It’s been quite a year for me, as I’m sure for all of you.
It’s not every week that you get two books published. In June, as you all know, The Pagoda Tree was published thanks to all you generous supporters. And within a day or so, my Mum and I indie published A Baboon in the Bedroom (now available on Amazon) about my parents amazing journey through Africa in a Land Rover called Stan.
In July, I spent a month on a writing residency in Switzerland working hard on my new novel. I was hoping to finish it by Christmas but despite a mini writer’s retreat last week at Varuna, the Writer’s House in the Blue Mountains, Australia, I didn’t quite get there. Still not sharing what it’s about, but not too long I promise ;)
The Pagoda Tree was also launched in India and I’m happy to report the novel has legs (and wings). In January 2018, I’ve been invited to speak at the Hindu Lit for Life festival in Chennai — where I did much of the research for the book. It will be fun to be back there and talking about my experiences to the classical-dance-mad Chennaite audiences. They are known for having strong opinions so I may face the odd heckle! I faced one at the Nehru Centre in London in November when I did a wonderful Book Discussion with Mick Brown.
If you want to follow along for the ride, I will be posting from south India on my Author Facebook page.
I’ve had a couple of great Indian reviews, too. The flagship paper, The Hindu, wrote, 'An opulently imagined world that... circles around the life of Mayambika, a temple dancer in 18th century Thanjavur, and later Madras.... [and] a rattling good tale.’ While India Today declared, 'Scobie does not whitewash the crimes of colonialism.’ Such endorsements mean the world to me.
As a Christmas thank you giveaway, I am offering my Story Behind the Book: In Search of the Pagoda Tree, which is about how I actually wrote the novel. If you’d like your e-copy, then please reply to this post.
I hope you all have a wonderful Festive Season and a very happy, fulfilling new year. As you can see, a book can create a world, thank you for all being part of this one.
Love Claire xx
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