filed under The Paris Seamstress.

It’s September, which means it’s spring here in Australia and fall in the US. I mention the US because September is the month in which The Paris Seamstress is finally published in America! This really is a dream come true; I had always hoped that my books might reach readers in far off shores and, soon, they will. To celebrate, I thought I’d share some of my favourite things about Paris, the city that inspired The Paris Seamstress. Where to Stay Le Marais is the most beautiful part of Paris. You absolutely must stay there if you ever visit the…

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filed under The Dior Bequest, The French Photographer, The Paris Seamstress.

It’s not just one set of characters and one story that are occupying my mind this year, but three! Right now, I’m proofreading The French Photographer (2019), redrafting The Dior Bequest (2020) and I’m still very much in the throes of publicising The Paris Seamstres; in fact that’s picking up once again with the launch of the book in the US and the UK imminent. So how do I juggle three books? Good question! The French Photographer If you follow me on Facebook, you might have seen me lamenting over my proofread. One day, I reached the point where I’d…

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filed under The Paris Seamstress.

Next month, The Paris Seamstress will be published in America. The following month, The Paris Seamstress will be published in the UK. It’s a dream come true for me: there will be people on the other side of the world reading my books! And now that it’s imminent, there’s a lot to do! My Expectations When I signed my publishing contracts with Little, Brown in the UK and Grand Central in the US, I have to admit that my expectations were low. Not in terms of what brilliant publishers they were, but in terms of what kind of marketing and…

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filed under For Writers: Writing Tips, The Paris Seamstress.

A writer’s notebook (or mine at least!) is a messy, scrappy thing that contains a strange mix of the practical and the magical. People often ask me about whether I write by hand, and how I keep track of ideas for my books. Enter the writer’s notebook. While I type most of my books, there are many passages and sentences in my books that come about from a scribbled, handwritten note which has been jotted down after a moment of inspiration while washing the dishes or going for a walk. Here are some examples of my notebooks from The Paris…

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filed under For Writers: Writing Tips, The Paris Seamstress.

I wanted to talk a little about perseverance. About continuing on against the odds. About doing what you love despite the doubts. About not giving up and holding on to that beautiful shining dream you have even if it seems so far out of reach. My latest book, The Paris Seamstress, has been selling its little socks off. At times, it feels a bit like it’s happening to someone else and I’m watching the experience from a distance. At other times it feels so bloody exciting that all I want to do is laugh and dance and sing and shout.…

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filed under The Paris Seamstress.

Last week I talked about my trip to Paris to research The Paris Seamstress; this week is all about my trip to New York. A lot of the research books that I read before I went talked about Paris, in terms of fashion, as being the city of art, whereas New York was the city of industry. So I went to New York prepared to find a slightly less romantic version of the fashion industry than what I had found in Paris. But did this turn out to be true? New York’s Garment District I once again organised a private…

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filed under The Paris Seamstress.

One of my most favourite parts of my job would definitely have to be travelling overseas for research. Who wouldn’t want to go to Paris and New York and places in between all in the name of work?! And the trip I organised for researching The Paris Seamstress was especially spectacular, full of discoveries that inspired scenes for the book. The Théâtre du Palais Royal For this trip, I organised a private tour guide to take me through the Sentier, Paris’s historic fashion district. I met my guide at the Palais Royal, which backs onto the Sentier. There, I made the…

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filed under For Writers: Writing Tips, The Paris Seamstress.

As The Paris Seamstress will be published next week, I thought it was a good time to take you behind the scenes and describe how I went about writing and researching the novel. Last week, I published a post about how I got the idea for the book, which you can read here. This week, I’m going to talk about why it’s so important for me to have a clear and vivid opening scene in my mind when I’m writing, and also how The Paris Seamstress evolved from a straight historical novel to a dual narrative that combines both contemporary…

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filed under The Paris Seamstress.

I much prefer redrafting to starting a novel and The Paris Seamstress only served to confirm this preference; it is definitely the one book of mine that was the hardest to start. I sat down in November 2015 ready to write my 20,000 word pre-first draft only to discover that I didn’t really have a story idea. I had a character in my head and this character had a very distinctive voice but I didn’t know who she was or why she was there. I let the voice lead me and while I really liked a lot of what I wrote, I had no…

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filed under Her Mother's Secret, The Paris Seamstress.

2017 was a big year. A year of ups and downs. A year of a lot of work. A year of decisions and changes. And, of course, a year of writing lots of words. Here are the highlights, and the lowlights. A Huge Case of Nerves It’s safe to say that I have never in my life been more nervous about a book coming out than I was about Her Mother’s Secret. Why? Because, as some of you may have heard me say in my author talks, when A Kiss from Mr Fitzgerald came out in 2016, I had almost…

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