fbpx
blog posts in languages:

My latest blog posts

Favourite painter: David Roberts

An afternoon spent wandering aimlessly in an art gallery or exhibition, letting the images feed my imagination, is sheer bliss. As with music and dance and literature, I find many forms of art inspirational in my writing. A painter whose works I much admire is David Roberts, an artist who

Read More »

Music to write books by: revisited

I mentioned in an earlier blog entry that music is instrumental (forgive the pun) in my writing. It stirs emotion, it inspires, it creates ambiance, it lets the imagination take flight. I have varied tastes when it comes to music, and I listen to an eclectic mix when writing in

Read More »

Romance in dance: ballet

What is it about ballet that speaks so to the romantic soul of the watcher? For me, I think it is many things – the catharticism of the music, the grace and fluidity of the physical form, the perfection of the movement, the strict structure within which beauty emerges, the

Read More »

How peril creates connection

In many love stories – on screen, in literature, in music – there are examples of characters coming together having been in a perilous situation, faced with death. A writer knows that introducing the risk of loss sharpens depends characters’ feelings towards each other, helps them realise those feelings; and,

Read More »

Five Christmas ice cream recipes

‘Ice cream? In December?’ I hear you cry. Surely that’s a summer-time treat? Well, not if you follow my easy and quick recipes and combine your favourite festive desserts with creamy ice cream. This is a great way to use up puddings that are going stale, or to serve up

Read More »

I wonder as I wander

Every writer has good days and bad days: times when the words just flow onto the page, as if by magic; and times when you seem to spend much of the day gazing out of the window, tidying your desk, looking up words in the dictionary – anything but write.

Read More »

‘We chase dreams and embrace shadows’: Anatole France

Eagle-eyed readers will have spotted the quote that runs along the bottom of this blog: ‘We chase dreams and embrace shadows.’ Anatole France’s quote echoes through my novel Burning Embers. ‘But who was Anatole France?’ you may well be wondering – he’s not a writer perhaps familiar to readers outside

Read More »

Favourite film: Gone with the Wind

I defy any romantic to watch this film and not love it! In my list of favourite films, it’s right near the top. I love the colours (of course, released in 1939, it was one of the first films shot in colour), the music, the characters, the vivid settings –

Read More »

Breaking Dawn

You’d have to be a hermit in a cave to have missed the excitement and passion generated among girls and women across the UK by the latest Twilight movie. Stephenie Meyer’s books have tapped into the deep river of romanticism that lies within the modern woman – though we’re strong

Read More »

The English rose

In my novel, Burning Embers, the male protagonist, Rafe, uses a number of terms of endearment when speaking to his lover Coral – my darling, my sweet, my love. But the most prevalent, and the most fitting in terms of her character, is ‘rosebud’. To the non-British reader, this may

Read More »

Kenya from the air

In Burning Embers, Rafe and Coral take to the skies in a hot air balloon from which they see have a commanding view over Kenya, laid out beneath them in all her glory. They see blue waters and verdant vegetation, and amid them the most wonderful array of animals: elephants,

Read More »

Challenging romance with love rivals

As Lysander wisely points out in Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, ‘The course of true love never did run smooth.’ And what would a romance novel be without some obstacles along the path to test the lovers? Of course, one of the most common threats introduced by the author is

Read More »

A rose by any other name…

Choosing names for the male and female protagonists in a novel is, I always think, an important element of the writing process. The right name conveys the character’s personality, wishes and dreams; the wrong name could hinder character development. When I write a novel, deciding names is one of the

Read More »

A sweet aphrodisiac recipe

The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, so goes the popular saying. Well, I think there’s a little more to attraction and love than that, but I do believe that certain foods and drinks act as aphrodisiacs for both men and women. (The word aphrodisiac, in case

Read More »

Writing: creator versus editor

I think all writers have two parts within: an editor and a creator. Often, the two work in synergy to produce writing you’re happy with. Sometimes, though, the two seem mutually incompatible. The creator, as I call it, is the part of me that’s inspired (by the muse, you could

Read More »

African beliefs: The afterlife

In my Burning Embers, Coral’s father, ‘The White Pirate’, has died leaving her the legacy of his plantation, Mpingo. Coral’s old yaha (nanny), Aluna, is a native African lady who subscribes to the legends and traditional beliefs of her home, Kenya. And we see in the book that she is

Read More »

The kindness of strangers

A stolen glance across a crowded train; a shy smile as you pass each other by on a windswept cliff path; a brush of hands as you reach for the same apple outside the grocer’s – you see a stranger, and you feel something. A connection forms as naturally as

Read More »

Burning Embers, the song

‘Egosurfing’, they call it – Googling yourself. It’s not something I had ever done before this week, but with my upcoming book I decided, one particularly gloomy afternoon, to browse the internet for mentions of myself and the book. And it was whilst looking at results for ‘Burning Embers’ that

Read More »

Favourite films: Legend of 1900 and August Rush

I love music, and I love films in which music plays an integral role.   Have you seen Legend of 1900? If not, I wholeheartedly recommend you do so (I understand it’s available in DVD format for a very reasonable price online). This is a life-affirming, heart-warming, touching tale told

Read More »

Le Jaguar

In earlier blog entries I have written of the poetry of Leconte De Lisle.  De Lisle writes with such passion of exotic locations and the beasts that stalk them, and as I wrote of the setting and the animals in Burning Embers, set in Kenya, I found myself often drawn

Read More »

Love at first sight?

I am, of course, a romantic at heart – what romance novelist isn’t? But in today’s fast-paced era of busy people hurtling around in their busy lives; of connecting to people via the internet and mobile phone more than face to face (even arranging dating online); of rising divorce rates

Read More »

A slice of summer

It’s a gloomy autumnal day here in Kent, so I’ve been cheering myself up by looking through pictures of this summer. Here’s a shot of our pool in Kent, where I do a lot of dreaming and writing.

Read More »

Kenyan recipe: Mango ice cream with pineapple rum sauce

Earlier this month I posted a recipe for delicious groundnut soup – a traditional dish eaten in Africa. But what meal is complete without a little something sweet to finish? In Burning Embers, the protagonist, Coral, savours the ripe, succulent mangos that are grown in the area surrounding her homestead

Read More »

Chasing rainbows

Yesterday, as I was sitting at my desk typing, I took a break to gaze out at the dark grey sky lit by a beautiful golden sun, and was rewarded by a stunning full-arch, vivid rainbow in the sky. Nature at its most beautiful. I gazed into the sky until

Read More »

The hunter and his prey

Africa, the setting for Burning Embers, is of course a country famous for hunting. Natives have hunted to survive since the earliest days of the continent’s inhabitation, and the vast array of large, dangerous wildlife there created a real pull for white hunters, keen to demonstrate their prowess by gunning

Read More »

My latest blog posts

Audio books

Did you know that audio books are a fast-growing sector in publishing? Between 2008 and 2013, revenue grew by 12 per cent annually to a massive $1.6 billion (source: IBISWorld). No longer are people complaining they don’t have time to read: they’re listening to books on their phones, their media

Read More »

Choosing the narrative mode for your novel

Last week I wrote about using the male point of view in romance fiction.Deciding on whose point of view you’re writingin is just one aspect of the narrative mode on which an author must decide before writing his or her book. This week I’m looking at two other aspects: the

Read More »

Three-year blogging anniversary, and a Twitter book giveaway

This month marks three years since I began the Hannah Fielding blog. How time has flown, and how this blog has grown! In the past three years, I’ve written some 725 blog posts. Averaging, say, 500 words per post, that’s 362,500 words! I’ve so enjoyed having the opportunity to write

Read More »

The Venice Film Festival

It’s that time of year again: the Venice Film Festival, running from 27 August to 6 September. Did you know that the Venice Film Festival is the oldest film festival in the world? It was first held back in 1932 (the first film shown was Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde),

Read More »

Deepening romance with the male point of view

                  When a reader picks up a traditional romantic novel, she/he has certain basic expectations: That the theme of love will permeate the story. That in the story woman/girl will meet man/boy and fall in love, but encounter obstacles to that love.

Read More »

Much Ado About Jack by Christy English

From the blurb: How to Become London’s Most Notorious Widow: 1. Vow to NEVER remarry 2. Own a ship and become fabulously wealthy 3. Wear the latest risqué fashions in your signature color 4. Do NOT have a liaison at the Prince Regent’s palace with a naval captain whose broad

Read More »

How we read ebooks: A new digital-versus-print development

Recently the Guardian reported on a study on retention of digital reads versus paper reads. Researchers gave participants an Elizabeth George short story. Twenty-five readers read the story in a paperback novel format. Twenty-five read it on a Kindle. Afterwards, the academics tested the readers’retention of objects, characters and settings.

Read More »

For the love of colour

We read in black and white: black text on a white page, be it a paper one or a virtual ‘e-page’ on a screen. But the stories themselves are not black and white, not metaphorically and not – please, never! – descriptively. Any student of literature knows that description is

Read More »

An introduction to the Roman gods

My latest book, The Echoes of Love, is set in Italy: Venice, Tuscany and Sicily. I love Italy for its passion, its beauty, its long and fascinating history, its rich and inspiring cultural heritage… and that which symbolises all: Roman mythology. The Echoes of Love is a modern novel, set

Read More »

A brief history of the book bloggers

I love book bloggers! I love book bloggers because of their passion, their hard work, their integrity, their sensibility and their support for authors; and I love book bloggers because I am part of that community as a book reviewer myself. But how did that community come about? Today, I’m

Read More »

Book review: Flawless by Jan Moran

Astute, intelligent, gripping romance for the modern woman. From the first page I was entirely hooked. I love, love the world in which the story is situated. The author so expertly transports you to Beverly Hills and, for a period, Paris, and offers a glimpse of glamour while showing those

Read More »

The Ferragosto

Were I to write now a scene for the characters of my latest novel, The Echoes of Love, set in Italy, it would include them relaxing and enjoying today’s public holiday, the Ferragosto. Celebrated each 15th August, the Ferragosto is a favourite holiday in Italy – so much so that

Read More »

The return of serialised literature

We’re all familiar with serial dramas on the television, but books? Once, reading a story one instalment at a time was wildly popular. Back in Victorian England, for example, books themselves were premium items – expensive and requiring risky investment from publishers. Thus it was easier to break down a

Read More »

The language of romance

I grew up speaking French, predominantly – it was the language used at my school, for example. But because I lived in Egypt, it was essential I could speak Arabic. My parents insisted on my being fluent in English. And my half-French, half-Italian governess was careful to perfect my French

Read More »

Walking for walking’s sake

Is the modern Western world of technology and ever-faster transport making us forget the joy of walking – just walking, for the joy of it? Should we all walk more, not just for our physical health, but to inspire and soothe mind and soul? It’s an idea increasingly explored. Take

Read More »

The pace of writing, then and now

I have bookshelves bursting with books at home – with old, well-thumbed titles whose authors are long-departed, and with smart, new books whose authors are busy writing more, more, more. I love both kinds of books, but as I sit at my writing desk, pondering a scene in my latest

Read More »

My latest blog posts

The Moorish legacy in Andalucía

Each of the Spanish regions has its own unique culture and history; but for me, the most beautiful and fascinating of them all is Andalucía. This southernmost region has a distinctive look and feel influenced by a history of Moorish occupation. It is a place characterised by legacy, and thus

Read More »

10 unforgettable vistas in Cádiz

The city of Cádiz features in each of the novels in my Andalucían Nights trilogy. It’s such a vibrant, luminous city, it was an easy decision to set scenes there; this a thriving and beautiful place with a rich history and culture. Here’s a glimpse of the city from the perspective

Read More »

Are you addicted to love stories?

Ask yourself this: what would your life be like without love stories? No romance novels. No romantic TV series or movies. No daydreaming, even. How would you feel? Bereft? I know that I would be! Since I read my first romantic fairy-tale as a young child, I’ve been in love

Read More »

Should a book cost more than a coffee?

Depending on where you are in the world, a café latte from a chain like Starbucks is likely to cost you in the region of £3/$4. Wherever you are in the world, you can absolutely buy all kinds of books for less than that. Cheap books are available in various

Read More »

Archive

Archive

Search the post archive by publishing date
Search the post archive by category