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2014 Dundee International Book Prize

Just learned that The Open Arms of the Sea has been shortlisted for the 2014 Dundee International Book Prize. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-tayside-central-27794582 Wobbling with pleasure!

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The heart

Is a most remarkable thing.  For thirty years mine has crammed room for a precious four and fit to burst with them. Then two grandchildren arrive at its door and it finds more room to admit them.  My heart's house has many rooms.

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Historical Novel Society

Review of The Open Arms of the Sea.  Which is nice. http://historicalnovelsociety.org/reviews/the-open-arms-of-the-sea/

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Lolly

The first hot day of the year, my first ice lolly of the season. What a delicious slurp I had.

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Historical novel research

When I began writing I followed the mantra spouted by so many wise owls who guided the tyro author, “write what you know”. It was a rule that urged aspiring authors to write about their own experiences and world. Such authenticity would inevitable result in better and more distinctive writing. I believed it. I began writing modern day stories of kitchen sinks, crime and humour but never seemed to find that extra fizz that elevated the writing or the story, or indeed this author. Somehow the available palette seemed limited and the settings too parochial. I felt such a fool when it suddenly...

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