Sneaky preview of the cover

Saturday, 18 August 2018


Thank you all again for your wonderful support, and for your patience too. The final proof is now being completed then the novel goes off to be printed. I thought you might like to see a sneaky preview of the cover. I think Mark Ecobs has produced a stunning design, with some really interesting details. The print in the background is firstly in old Mandarin to represent the heroine's early life in…

Judy McInerney commented on this blog post.

Back to quill and parchment...

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Letters of note


The Notebook section of The Times 08/07 tells me that a start-up company is now writing companies' letters to customers by hand. On the same day I received a thank you letter written by an elderly friend in delicate copperplate script using a fountain pen. A pleasure to read and a treasure to keep.

This prompted me to buy the first in the series of Letters of Note by Shaun Usher right here…

Judy McInerney commented on this blog post.

Crossing the bridge noodles

Sunday, 19 June 2016

Old bridge on the lake lijiang yunnan province china1000x600 0

James Parry is a really good family friend and a phenomenal chef, who has cooked everywhere from top end restaurants in London and Hong Kong to working with local chefs in remotest rural China. When he heard I was looking for some interesting regional Chinese dishes for some of the pledges he emailed me this one and told me the story behind the name. I love it!

‘I think Yunnan is a province often…

We have lift off!

Sunday, 1 May 2016


I am so thrilled that The Pumilio Child is going to be published. Sincere thanks to everyone who has pledged. To family and friends thank you all once more for your overwhelming support. For those kind souls who don't know me and for whom I don't have an email address, I cannot send a personal note of thanks but I want you to know that I am really touched by your interest and support.

Now the hard…

Rigorous research

Monday, 4 April 2016

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First of all continued thanks to all the people who have pledged for The Pumilio Child. I really do appreciate your support.

I am really enjoying my research trip to Mantua. I had the most wonderful guide, an eminent art historian called Lorenzo Bonoldi who tailored a wonderful day specifically around the nine year period when Mantegna was painting the frescos in the Camera degli Sposi. He persuaded…

Imperial Qing dynasty recipes saved from the Red Guards

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Li family

I have been researching recipes to be able to offer some unusual ideas for the menu pledges, and although it’s been making me permanently ravenous, I have been really enjoying reading the Revolutionary Chinese Cookbook, by Fuschia Dunlop which introduces some really bold spicy dishes from Hunan, the home province of Chairman Mao.  Any recipe called numbing-and-hot chicken certainly gets my vote.

Use them, or lose them

Thursday, 18 February 2016

Liverpool library

First of all many thanks to the Unbounders who have pledged for the Pumilio Child. I don’t have your details so I can’t send you a personal thank you email, but I am incredibly grateful to you all for taking a punt on an unknown writer.

Secondly one thing that really concerns me is that over a hundred public libraries closed last year.

I have been spending a lot of time recently in my local…

Really interesting research

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Silk roads xlarge

I've just started what is going to be really fascinating book called The Silk Roads by Peter Frankopan, which examines what world history might look like if focus had been directed eastwards rather becoming so centred on Europe. The Silk Roads didn't just transport silks and spices, and  were the conduit of not just wealth and commerce but for new ideas about education, science, philosphy, religion…

Up up and away!

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Well, the whole process has started and I am very touched with all the support and good wishes which have been sent. Spent last night trying out a new Chinese recipe so I can make sure it's good enough to be included as one of the recipes in the pledges. Lamb cooked with coriander and pomegranate molasses. Went down very well!

Publication date: September 2018
107% funded
165 backers