It’s always a shock when one of my books is published. I have been tucked away researching and writing for years, with no one to read it but me. Now suddenly the lid is blown off and everyone gets a crack at it. I can no longer make any corrections or influence how readers may respond. The novel is like a child riding away from me, the training wheels removed from its bike. Will it stay upright or fall over? All I can do is stand by and watch.

For a distraction from that anxiety, let’s look at some covers. Because face it, that is how we judge books at first. Here are the US, UK and Italian covers:

Isn’t it surprising how different the tone of each cover can be? Hard to believe the words inside are the same!

US & UK covers of The Last RunawayI'm delighted to report that my new novel The Last Runaway will be published in the USA, Australia and Italy in January 2013, in the UK in March 2013, and in other countries later in 2013. The US cover is on the left and the UK version is on the right.

I have spent much of the summer editing a new novel (The Last Runaway, out January 2013 in the US, March 2013 in the UK, with other countries to follow). Mostly, though, I've been glued to the Olympics, which transformed my fellow Londoners into cheerful, positive, helpful people. It was glorious.

Summer time and I'm off soon to Ohio to try and revitalize the novel I'm writing set there. Any Ohioans who see me in a diner with a stack of pancakes and the paper, tell me to get out and start researching! You may also find me lingering in quilt shops.

Great Britain went a little berserk recently with the Royal Wedding. In our Dorset village there was a cake-decorating competition on that theme, and we won! Here's the result: