You write a book. You struggle and curse as you attempt to get the tortured emotions of your hero and heroine onto the page and help them work out the stuff which is keeping them apart. But when you press *send* and deliver your manuscript to your editor - your story is pretty much out of your hands. You can send in a detailed form, saying how you imagine your characters will look and what you'd like the setting of the cover to be, but it's very much the imaginative baby of the artwork team. As it should be, because they're the experts. I've just received the UK cover of CHRISTMAS IN DA CONTI'S BED - and I love it. Niccolo is one of the Sultan of Qurhah's three great mates. The other two are the deliciously naughty Luis Martinez - and the Greek billionaire Alek Sarantos, whose story is coming out in April, 2015. But back to Niccolo. He's intense. He's sexy. And Alannah's expression tells us that she's knows what a lucky girl she is. Or is she?
This is a picture which tells a story. What does it tell you?
No, they aren't rather flat looking mince-pies, but a sweet South American treat called Alfajores which are deceptively light and filled with spiced dolce de leche. To find out why I'm posting random pictures of them, go and take a look at iheartpresents
And in other news, I've just had a book accepted - woot, woot! CARRYING THE GREEK'S HEIR will be out in April, 2015 and it's about a man named Alekto Sarantos who is one of the most complex and gorgeous heroes I've ever written. At times I felt myself wishing I was Ellie Brooks - the woman who has the tough task of taming him....
No, I'm not advertising a self-help manual, but giving away three copies of my latest book on Goodreads. It's very simple. All you have to do is to write five hundred words on whether the UK should leave the European Union. Not really. Just press a button hereand soon you could be losing yourself in the story of seriously sexy world champion Luis Martinez and the dowdy housekeeper who has the misfortune of working for him (she doesn't look so dowdy on the cover, does she?).
It was one of the best films I ever saw (and one of the scariest) and the only reason I watched it was because it starred Mickey Rourke, who I considered one of the finest actors of his generation. (And yes, in those pre-surgery days he was also very easy on the eye).
I've just been watching a clip and even though it's been a long time… gulp!
Have you seen ANGEL HEART? Or is there a film which scares you more?
SCARY? I recently went to see the play 1984 (completely brilliant) and afterwards walked along the South Bank. It was a busy, sunny day and everything seemed bright and normal and innocent when I came across this carousel. My heart pounded. Immediately, I started thinking about clowns and spooky figures hiding in the shadows. I was sure I could hear the sound of mocking laughter…
Of course, Carousel is my favourite musical and the one which gave birth to the haunting anthem which has been adopted by Liverpool football team. And so I leave you with YOU'LL NEVER WALK ALONE
(And it was a serious question: why ARE carousels so scary?)
One of the golden highlights of my summer is a trip to Syon Park to hear opera performed around a grand piano, by a brilliant company called Diva. This year, it was Don Giovanni and it was BLISS.
Don Giovanni was played by the amazingly charismatic Changhan Lim and it was easy to understand why women fell so easily beneath his spell. The danger and the devilishness in his eyes gave me lots of ideas for future heroes!
The evening was full of sunshine and laughter. There was delicious food, shared with dear friends. And I got to wear a posh dress, liberally sprinkled with golden sequins.
Sigh. If only life could always be like this… *my peace depends on her peace. Don Giovanni's first aria.