How to recover from rough times

Sometimes life punches you in the face. You get dumped… you don’t get the job… someone lets you down badly… there is a horrible loss or gut-wrenching disappointment. These are the times most of us go through that don’t make for an Instagram moment. I’ve been around for a while now, so I’ve had my…

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Here’s to my Dad

For Father’s Day, I want to write some nice things about my Dad. The best place to start is sport because Dad is a massive, massive sports fan. A fan of all sports, especially if he’s involved. Now that he’s passed the 80-mark, he still competes in the odd cycle race! At school and in…

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When families are… complicated!

I am often writing about families in my books – children, parents, sisters, grampas, aunties… the whole family scene. And because it’s all fictional and written for entertainment, these imaginary people are so much wittier, lovelier, kinder and more insightful, or on the other hand, so much more awful, melodramatic and dreadful than the family…

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Happy Annie Valentine’s Day!

Annie Valentine is back! Thanks to the lovely people at Boldwood, The Personal Shopper has had a makeover. I hope new readers will love Annie and previous readers will remember her fondly. So, a little bit about her… At first glance, Annie is one of those wonderfully pulled together women, who is doing it all.…

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On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.

By Ian Fleming. Published by Penguin. Book review Because I am definitely going to miss Daniel Craig’s James Bond – Spectre was my favourite Bond film – I spent some very enjoyable evenings reading three of Ian Fleming’s Bond novels. The one I’d recommend is On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. Yes, you’re going to have…

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The Getting Out of a Rut Blog

This is for everyone who is feeling a bit the same, a bit stuck… a bit bleughhhh… And after the time we’ve had lately, that’s probably quite a lot of us. We’ve not been allowed holidays, parties, big nights out, trips, plans, or even the office! So, it’s hardly surprising that life feels a bit…

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The All About *Those* Conversations Blog

Conversation over coffee

I was desperate to have children because I wanted to have babies… you know, those adorable, tiny, scrunched up, helpless little preciouses. I never thought for one moment about gangly big teenagers stomping and flouncing about my home, trailing laundry and dishes and terrible moods, smelling… not emptying their bins for weeks on end and…

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Why rejection is good for your artistic soul

I’m writing this for one person in particular, but hopefully it will help all kinds of creative people going through a tough period of rejection. So, the girl I’m writing for has been dancing and dreaming of dancing since she was tiny, when she was a wonderful, standout talent. But of course talent that is…

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Because writers need snacks

When I’m writing, I am sitting almost completely still, apart from the flying fingers of course, but writing makes me so hungry. Probably because my brain is working so hard. The danger of serious snacking and a sedentary job is that the potential to balloon is always lurking. Yes, inside this relatively slim writer, is…

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The Long-Term View

People overestimate what they can do in a year. And underestimate what they can do in ten years. I must be getting older and wiser, but I do find that my need to rush at things, blast through them, get them done… is mellowing. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still impatient, I still get frustrated…

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