Hi there, I know it has been a while, but I've been rather busy as you will see.
Now I'm writing as Ellie Dean it means I must write three books a year - and none of them are small affairs - I like to write big, sweeping stories, and of course with research etc., these take a while. But, hey, I'm not complaining. People seem to like what I do, and in these difficult times I count myself as very fortunate indeed to be offered another four book deal by Arrow.
Having finished Where the Heart Lies (Ellie Dean), I have just completed Firestorm, (Tamara Mckinley) and then it was off to gay Pareee for a long weekend. Although Paris was at the end of the signing trip, I first went to Le Mans for the 25 hour salon du livre - or to those who don't have much French - like me - a book festival.
It rained. Absolutely fell down like stair-rods. But that didn't deter the hardy French who turned up to the festival in their thousands. All generations, including babes in arms, pushchairs and back-packs, and all avid readers. It was a great festival, the theme this year being Oceanna, so there were Aboriginal artifacts on show, Polynesian dancers and singers, writers, poets, cartoonists, rap poets - I could go on, but you get the general idea.
Luckily I had a fellow Aussie next to me at our signing table, Chris Wormersley, and thank goodness for that. Our French was just about understandable, but it was much less stressful to be able to natter away in English - or 'Strain'! But the organisers treated us brilliantly, with food and wine and coffee so strong you could stand a spoon up in it!
Then it was off to Paris. In the rain. Lugging my suitcase up flights of stairs, escalators and over kerbs and cobbles. It was at this point I wished him indoors had come too - husbands can be very useful when one has a heavy case. The hotel was very grand, right in the heart of Paris, with views over the rooftops to the Eiffel Tower which glittered and shimmered against the skyline. Beautiful - but too knackered to do much on arrival, so had a gin and tonic, a long bath and then a good night's sleep.
I came back late to find him indoors waiting for me to drive me home. He admitted that he'd made the bed that morning - for the first time in four days - and that he'd actually hoovered. Goodness, whatever next? He also gave a supper party, having stuffed chicken breasts himself with garlic butter and wrapping them in bacon. I can see there's a Jamie Oliver lurking in there somewhere. Perhaps I ought to go away again.