A Costume for Harriet Heron

Thanks to the incredible support of Discover Egypt, four of us were able to go to Luxor to make a short video trailer for my new novel The Sacred River. I knew I wanted actress Sarine Sofair to play the part of Harriet Heron, the main character in the book. […]

Like Your Jacket

What makes you reach for a book in a bookshop? Prompts you to turn it over to read the jacket copy on the back then open up the book, your attention caught… It may be true that you ought not to judge a book by its cover but the jacket […]

On Writing

I was recently invited to talk to some people about how I moved from journalism to fiction, and wrote a piece to try and gather my thoughts. Here follows my longest-ever blog post – a personal account of what led to the publication of The Painted Bridge in 2012 and this […]

‘Be very persevering…’

Charles Dickens' desk and chair

Gad’s Hill is the name of the house in Kent where Charles Dickens lived at the end of his life, where he wrote works including Great Expectations, A Tale of Two Cities and the unfinished Mystery of Edwin Drood - and where he died in the year 1870. As a boy, Dickens had […]

Writing Retreat


I have left London for a week and come here to mid-Wales, to be with my new book, Magic for the Living. I say ‘be with’ because I have found that although writing is part of what books require, they also need other forms of attention. Magic for the Living […]

Independent Bookshops


It’s Independent Booksellers Week from 30th June to 7th July. Thanks very much to my local bookshop for supporting my book.     And to Goldsboro Books in Cecil Court, off the Charing Cross Road (still famous for its bookshops, even if the one called ‘Author’ actually only sells shoes), for […]

The Painted Bridge out in the world


The Painted Bridge, the book that I spent two years writing, in this room, has – after a further year in the production process – gone out in to the world. Publication day was last Thursday, 24th May. Part of the role of the writer is to try and bring […]

An Office to the Dead


I’ve been working hard lately on my new book, Magic for the Living, and spending most of my time in the room at home where I write. It was good to spend a day with a friend today, going to the Guildhall Art Gallery, via this half-hidden garden that we […]

Winter Garden

Statue by frozen pond

One of the pleasures of writing The Painted Bridge was the excuse it provided to explore old houses and gardens. The novel is set mainly in Lake House, a crumbling mansion on the edge of London. In November 1859, when the story begins, Lake House has been in use for two […]