September 08, 2014
The parcel arrived from Simon & Schuster this morning; a freshly bound hardback copy of this year’s novel, TOGETHER FOR CHRISTMAS. I turn the clean, crisp pages into 1914 and find myself once again among the leafy plane trees of London’s Hyde Park. I join my East End orphans Flora Shine, Will Boniface and Hilda Jones, just as the country goes to war. The trio make a pact to always be there for each other, come what may. But none of these young people can guess at what lies ahead for them. Or how cruel this war will be. And how severely their vow will be tested. As I read on, I remember the journey I took in their company. It was by no...
August 14, 2014
My Great War Centenary book ‘Together For Christmas’ is published in ebook this month. So August is a very exciting month for me, as publication coincides with the Centenary celebrations. 'Together for Christmas' opens as Britain declares war on Germany. The whole country seems to be in uproar as Flo, Hilda and Will, orphans who have just left St Boniface's Orphanage in the East End for their first jobs, sit in the sunshine of Hyde Park on a rare day off, discussing the impending war and the changes it will bring to their lives.
Little do they know what is ahead of them - nine million combatants are to be killed during the period July...
June 27, 2014
Never read a book set in the wartime era? Don't fancy pages of drab, unvaried uniforms and regulation service wear? Plots that are almost as dour? Well, let me try to change your mind! I write about women who were at their most resourceful during the two World Wars. While the men went to battle, the women used their ingenuity in the most cunning and sexy of ways. Eyebrow pencil for drawing seams down bare legs, barrage balloon material was silky and could be made into underwear and dresses. Coupons were only necessary if you bought new garments. Many in the East End of London (my writing turf) had cut their teeth on the market stalls decades before...
June 09, 2014
As many of you know, I write about East Enders, the cockney communities who came before
the EastEnders of Albert Square of Walford. I set my East End families on the real Isle of Dogs, Whitechapel, Limehouse, Poplar and surrounding hamlets, pre 1960. These family dramas are gritty stories and always include a heroine who will not be brow-beaten by the crime bosses and heart-rending poverty of the time. My wartime stories also reveal a whole raft of sub-plots simmering below the surface of the bombed and broken East End. If you’ve read any of my books, tell me the one you liked best. In one hundred words or less, explain the reason for your...