Showing posts with label Cornwall. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Cornwall. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

A Cornish Stranger…countdown

So tomorrow is the first launch event for A Cornish Stranger and it's in Helford at Down by the Riverside Cafe (if you are in the area please join me for drinks & nibbles from 17:00-18:30…& the ferry from the north side will run until then!). And it's rather fun to do this in one of the settings in the book!

Of course at all of these events I have to read a snippet of the book…this is the part of releasing a new book that gives me sleepless nights. Being Dyslexic and reading aloud are not easy companions…

So in the past I have practiced in front of the cats…Snowy and Sooty but they are in Dubai and I am in Cornwall. So I practiced in front of my iPhone and recorded it. Then I decided to video one for those who can't make any of the events and 'want to hear the author's voice' *gulp*.

Hope it doesn't put you off! What do you think about authors reading their work?

Thursday, May 08, 2014

It's May…the month of yes…two books out

OK. You haven't seen me in a while because I've been everywhere…well, sort of. Does Perth, Australia - London, Cornwall and Dubai count?

Today is the paperback publication day of A Cornish Affair (this is the small paperback and it includes extra stuff - in this case the history of Pengarrock in ten items).

I've also been preparing for the various events to launch A Cornish Stranger which is out in two weeks! This is always scary time when a new book comes out…I kind of hold my breath and hope that the risks I've taken and story I've told will work. But thanks to the the encouraging words of a few early readers I can breathe again…well partially. Here's an early review if you are curious  Shaz Goodwin's review on Goodreads.

So if you are interested in catching me somewhere soon this is where I'll be!

21st May - 17:00 - 18:30 CORNWALL Down By The Riverside Cafe, Helford (This should be fun. It's actually on of the places in A Cornish Stranger!) Details here.

30th May -15:00 - 17:00 DUBAI Macgrudys on the Beach Road Dubai. This should be a really fun launch as I'll be sharing the venue with another Dubai based author Rachel Hamilton and her debut book The Case of the Exploding Loo (a brilliant middle grade read…my review here. ) Details from

31th May 16:00-17:00 DUBAI Book signing at Kinokuniya in The Dubai Mall

5th June 19:00 MANCHESTER Urmston Library with Urmston Bookshop Details here.

12th June 18:30 LONDON Opera & Ice Cream at Waterstones Kensington High Street…please RSVP to me or here as I want make sure there is enough wine and ice-cream!

Just writing that out and I'm exhausted!

PS I'll be in Amsterdam from the 16-19 of June…details to follow

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Editing and Morning Light

I'm making reasonable progress on A Cornish Stranger but the morning light is so distracting 

Saturday, October 05, 2013

Editing an Blissful Distraction

A working to the deadline of 31st October for A Cornish Stranger and am  staying where it's's hard to work with that view!

Friday, September 06, 2013

A Time of Change

I think the cover designers got the cover just right in  A Cornish Affair
Again I have been a terrible blogger but having a stunningly perfect summer kept me away from the computer and of course writing A Cornish Stranger took priority. I did post loads of photos on my Facebook Page here. It was the most glorious summer, in fact just like the summer I wrote about in A Cornish Affair. When I was editing A Cornish Affair last summer I had wondered if I had dreamt it all up (wrote the first draft of ACA in the fall of 2006 & winter of 2007 and the summer of 2006 was wonderful so it can happen!).

So now it's September...DS2 is about to go to university (he did incredibly well in his exams). Tomorrow he and I take the train to Leuchars (nearest station to St Andrews). And I will then have two at university! How life changes...

And I have begun to edit A Cornish Stranger (which is due to my editor on the 31st of October and due out in May 2014) and this is a big change too. I haven't quite finished the rough draft. I know the ending, it's all in my head but the book has changed so much that I need to 'live' it before I can make the ending as strong as it can be.

This book has given me nightmares. It began from a saying I found in my research for A Cornish a stranger from the sea, he'll turn your enemy. I began writing the story for NaNoWriMo in 2012 just to exercise my writing muscle and had 10,000 words. My editor like the idea so that was chosen as book three. So we brain stormed the idea and she saw potholes before they happened...and I had a rough outline. This was totally new. In the past I began with a vague idea, a title, and a character and wrote until the end - plot holes and all.

This time has been very different and I'm of course doubting myself and the story (which my dear friend Biddy tells me is part of my process and I do it every time!). So fingers crossed the magic will happen in the editing and A Cornish Stranger will shine...
Happy moment- A Cornish Affair at number 2 & The Cornish House at number 5

Oh, I forgot to mention opera...yes, there's a huge opera thread in the story which has been a wonderful excuse to listen and learn more about opera and its world but terrifying as I have to put together a Cornish opera (not the music) but the score of one so that parts of it can be in the book! i certainly don't make things easy for myself!!!

What's your favourite opera?

PS there are a few days left to enter a Goodreads give-away ... 3 copies of A Cornish Affair to win here.

Thursday, July 04, 2013

Happy Fourth of July...

A friend on Facebook called me wistful and I suppose I am. It's the Fourth of July and I'm sitting in out shoebox size flat in London longing to be on Cape Cod. The desire is so great it makes me tearful. I know it is the pull of nostalgia. There is nothing like hot dogs and hamburgers, watermelon, blueberries and the smell of Coppertone. I'm hankering after screen doors, three legged races, sunburns and mossy bites and youthful longing. It's all there sitting like a lump in my throat.

I haven't celebrated a 4th in the States in too many years. For me the 4th is synonymous with Cape Cod as all my childhood summers were spent there. I long for Four Seas Ice Cream and a sea temperature that is refreshing not icy. Craigville Beach looms large in my thoughts...

It stings. In the past when it was possible I would decorate the house, be it in Cornwall or England or Canada, with the stars and stripes. The day would begin with blueberry pancakes and maple syrup. A cookout would ensue and I'd try the three legged race thing just to give the kids a sense they were too American.

I've just finished an interview with a journalist in Dubai. He was asking about A Cornish Affair. I realise I didn't say that in many ways Jude, the heroine, is me. I gave her my Cape Cod, my university and much of my world. I fell for Cornwall as she does. And now I proclaim that Roskillys has the best ice-cream in the world replacing my beloved Four Seas (although I've never had peppermint stick ice-cream anywhere else). I rarely swim off of rocky beaches in Cornwall (the water is still too cold- I remain loyal to Craiville Beach and its temperate waters). Cornwall is now where my heart lies but on the Fourth of July it really wants to be on Cape Cod.

Happy Fourth of July.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Travelling Again

A Cornish Affair
A Cornish Affair is well on its way in the UK so on Sunday night I fly back to Dubai to give the book a proper launch there. But before that I am off to visit friends who have limited connectivity...You can stand in the tower (serious) on one foot and lean 10 degrees to the east and get a phone signal. You won't be hearing from me much!

I think a quiet weekend with friends will be just what the doctor ordered as I have been going full tilt and confess to going to bed last night at eight. It's been mad but fun. My batteries were and are probably still are low.

And I think my husband might just be missing me...these are popup posters that have been made for my talks....The cats are not impressed!

Pop Up Poster of Liz Fenwick!

On Sunday night I fly over night to Dubai and I'll be on the radio at 1:30 on Monday on Dubai Eye. Then on Tuesday I'm doing a literary lunch.. this will consist of an excellent three course meal with house beverages at Trade Centre Club and me talking about books... Please join if you can.
Lunch is at Dubai World Trade Club call 04 309 7979 or email to book a place
Then on Wednesday it's the official Dubai launch of A Cornish Affair at Kinokuniya (aka Book World) in The Dubai Mall at 19:00. I'm still planning on having pasties, but it may not work and I may resort to a Cornish Cream tea again or maybe just Cornish cheeses...

I woke this morning to the wonderful news that A Cornish Affair is number one in Waterstones in Truro! Finally over on my Facebook Page I've posted photos from an early morning boat trip on the Helford River and a bluebell wood walk....

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Exposure and Sales

It's nearly a month since The Cornish House has been on the shelves or not and I thought I'd update you on what I've learnt so far about sales....assuming you've written the best book you can...

- exposure or position is the most important thing to selling books...

It's obvious really and it was something I knew, but I have now seen it in action. Where The Cornish House is in the shop window - in Cornwall (Falmouth Booksellers, St Ives Booksellers and Waterstones Truro) the book is selling well. In my local Watestones - High Street Kensington where it's displayed on a table - sales have been regular and steady. In the WH Smith Travel I think it's doing well (test case is Paddington Station where my family seems to spend half their lives - and last visit only two copies left). When I was signing at Waterstones Arndale Centre in Manchester I could see how shoppers were attracted to the cover. It is a wonderful cover and for it to do it's work it needs to seen. Spine out on a shelf and a début has no chance of finding a new home in the hands of a reader....a sad fact but true.

- family and friends....

From word of mouth, to visiting stores and requesting copies, to repositioning your book face out...these are just a few of things that can help sales

- local press coverage...

Débuts getting into the big press is rare - it happens but...not often. However I think local or smaller press is as important if not more so...don't dismiss the parish newsletter or the school one let alone the local paper or radio.

- the dreaded Amazon reviews...

It's funny but I never look at book reviews on Amazon unless it's for a non-fiction book. But I am somewhat alone in this...I only began reviewing books on Amazon and Goodreads about a year ago. I had done reviews on my blog but generally I'd thought - who would care about how I felt about a book...but it seems I'm wrong...

Now I have no real idea how the book is selling which is a very frustrating feeling - believe me. I do know that it had to be reprinted...good news but how good depends on the size of the first print run. I know my Amazon ranking...what me checking it obsessively - yup.

Yesterday I took out the egg timer and set it to 20 minutes.. the best block breaker I know (thank you Anna Louise Lucia). I'm not exactly blocked but more crippled by fear. I did manage to edit for 20 minutes and was cross when it went ping but that was all I had time for may be different.

I have been all over the web again...

First a beautiful review by Helen Redfern here.

Talking about the writer's journey with Caroline

Wednesday, June 06, 2012


This has certainly been a time of firsts...and last night was my first library talk. St Ives was the setting and after a day of pelting rain it cleared to a lovely evening. I didn't expect a soul except for the wonderful librarian... as holding an event the evening of the last day of an extra long weekend I was sure that people would be too exhausted by the festivities to leave the comfort of their home...But they did come out. The bonus was that fellow writer and friend Sarah Duncan (who has the best blog for writing tips here) came too...

As it was my first, I didn't have a set script, maybe I should have, but I wanted to find out what my audience was interested in...the development of Cornish architecture, how an American came to call Cornwall home, my expat travels....of course I wouldn't know what it was to be until we reached the questions. So I plunged into a potted history of me, my writing and my love of Cornwall........then came the questions and thank God there were questions and they covered everything.

The evening was great fun for me and I hope for my audience...who in chatting afterwards asked what The Cornish House would be in Cornish (hint not the actual name of the house - Trevenen)...we found the answer but I thought it would be a good question for a give away on my Facebook Page here.

I also wanted to mention a wonderful post by Twitter friend Nicola Ford who wrote about attending the launch in London but more importantly speaks beautifully about the importance of travel or journeys for writers. You can read the post here.

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Cornish Sunshine and Jubilee Celebrations

As I write this the wind is blowing and the rain is lashing at the windows. I am contemplating putting the heat on...But yesterday afternoon for the village's Jubilee celebration the sun came out and it was perfect. Here are a few photos to give you a feel...

Everything in readiness...

Up to the playing fields to see the Kings and Queens in action

The Kings and Queens parade through the viallage

To the feast...

It was a glorious afternoon and one that will be remembered...

What have you done for the Jubilee?

Thursday, May 31, 2012

A Sunny Day in Cornwall

The clouds lifted as we set across Cornwall leaving the Lizard and heading north almost to Devon to join the festivities of the Charles Causley Festival. My signing was for noon and to be honest I really didn't expect anyone to turn up for an event by a début novelist at lunch-time on the Thursday before a bank holiday weekend. But they did!

The Bookshop is located in the heart of the town opposite the most lovely church.The owner greeted me warmly with the news he'd already sold 5 books! And sure enough a steady stream of people came into chat - this is Cornwall after all and many bought the book including a lovely librarian from Australia here on holiday.... Then there was a group of German tourists outside and writing down the title of the I hoped outside and told them it was coming out in Germany in November...

I met a local author and was able to find some more research books...a  brilliant day. Tomorrow I'm in Falmouth Booksellers at 2PM if you fabcy a chat and a piece of fudge...

But while driving across Cornwall I've been elsewhere...

I've also been interviewed by Eleanor Fitzsimmons on about how location plays an essential part in The Cornish House.

The lovely Claire Marriot reviews The Cornish House on her blog here.

I'm chatting to the fab Emma Lee Potter here

An interview with Trashonista here.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Booksellers and Cornwall - Magic Combination

Yesterday afternoon was delightful. I mean on a wet and windy afternoon in April what could be better than prowling book stores...nothing except talking to booksellers about your book. Scary but so brilliant to have people enthusiastic about The Cornish House.

I also have to confess it was just brilliant talking to the team at the St Ives Bookseller (pictured and you can find them on Twitter at @stivesbooks) because they both loved the book. And at this point so few people have read it and, well, I love knowing what people enjoyed. I confess I haven't been brave enough to ask what they didn't like yet...I may never be...

On another note about The Cornish first review is in on Goodreads and YAY!!!! it's a five star review. It's here. Now regular readers of the blog will recognize that review is from my friend - the fabulous writer Julie maybe she is biased but I know she is an English teacher at heart and wouldn't say something she didn't really mean so I am so honoured and pleased that, well, she liked the book....

Writers...did you cry with your first good review (yes, I did)? And readers do you review books and do reviews matter to you?

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Reading and Books Set in Cornwall

First I'm not sure if I've posted this before but it's certainly worthy doing so again. Over on Read_Warbler's blog, she has a wonderful list of books set in Cornwall here.

And this leads me on to reading of which I have been doing a fair bit- both novels and research. I tend not to read novels or more correctly more recent ones when I am writing a first draft for fear that the writer's voice or style will creep into my head and then into my work. However when I'm rewriting/editing it's recently I have read some fabulous books - THE SOMNAMBULIST by Essie Fox, JUBILEE by Shelley Harris, HARNESSING PEACOCKS by Mary Wesley and a book I won't name. I won't name it because I didn't like it. I made me angry. I found the writing sloppy and the head hoping annoying and plot trite. It held me back on other books for a long time. I could only take about ten pages at a time and at one point I threw the book out of the bath and across the room. Yes, it made me that mad...

Now I know you are wondering what book and what writer but I won't are also wondering why I persevered???? Well, this book has sold in the shed loads as have all this writer's books. I felt there must be something to learn from it aside from how not to head hop....

Let me jump away for a second...because in Harnessing Peacocks there is some head hopping but it didn't upset me - the changes were pretty well signalled without me having to go back a reread the paragraph to find out which head I was let's just say that it was head hopping well done, but when rating the book on Goodreads I gave it a 4 even though I loved the story....

So I found myself wondering does head hopping bother most readers? Do they notice? Is it just a thing that pisses off writers like me? I have tried to remember my reading days pre-writing to see if I can remember if it upset me or pulled me out of the story....and I can't.

Let me just say...I love books with multiple points of view, but not in the same scene... or page but definitely not in the same paragraph....but I may be alone in this. Also I found it frustrating investing energy in minor characters whose head I was in for maybe three scenes then they were never heard from again (there has to be another way to get that information to the reader in my opinion)....enough said...

Now, I had to stop reading another book recently but not because it was fact it was the exact opposite....just too good and written in first person and that's what I'm trying to rewrite August Rock in so I'm afraid I will try and copy the excellence and fail....I will tell you this book though - Julie Cohen's THE SUMMER OF LIVING DANGEROUSLY. It will have a wait a bit more until I am sure of my voice in the first person...

On a final note...I was interviewed for radio here in Dubai regarding the upcoming Emirates Airlines Festival of Literature...and they asked my most feared question which I'll blog about tomorrow.

Oh and it's so exciting...on Monday evening I'm going to the Orion author party!!!! Will try and take pictures to share...just not sure what I'm going to wear yet and oh, what shoes to wear.....

Thursday, November 24, 2011

A Book Trailer for The Cornish House

I think I may stick to writing in future as producing one of these although fun in an odd sort of way... was brain burning...

Not sure the resolution is quite right....but my brain is sufficiently fried!

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

My Proof Copies of THE CORNISH HOUSE

I have a lump in my throat as I write proof copies of THE CORNISH HOUSE arrived at lunch time. DH and I were eating in a restaurant that features in the book when the delivery came for my signature. It was all I could do to stop myself from hugging the man.
DH has promised to read the book now that it's in print. Here he is looking for the saucy bits.
All I can say is that it is an amazing feeling to have your book in your hands. I keep touching it trying to prove to myself that it is real and not a dream. I loved seeing the cover but to experience the book in 3D and to smell it...yes, odd I know but any way to imprint the moment in my memory for ever.
And one more picture because it looks so pretty with the flowers from my Cornish garden....

Monday, August 29, 2011

Music, Setting and A Gorgeous Cornish Sunset

I've posted at the Heroine Addicts Blog here about music and books and setting....

Unfortunately I only had my blackberry with me and the camera isn't too good in low light but the sunset the other night was stunning....

Friday, August 19, 2011

Point of View - Cornish Style

This past week we have had visitors which has pushed us out of 'normal' routine and off to do some other things as the weather hasn't been great. One day we booked lunch over at the fabulous Porthminster Cafe in St Ives. After a wonderful lunch, we walked into town and at one point stopped to look at the view. Here is the picture of what i saw...
And this is what 6ft 2in son saw...
This reminded me how important it is to pick the right point of view for each scene...what do you want to the reader to see, feel, hear and who is the best person to do it??? Also of course who has the most at stake...
In this case, if you wanted to reader to know what was over the wall the character had better be tall or be in heals....

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

My Favourite Cornish Walk - Frenchman's Creek

I must begin this post with a confession...there are more beautiful walks in Cornwall but DH proposed to me while we were taking this walk so it will always be my favourite.

Yesterday we began the walk from the beginnings of the walk where you find a little cottage tucked away....

The tide was out but even in the short time we were walking the speed of it's return was astounding and always catches me off guard.

The setting for the book I am writing at the moment is a cottage at the mouth of the creek and as I walked I could almost physically feel the story spinning and weaving in my head. I wanted to pull it out and look at it but it might disappear. I know from the past that little things with begin to emerge as I pound the keys...

I don't write notes on walks like yesterday's - maybe I should, but some times it's just good to feel. However I do think my pictures act as notes...I find myself snapping pictures of the strangest details....close up of ferns growing on trees, the thick rope like vines twisting up the oaks that sweep to the water, the sculptural feel of the fallen trees... It all feeds the creative well.