Thought: Rhapsody and an Autumn Night

One of my favourite poems is Rhapsody on a Windy Night, by T.S. Eliot. I learned it by heart when I was eighteen years old and preparing for my Speech & Drama Licenciate exam with my old friend and teacher, Herbert Davies. It's a bleak and haunting poem about time and its passage, in which the speaker walks along a moonlit street at midnight, each streetlamp revealing striking images in the present that recall memory fragments from his past. I'm not sure whether I loved the poem back then because [...]

October 5th, 2019|

Update: New UK and US paperback jackets | TCD

The Clockmaker’s Daughter will be released in paperback in both the UK and the US this spring, sporting an all new jacket in each place. In the UK, the paperback edition will hit shelves on the 18th of April, while in the US copies will be available a little over month later on the 21st of May. There are also bonus features aplenty: the UK edition contains a letter to readers and a brand new afterword; while the US edition includes a handy Chronology of Birchwood Manor and a Book Club [...]

March 27th, 2019|

Essay: Christmas on The Mountain

I wrote a piece about Christmas late last year that was published in various places around the world and I wanted to share it with you here too. I haven't written much about my real life and I was surprised when I was asked to do so, but I loved the experience. It was a pleasure to conjure a long-ago evening back to life and to sit again for a while with my Nana Connelly. I think a lot about time (as you might have guessed from my books) and writing [...]

March 20th, 2019|

Video: My Life in Books

Long before I was a writer, I was a reader. My parents taught me how and, from the moment I discovered that wonderful other worlds lived within the black marks on white pages, I was hooked. The older I get, the more aware I am that childhood reading - indeed, all reading - is a type of landscape every bit as shaping as the geographical landscape outside the window. Herewith - my life in books!

August 29th, 2018|

Essay: Ideas behind The Forgotten Garden

Another book birthday this month - The Forgotten Garden has reached double digits while I wasn't looking! It's almost impossible to believe that ten whole years have passed since Cassandra, Nell and Eliza first left my imagination for yours, and yet, at once, it feels like an age since I was writing a manuscript called 'The Authoress', living in a little wooden worker's cottage cut into a steep slope in the shadow of the Paddington Antique Centre. To celebrate - and because people often ask about the ideas and inspirations [...]

June 13th, 2018|

Update: New Book

It's done! I'm thrilled to tell you that the new book is finished and will be published in September/October 2018. It's another big one, as you can see from the rather large stack of pages on my kitchen table, and spans a number of periods between 1850 and the present day. It's set partly in Victorian London and partly inside a big old house called Birchwood Manor, which is tucked within a quiet bend of the Upper Thames. There are secrets and mysteries aplenty and characters to whom I can't [...]

March 21st, 2018|