Field of Dreams (Revisited)

Who would live in a house like this? In the summer of 2000, while on a camping holiday in France, my husband and I impulse-bought a dilapidated farm building. I’ve always wanted to use that experience in fiction and my new novel Lies Behind the Ruin opens with the Willshire family making a similar rash decision to purchase a French ruin. There the similarity ends. The Willshires’ story is one of darkness, loss and danger and you can read about it in Lies Behind the Ruin - available for pre-order now. Our experience, on the other hand, was reckless, but ultimately became a joy.

18/3/2019

A Conversation with Author Helen Matthews (by G J Stevens)

Here's a link to an interview I did for the website of fellow author, G Stevens. He quizzed me on what I'd learned about book promotion and publicity.

22/2/2019

'When I was one I had just begun' - celebrating my debut novel's first birthday

My debut novel After Leaving the Village reaches its first birthday on 12th October so I'm looking back and reflecting on what a whirlwind the year has been.

12/10/2018

Enforced time out for writers

This blog is about trying to write while recovering from injury or illness, and my tips for rehab of a broken ankle. Maybe it will be useful for someone, somewhere.

25/9/2018

Bookseller for a Day

Readers of my blog may remember it's been my lifelong ambition to work in, or perhaps own, a bookshop and I’ve written about this in a post called Flirting with Bookshops. Thanks to Leatherhead bookseller, Peter Snell I finally achieved my wish and took a day off from writing books to step behind the shop counter and sell them.

9/6/2018

Getting your Book into Libraries

In these times of austerity, how can authors can get their books into libraries; why it's worth doing and a few tips on how writers can support libraries in return.

8/4/2018

Helping Hands - (broadcast more than a decade ago on BBC Home Truths)

With her househusband gone, Helen Matthews has to rely on hired hands to look after her young persons... This article from 10+ years ago foreshadows the sub-plot digital detox theme of my novel 'After Leaving the Village'. Some of you may have read it. I am reposting because I have found a photo of the wonderful Brano.

24/10/2017

Children and the Internet - The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

This is an article I wrote for the online magazine Female First. It links to the sub-plot of my novel After Leaving the Village

12/10/2017

Flirting with Bookshops

I woke up this morning and discovered it was National Bookshop Day. Is this an oxymoron, I wondered? Surely every day should be bookshop day? As a writer, I believe sustenance from reading is more important than eating. Bookshops exist to feed that addiction.

7/10/2017

Author Platform - is it time to step up?

What I've learned about creating an author platform on social media. Mine is still a work in progress.

25/8/2017

Albania - reasons to visit soon

As a travel destination Albania is an under-discovered gem. How many of your friends have been there? I’m guessing not many.

1/8/2017

Albania - beyond the bunkers

If bunkers are your thing, Albania has them in abundance. But how many exactly?

21/6/2017

The Writing Addiction - A Writer's Journey

I often write about travel but getting a novel published is also a journey. The road twists and turns, there are cliff edges and dead ends but the compulsion to write drives us on.

24/5/2017

Tirana in Pictures

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. As a writer, I’m programmed to go for the words but today I'll keep quiet and let these photos tell their own story.

15/5/2017

Berat: a window on Albania

Berat, the city of a thousand windows and a UNESCO world heritage site since 2008, could stand as a metaphor for Albania.

24/4/2017

Varanasi: Death and Life on the Ganges

Mist shrouds the crumbling buildings, concealing plastic bottles and garbage dumped on the steps of Varanasi’s magnificent ghats...

4/4/2017

India: Brief Encounters

India’s fastest train, the Shatabdi Express is running on Indian time: forty minutes late, but could arrive at any moment...

27/3/2017

Jailhouse Rocks in Chiang Mai

Pink and gold clouds churn up the sky as dawn breaks over Chiang Mai...

15/3/2017

Cuba and the Importance of Being Ernest

We’re in Havana on the trail of Ernest Hemingway. First stop is his drinking haunt, the Floridita, where he invented a new, stronger Daiquiri recipe...

14/3/2017

Advocacy through Fiction: A Book Might Change Your Life (or Someone Else's)

Christmas is a good time to open our eyes and our hearts to the plight of others. In this article, I consider whether fiction has a role in advocacy.