filed under The French Photographer, Writing Historical Fiction.

For anyone interested, here’s a rundown of what I did on my recent research trip to Europe. I was finishing up a last bit of research for The French Photographer (2019 book) and researching the seed of an idea I had for a 2020 book, which has now grown into much more than a seed! I started in Paris, staying at the Hotel Scribe in the Opéra district. The hotel was built in the 1860s and was used by the Allies as their press headquarters after the fall of Paris in WWII, so it features in my book. I headed…

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filed under The French Photographer, Writing Historical Fiction.

I’m off to Europe in late September for another historical fiction research trip so I thought it might be fun to share what I’ll be getting up to. And it’s a nice excuse to talk about the fabulous trip I have planned! I’m finishing up the last bits of research for The French Photographer (2019 book) and starting the research for the germ of an idea I have for a 2020 book. Paris I’m starting in Paris, where I’ll be staying at the Hotel Scribe. This hotel was used by the US Army as their press headquarters in WWII and…

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filed under Author Interviews.

I’m so thrilled to have Kate Forsyth here today for Where Stories Are Made, where I take you behind the scenes into a writer’s writing space. Kate Forsyth is one of my favourite authors of historical fiction and I’m so looking forward to reading her new book, Beauty in Thorns. Over to Kate, to tell you all about the places where she dreams up her wonderful stories! 1. My stories are made … I can write anywhere, but I have two favourite places. The first is in bed, first thing in the morning, when I write in my diary. I…

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filed under Author Interviews.

As soon as I thought of the idea for this blog series, I knew I’d have to have Kirsty Manning as my guest. Her writing outlook is spectacular, and definitely worth sharing. She’s also offered a signed copy of her new book, The Midsummer Garden, to one lucky person who comments on this blog post. So sit back and enjoy this tour of Kirsty Manning’s writing spaces! 1. My stories are made … At home, mostly. I have a home office that has French doors on a deck high among my chestnut trees. It feels a little like writing in…

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filed under Her Mother's Secret, How To Write A Book.

Last year I wrote a post about deleted scenes in A Kiss from Mr Fitzgerald. I got so much feedback about it that I’ve decided to write a post about the deleted scenes in Her Mother’s Secret. Apparently writers don’t often share their deleted scenes but I think it’s really important to understand that nobody begins with the perfect novel; a first draft is an exploration of what the story is and, to truly explore, you have to be prepared to try some things that don’t work. Which is why I’ve decided to open up my Trash in Scrivener and pull…

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filed under Her Mother's Secret, How To Write A Book.

Welcome to Part 3 of my blog series taking you behind the covers of Her Mother’s Secret. You can find Part 1 here and Part 2 here. Today’s post is all about the writing process, what I actually did when I sat down to write the book and how easy (or hard!) it really was. Her Mother’s Secret was my fourth book and my second historical novel. I knew what I was doing right? Wrong! In the Beginning … The book covers twenty years, two seperate timeframes and has two different female protagonists. One of those is Leo, who’s trying…

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filed under Her Mother's Secret, Writing Historical Fiction.

I’ve said it before, but I love the research. I think, to write historical fiction, you have to. And the research I did for Her Mother’s Secret was fun and fascinating so I thought I’d share with you what I did to make the book come to life, as well as give you an insight into how an author goes about researching historical fiction. This is Part 2 in my series taking you behind the covers of Her Mother’s Secret. You can find Part 1 here. The Cosmetics Industry As the book is about the birth of the cosmetics industry…

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filed under Her Mother's Secret.

I can’t believe it but it’s only 2 weeks until Her Mother’s Secret will be in stores! So I thought it might be a good time to start sharing something more about the book. Over the next 4 weeks, I’ll be running a series of posts which take you behind the book covers, and tell you a little about where the idea for Her Mother’s Secret came from, the research process, the writing process and much more. This week is all about the inspiration behind the book. For me, it’s never one thing that inspires a book. It’s always a few things,…

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filed under Book Reviews.

I’ve read some amazing books this year and here’s my list of the best books of 2016: the books that made me laugh and cry, the books I couldn’t forget even after I’d finished them, the books I would definitely read again. I’ve put this list together based on books I’ve read in 2016, not necessarily books that were released in 2016. And here, not in any particular order, they are! A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara I know I said this list isn’t in order but I’ve put this one first because it’s one of the most powerful books…

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filed under Book Reviews.

My favourite books are historical novels with heroines who are fighting for something that matters, something that has made a difference to the opportunities women have today. Heroines who inspire us to follow our own dreams, to keep going when the hurdles seem too great to surmount, to be truly courageous. With that in mind, here are 9 historical fiction heroines, some real, some imagined, whose stories and actions can continue to inspire us today. This brings my 3 part  series on writing compelling heroines to an end. You can find Part 1 here and Part 2 here. Alma Whittaker…

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