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My latest blog posts

Romantic classical music: My top five pieces

Music has such power to express romantic feelings: as the French novelist Victor Hugo wrote, ‘Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent.’ Here are my top five romantic pieces of classical music – inspiration for my latest novel, Concerto, the love story of a pianist composer and a music therapist.

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An architectural tour of my novels

My love for travel shines through in my novels, which are set in countries I have loved exploring. Here I take you on a little tour of some of the wonderful historic architecture that features in my books.

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How important is originality in fiction?

‘There is nothing new under the sun.’ So goes the proverb derived from the Book of Ecclesiastes. Depending on your perspective, you may find this a comforting thought or a frustrating limitation – or, indeed, a challenge to which you will rise.

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The romance of the sunset

‘It is almost impossible to watch a sunset and not dream,’ said the English philosopher Bernard Williams. I quite agree: for me, the sunset can be so stirring and poignant and romantic.

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Writing for readers

‘Why does a writer write? Why hazard yourself? Each writer has their own answer to this question. Mine lies in my childhood…’

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Welcome to Cádiz

The day I first visited Cádiz I just knew I must situate a love story there! The Moors compared the city to a ‘dish of silver in a bowl of blue’, so vivid are the colours there. It is a lovely city; the most beautiful in Spain, I think, and so today I want to introduce you to it briefly.

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Collecting book editions

Confession: I have not one, or two, or even three copies of Jane Eyre. I have nine. Why collect different editions of the same book? For several reasons…

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Comfort from autumnal poetry

‘Come autumn’s scathe — come winter’s cold — / Come change — and human fate! / Whatever prospect Heaven doth bound, / Can ne’er be desolate.’ The seasons are changing… but we can find hope and comfort in poetry.

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Literary cookbooks for bibliophiles

Love novels? Love food? Then you’ll love literary cookbooks! These collections of recipes inspired by works of fiction offer you a chance to not only imagine fictional words but get a real taste of them…

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Muse: The woman in the shadows

‘Maybe you could become my muse … what d’you say?’ So says the hero of my latest novel, Concerto, to the heroine. Umberto is a pianist composer set for superstardom; Catriona is his young and naïve neighbour who dreams of being an opera singer. The idea of being a muse… well, who wouldn’t be flattered? But does it mean living in the shadow of genius?

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‘Classy and fabulous’: The heroine’s style in my novels

‘A girl should be two things,’ said Coco Chanel: ‘classy and fabulous.’ Certainly, this is the ethos I have in mind when I write the heroines of my novels. One of my favourite aspects of characterisation is to consider the heroine’s style, and I must confess I am a big fan of dressing them to impress!

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Writing Romantic heroes

An individual, a maverick, a self-made man; introspective, a thinker; drawn to nature; driven by emotion and deeply impassioned… the heroes of my novels are not just romantic, they’re Romantic in the sense of the literary archetype.

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Building your home library

‘I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library.’ So wrote Jorge Luis Borges, and I quite agree. What is truly wonderful about this idea is that paradise is within our reach! We each have the ability to create a little haven at home, with a home library.

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Views of Lake Como: ‘a spot blessed by heaven’

My latest novel, Concerto, is set on Lake Como, Italy, a place so beautiful the composer Franz Liszt described it as ‘a spot blessed by heaven’. Today, I’m sharing with you some of my favourite views of the lake. Don’t forget my Sunday Special offer: if you sign up to my newsletter, you’ll receive my ebook 8 Must-See Tourist Attractions Around Lake Como for free!

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The romantic lace-making of Venice

Venice, setting of my novel The Echoes of Love, is famous for being the City of Love – but did you know it’s also known for lace-making? Not only is Venetian lace so intricate and beautiful that it’s a work of art, but there’s a romantic legend that tells us how this lace originated…

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Finding beauty in the moment

‘Ne’er saw I, never felt, a calm so deep!’ From a William Wordsworth sonnet, inspired by a moment of reflection and connection he experienced during a visit to London and written 218 years ago today…

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Romantic legends of Italy

Once I have chosen the setting for my next novel, I do my best to learn all about this place: its history, its culture, its cuisine, its scenery. But my favourite research of all is into the stories of the place: its myths, legends and fairy tales. So it was with my novel The Echoes of Love

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Drawing inspiration from romantic settings

Setting is everything for my fiction, not just the backdrop of the story but where I write – where I dream up the first meeting of two people destined to be soulmates, or a first kiss shared on a moonlit beach, or a sunset framing lovers walking off into their happy-ever-after…

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Romance: not fantasy, but reality

‘To me, romance is reality. Romance – love – is everywhere, playing out all around us every day. Reading a romance novel isn’t indulging in a flight of fantasy; it’s reading about something real, and beautiful, and within your own reach in life…’

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My latest blog posts

Romantic classical music: My top five pieces

Music has such power to express romantic feelings: as the French novelist Victor Hugo wrote, ‘Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent.’ Here are my top five romantic pieces of classical music – inspiration for my latest novel, Concerto, the love story of a pianist composer and a music therapist.

Read More »

An architectural tour of my novels

My love for travel shines through in my novels, which are set in countries I have loved exploring. Here I take you on a little tour of some of the wonderful historic architecture that features in my books.

Read More »

How important is originality in fiction?

‘There is nothing new under the sun.’ So goes the proverb derived from the Book of Ecclesiastes. Depending on your perspective, you may find this a comforting thought or a frustrating limitation – or, indeed, a challenge to which you will rise.

Read More »

The romance of the sunset

‘It is almost impossible to watch a sunset and not dream,’ said the English philosopher Bernard Williams. I quite agree: for me, the sunset can be so stirring and poignant and romantic.

Read More »

Writing for readers

‘Why does a writer write? Why hazard yourself? Each writer has their own answer to this question. Mine lies in my childhood…’

Read More »

Welcome to Cádiz

The day I first visited Cádiz I just knew I must situate a love story there! The Moors compared the city to a ‘dish of silver in a bowl of blue’, so vivid are the colours there. It is a lovely city; the most beautiful in Spain, I think, and so today I want to introduce you to it briefly.

Read More »

Collecting book editions

Confession: I have not one, or two, or even three copies of Jane Eyre. I have nine. Why collect different editions of the same book? For several reasons…

Read More »

My latest blog posts

Romantic classical music: My top five pieces

Music has such power to express romantic feelings: as the French novelist Victor Hugo wrote, ‘Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent.’ Here are my top five romantic pieces of classical music – inspiration for my latest novel, Concerto, the love story of a pianist composer and a music therapist.

Read More »

An architectural tour of my novels

My love for travel shines through in my novels, which are set in countries I have loved exploring. Here I take you on a little tour of some of the wonderful historic architecture that features in my books.

Read More »

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