I have been very busy over the past few months, juggling the publication of 2 books and the celebration of Charlotte Brontë's bicentenary. Instead of describing it all in words, I'm posting some pictures - worth their thousand, you know!

First, the LAUNCH party for At the Edge of the Orchard



There was lots of SIGNING.

italiansigning               vikingbooks



TV requires a lot of eye shadow
dianerehm grahamnorton
I got to meet Diane Rehm (NPR) and Graham Norton (BBC)
Didn't Bernard Lehut at French RTL make me look chic!
My sister said she could tell from the shape of my mouth
that I was speaking French to these bloggers!
WSJphotoshootWall Street Journal DID manage to make me look chic.
At least the furnishings were...

I was also involved with all things CHARLOTTE BRONTË.

 Talking about Charlotte, a lot.
Laying a wreath on the doorstep of her house on her birthday
Debating over her novels with a smart bunch of writers
And QUILTS! Somehow I managed to sneak those in too.
So. What next? SHAKESPEARE.
I am working on a retelling of OTHELLO, set on an American school playground, circa 1974.
HAPPY SUMMER!                                                                                                                                                                       




Since last writing I've been all over the United States and the United Kingdom, talking about two books: At the Edge of the Orchard and Reader, I Married Him: Stories Inspired by Jane Eyre. If you look around the website you'll find new interviews and radio shows, articles and reviews. The publicity is dying down but I am still doing a lot of events, some solo, others with some fabulous writers. To see if I'm coming to a town near you, have a look HERE.

In a few days it's time for another writer to step into the limelight. On 21 April we will down tools and stand up to salute Charlotte Brontë, who turns 200. I've been working for the past year with the Brontë Parsonage to help celebrate Charlotte's bicentenary, and have discovered how beloved she is by readers everywhere, and also what a surprising woman she was. You can read more about the bicentenary HERE, and about her most famous novel Jane Eyre HERE.

I leave you with the two best ways I know to celebrate a birthday: cake and quilts*. Happy Birthday, Charlotte!


                                 Happy Birthday Charlotte   Splendid Shreds birthday

*(Thanks to Huddersfield quilter Judith Havis for this quilt celebrating Charlotte - on display with 57 others at "Splendid Shreds of Silk and Satin" exhibition at the Bankfield Museum, Halifax, Yorkshire 16 April - 11 June 2016)

This month At the Edge of the Orchard is published in the US and UK. It's always both exhilarating and bizarre when a book is published. After working on it mostly in private for three years, I'm sending it out into the world, like a child walking to school for the first time on his own. Is he ok? Did he get lost? How come I haven't heard from him?

But of course he's fine. And I have to let my book go - to you. Hope you like it. As a publication gift, I give you this photo of a bowl of Golden Pippins (aka Pitmaston Pineapples). Once you've read the book you'll want to see them, and some day eat one!





New year, new website - all in anticipation of two books coming out this spring:


orchardukcover OrchardUScover   RIMHUKcover  RIMHUScover

(I have to show all the covers or the different publishers get upset!)

Have a look around, as some things have changed. In ABOUT ME, you can find out what color ink I prefer. And EVENTS: there will be a lot of them this year! Keep checking back for new details.

Happy New Year!

Today was an important day for me. For the first time I got to taste an apple that features in my forthcoming novel, At the Edge of the Orchard. The Pitmaston Pineapple is an old and rare English variety, and hard to find. While writing it I had to describe the apple's taste by basing it on other people's descriptions. Today, at last, a bowlful of Pitmaston Pineapples arrived, courtesy of Matthew Thomas and Nick Dunn at Frank P Matthews Trees for Life in Worcestershire. Thanks, guys!

Here I am, worshipping my apples: