This blog is no longer active. For several years I blogged about once a month – about people who had influenced me, inspired my fiction, and kept me optimistic about human nature. I have left some of my blog posts here to give you a taste of my latest book, Journeys Without A Map: A Writer’s Life– if you enjoy them, get the book!
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Whenever I see photos of storms at sea, with the waves crashing over fragile sea defences, I am back in the Scilly Isles, that beloved piece of earth, so low-lying, so vulnerable.
We had been three years in Britain before I discovered them – (like Livingstone ‘discovering’ the Victoria Falls.) Our applications to become British citizens were, we hoped, winding through the system, and meanwhile Robert had no travel documents so couldn’t leave the country.… Read more
My book is out –Journeys Without A Map has begun its own journey into the world. Like an anxious parent I watch from a distance. I imagine the warehouse where copies are being despatched to bookshops – but who will ever find it there, among so many? Across continents I hear that those who have ordered it have been told it is “winging its way to Australia – expected delivery in 15 to 20 days”.… Read more
In the last week I have heard from three people who have been reading my novel If you can walk, you can dance. Of all my novels this is the one for which I most often get letters from strangers, and I’m always touched when this happens. This week one of the people reading it is an old friend, Margaret – and actually she is re-reading it, decades after it first came out.… Read more
I don’t often open a newspaper and see a photo of someone I’ve met, but last week there looking out at me was Rhoda Ibrahim. She’s a Somali woman in her late 50s, in the news for her community work in Brent.… Read more
I’ve just finished checking the proofs for my new book, Journeys Without a Map — almost ready now to go to the printers. I’ve been surrounded by the people in it, real people, who have made my life what it is, and inspired my stories.
This one goes back to 1977, when we had recently arrived in Britain, casualties of a political crisis in Zambia where we had been living.… Read more
Theatres are opening again in the UK. I have booked tickets to take our grandchildren to one as a pre-Christmas treat. We have got so out of the habit of making future plans that I don’t really believe it will happen, but it’s got me thinking about where my own love-affair with theatre began, when I was the age of the youngest of our grandchildren.… Read more
When my novel Uncertain Light was published, I started a blog which my friends were kind enough to occasionally read. It followed me on my travels, and by some means I never quite understood, in a couple of years it acquired over 1,000 readers. Then, like a once-loved old building, it fell into disuse.… Read more