Wednesday 23 February 2011


This is my gorgeous tea-pot, covered as it is in all manner of my favourite flowers (especially snow-drops).
If you'd like to see an infinitely more elegant teapot and to read about a brand new talent with a brand new book - then go over to India Grey's blog.

And get to the HEART of the matter....

Sunday 20 February 2011


The new grey background which I'd applied to my blog (and which I thought looked all moody, artistic and evocative), caused me to receive a concerned text from a friend, asking if I was feeling down!
So, here's something very bright and cheerful to assure her I'm not.
Actually, there's lots to be cheerful about. The days are getting warmer and longer and the birds are tweeting (surely tweeting should be left to the birds....)

I've had a lovely weekend. Visited pretty Southsea (Peter Sellers was born there and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle practised as a doctor in the town) and a pub which was adorned with flower-splashed William Morris wallpaper. Then I ate the most delicious curry.

Apart from that, I've been wrestling with my latest hero and reading a second book by my flavour-of-the-month author: Kazuo Ishiguro.

How about your weekend - and was I wise to lose the moody grey?

Thursday 17 February 2011


As promised, here's the iconic clip of Gould playing Bach.....with special thanks to the Man from Mac!

Like it?

Wednesday 16 February 2011


Yesterday, I went to see a film all about the life of Glenn Gould - an inspirational pianist whose playing of Bach made people listen in awe and wonder. Philistine that I am, I'd never even heard of him, but I'm now going to download his playing of the Goldberg Variations and lose myself in his amazing talent.

Canadian Glenn was a bit of a maverick. Taciturn and moody, he gave his last professional concert in 1964 at the age of 31 - because he hated performing.
He was also enigmatic and good-looking enough to make perfect hero fodder - as this famous image from Life magazine shows.

I've forgotten how to download the Youtube link (I must ask the nice man at the Apple shop) - but go and listen to his music if you don't already know it.
Or do you?

Monday 14 February 2011


St. Valentine's day tends to generate lots of publicity for romantic novelists.
Journalists will ask you the secret to writing them (there isn't one) and the reason for their enduring success (people love reading about love).
Accompanying photographers will often ask you to lean on a tower of your own books and smile, winsomely.

And radio hosts will sometimes read out a line from one of your novels which sounds completely bizarre if taken out of context...

This afternoon, I'll be talking on BBC Radio SOLENT and I'll let you know the most interesting question I'm asked.

And in the meantime I couldn't resist capturing these chocs in all their pristine glory, which were given to me by a dear friend last week. The box is made of red velvet and the chocolates are the deliciously moreish Butlers ("purveyors of happiness") and they're Irish. If you haven't yet tried any - do.
In the meantime, I'm planning to keep the box unopened for as long as is humanly possible....

Sunday 13 February 2011


Stare at this for a moment and see where your imagination takes you....

Isn't Egypt the most incredible country?

Friday 11 February 2011


I know this is over-the-top. And I know that a piece of something which looks like glass (but which is actually a pink sapphire, crafted into a corny shape) - would cost a King's ransom to buy.
But it's pretty.
And I'm feeling positively high because the blocky bit I'd reached in my book has now been passed.
Which, as well as being a rousing call to celebration - also happens to be a book by Evelyn Waugh, one of my all-time favourite authors.
His Handful Of Dust is perfect.
Anyone else like him?

Thursday 10 February 2011


Yesterday, I was telling you about my Tuscan teaching week at the stunning Watermill in Posara, and I promised a carrot which would lure you out there to hone up your romance-writing skills.
Well, today I can offer you not one carrot, but two!

The first is that the Watermill's writing competition is still open (until February 28th) and that you can find details here about how to win a whacking great £1,000 - and get your name known.
And you could also use the prize-money to stay there....

The second carrot is Kate Walker's wildly popular 12-Point Guide to Writing Romance; now in its third edition.
This is a book which tells you everything you ever wanted to know about writing romance. It dispels myths, encourages you to concentrate on what really matters and is a compelling read.
I have a brand-new and very shiny copy in my hot little hand which I will giving to one of the students on my course.
It could be YOU!
So come on, what are you waiting for?
Grab yourself a slice of inspirational Italia, and book now.

(Sharon's course runs from May 7th - 14th, 2011)

Wednesday 9 February 2011


This year, I'll be teaching romantic fiction from May 7th - 14th, in a beautiful Tuscan idyll which can offer you:
  • Fabulous views and countryside.
  • Peace.
  • Superb tuition - and the chance to practice and perfect your writing.
  • Fabulous Italian food and wines.
  • Culture.
(See below for a photo of fabulous LUCCA - which we will visit after the most dazzling train journey of your life!)

This year I am also offering an additional carrot.....

which I will tell you about in more detail if you come back tomorrow.

But seriously, if you want to sign up for an unforgettable week at the Watermill in Posara then you'd better hurry because there are only two places left.

A domani!