady

 

John Jackson

John Jackson

 

Jan Jones

Jan Jones

Carol Townend

Carol Townend

 

Josa Young, Debs Carr, Saskia Childe

Josa Young, Debs Carr, Saskia Childe

 

Catherine Lawless, Me

Catherine Lawless, Me

Kathryn Freeman, Evonne Wareham, Lyn Vernham

Kathryn Freeman, Evonne Wareham, Lyn Vernham

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Alison Knight

 

 

Sue Mackender, Adrienne Dines, Cathy Woodman, Gillian Holmes

Sue Mackender, Adrienne Dines, Cathy Woodman, Gillian Holmes

Lin Treadgold, Beth Hilton, Me

Lin Treadgold, Beth Hilton, Me

Judy Astley, Julie Cohen, Alison May, Fiona Harper

Judy Astley, Julie Cohen, Alison May, Fiona Harper

 

 

Beth Elliott

Beth Elliott

Kate Johnson

Kate Johnson

Katie Fforde, Emma Burstall

Katie Fforde, Emma Burstall

 

 

Laura Wilkinson

Laura Wilkinson

Jo Thomas

Jo Thomas

Fenella Forster, Alison Morton

Fenella Forster, Alison Morton

 

Nikki Moore, Sue Moorcroft

Nikki Moore, Sue Moorcroft

Gill Stewart, Oliver Green

Gill Stewart, Oliver Green

 

Lynne Shelby, Sue Mackender

Lynne Shelby, Sue Mackender

 

The end of another excellent RNA party is nigh  …

Leaving for the hotel

Getting ready to leave

Jenny Barden, Anita Chapman, Evonne Wareham -settling down for a final drink

Jenny Barden, Anita Chapman, Evonne Wareham -settling down for a final drink

 

Jenny Barden with orchid

Jenny Barden with orchid

 

Well, that’s it from the Summer Party of this year.  I hope you’ve enjoyed your visit to the event.

Over and out!

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Liz’s Lovely Blog Hop

My writing friend Sue Moorcroft has kindly invited me to take part in the Lovely Blog Hop, in which writers are asked to talk about some of the things that shaped their life and writing.

You’ll see that at the end of the post, I’ve linked two other writing colleagues. They, too, think that this is an interesting and fun way to tell you about themselves, and they will be doing so. It’s also a good way to discover blogs you might not have known about. So, here I go …

First Memory

This is a Christmas memory. I must have been about five years old. It was Christmas Eve and my sister, a year younger, and I were tremendously excited. My father had helped us hang up our stockings and was about sit down when he suddenly remembered something he needed to ask the caretaker of the flats, and he went out to see him. About five minutes later, there was a knock on the front door. My mother opened the door – and it was Father Christmas in full regalia!!

My sister and I were beside ourselves with excitement. For a moment we stood there in a haze of wonder, and then words started tumbling over themselves. Desperate for our father to meet Father Christmas, too, and tell him how good we’d been all year, we pleaded for him to wait until our father came back. But sadly, he couldn’t stay long as he had so many other children to visit. When our father returned – about five minutes after Father Christmas had left – he found us in tears of happiness mingled with distress that he hadn’t been in time to meet our visitor.

 

Handmade Christmas stocking

Handmade Christmas stocking

 

Books

I’ve always loved reading. At an early age, my parents introduced me to what had been their childhood favourites, novels such as Children of the New Forest, Little Lord Fauntleroy, What Katy Did, Just William and Little Women. When I was about nine, my mother – who’d been an actress –  introduced my sister and me to some of Shakespeare’s more accessible plays. She and I divided the best parts between us, while my sister and father, reluctant participants, were assigned the equivalents of third ostler and fourth gardener.

By ten, I must have read all of Enid Blyton’s novels  – I loved every one of them. And then I started on Jane Austen. I was an eclectic reader and by the end of my teens, I’d read all of Agatha Christie, Charles Dickens, George Eliot, Nevil Shute, Mrs Gaskell, Mickey Spillane, some of the Russian writers and all of the crime books written by Earl Stanley Gardner, to name but a few. It was thanks to Earl Stanley Gardner and his Perry Mason series that I later read Law at university.

On a par with my favourite novels are the three companions who are always by my side when I write: my ancient Roget’s Thesaurus, my Slang dictionary and Chambers Dictionary.

 

Roget's Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases

Roget’s Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases

Chambers Dictionary

Chambers Dictionary

Cassell's Dictionary of Slang

Cassell’s Dictionary of Slang

 

 

Libraries

I have always loved libraries. From quite young, I used to work as a Saturday volunteer at the Finchley Road Central Library. School work finally intervened, but some years later I returned to Camden Libraries and worked there during my university vacations, this time being paid.

The library working day was divided into hourly slots, and my favourite task was to work in the Reference Section first thing on a Monday morning. As soon as the library doors opened, crossword fanatics would fall over the threshold and speed to the Reference Section in order to get help with completing the Sunday crosswords. It was our task to help them find the elusive answers, and that was tremendous fun. I imagine, however, that the internet has done away with the need for such help today.

My enjoyment of cryptic crosswords may well derive from Camden Library days. When introduced to Colin Dexter in Oxford a few years ago, we got talking about cryptic crosswords – and also The Archers, another interest we had in common – and Colin later read my debut novel, The Road Back, and asked to endorse it, which he did. I have a lot for which to thank libraries!

With Colin Dexter at the launch of The Road Back in Waterstones Oxford

With Colin Dexter at the launch of The Road Back in Waterstones Oxford

 

What’s Your Passion?
Cryptic crosswords (I expect you’d guessed that!), the theatre, travel and languages. Re language, I love finding out about the structure of a language. In the talk I give to WI groups, I discuss what a language tells you about the culture and priorities of the people who speak that language. Hmm. I recognise that sounds a bit dry. But believe me, it isn’t!

In Florida. Horror gave way to smiles when I remembered the camera

In Florida. Horror gave way to a smile when I remembered the camera

 

Learning

I enjoyed every single minute of school, and I even like exams. In my final year at school, I was Head Girl (I was very bossy) and then I went off to read Law, got the degree and went to California. While in the States, I took a course in American Studies at LA City College, which I found fascinating, and which instilled in me a love of the American West that has stayed with me ever since. I then returned to England and did an English degree. America has remained very close to my heart, and three years ago, I was overjoyed that my research for A Bargain Struck meant that I ABSOLUTELY HAD to go to Wyoming (or so I told my husband).

 

Hello, Wyoming!

Hello, Wyoming!

 

Writing

It’s the most wonderful feeling to come down in the morning, sit in front of the computer and know that there’s a day ahead in which to write – a day in which I’ll be living with the characters to which I’ve given birth, and in the world I’ve created. Every day is a new adventure.

To create a fictional world, a world which one inhabits for the duration of writing the novel, is the most marvellous, powerful feeling, and it makes the job of being an author one of the most exciting and fulfilling jobs there can be.

My study

My study

 

Well, I think that’s me done! Many thanks to Sue Moorcroft for nominating me. I’ve very much enjoyed writing my Lovely Blog Hop, and hope you’ve enjoyed reading what I’ve written.

And there’s more to read. Below are the links to two blogs from writers I think you’d find interesting. But from me now, it’s over and out.

Liv Thomas (one half of Isabella Connor). Liv will be putting up her blog on Sunday, March 29th.

Sarah Waights

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