Saturday, 27 November 2010

The Hunting Party

This is my second novel, written while I was still with Charlie Viney's Agency. It was Charlie's idea that I try writing historical fiction. He suggested the true story of Winifred, the Countess of Nithsdale's rescue of her husband William from the Tower of London, the night before his execution for his part in the failed Jacobite rebellion of 1715. Since it's a true story, it's really fictionalised biography rather than a novel.
I enjoyed the research but historical fiction is not a genre I read, so writing the novel didn't come easily. I remain fond of Winifred and several agents have shown interest. It's currently on the long-list for the UK Authors Opening Pages Competition.
The Hunting Party will be discussed on December 15th. at 8 pm on the on-line book group for completed but yet to be published novels. If you want to read the novel and take part in the discussion visit

Saturday Night

My Saturday nights are a joy. Friday is the one night I go out, still being on adrenalin from the week and Sunday night is shrouded in gloom due to the imminent arrival of Monday morning.
The evening kicks off with Strictly Come Dancing, a glass of wine and if I'm lucky a log fire. I've come back to Strictly after boycotting them for sacking Arlene Phillips. The success of programmes like this depends on honest judging by people who know what they're talking about, which is why I like Craig's comments. I'm annoyed by Anne Widdecombe and her primary-school 'clever' answering back. She'll never be funny, nor should she try to be, having spent years as an unpopular but serious politician. It reminds me of George Galloway on Big Brother. Why do they do it? And another thing...after years of haranguing from Gok, Trinny and Susannah about the importance of a good bra, can the Rt. Hon. AW be the only one not to have got the message? I'm also cross about Pamela Stephenson for claiming to be a 'serious' psychologist. I wonder how her clients feel about her now?
Next comes Merlin, an inoffensive drama with two nice looking young men in the lead roles. It has the same plot every week which goes something like this: the king, Luther, suspects someone of using magic in Camelot where it's been banned. Merlin (doing work experience as the young Arthur's servant) secretly uses magic to sort everything out and peace is restored.
After that it's a quick flick over to the X-Factor to cheer on Mary (bosomy club singer, who'd be better doing a bit of jazz) before Wallender (the Swedish version) on BBC4, although recently it was no-lips Branagh in the English version. I was surprised to recognise some of the police officers from the Swedish version moonlighting as crooks in the English version.
Meanwhile, I have my laptop on my knee, checking e-mails, posting on Facebook and sometimes writing my blog. It's called multi-tasking or 'not paying attention'.