My novel Birmingham Blitz has made a dramatic appearance in this year’s Chelsea Flower Show as part of the Gold medal winning display ENLIGHTENMENT created by Birmingham City Council.
Birmingham’s entry, timed to celebrate the opening of the new library in September – to be the biggest lending library in Europe - took the theme of literature and reading. As well as the library itself, the four-sided arrangement featured three Birmingham authors; I found myself in the awesome company of J.R.R Tolkein and poet Benjamin Zephaniah.
Birmingham Blitz was portrayed in countless flowers and included a spitfire, an Anderson shelter with vegetables growing on it and chickens! The whole display was surrounded by books. It was beautiful and spectacular and easily one of the most creative pieces in the show.
The display will be moving on soon to the NEC and possibly also to Birmingham city centre.
I feel incredibly honoured to have been included and all thanks to Birmingham City Council for all their hard work and imagination in making such a wonderful display
It was a day of a lifetime!
Click on the image to enlarge.
Birmingham, almost a decade after the end of the Great War, and the women of Lilac Street have had more than their fair share of troubles…
Rose Southgate is trapped in a loveless marriage. Shy and isolated, she makes the best of life, until she meets a man who changes everything. Jen Green is struggling to make ends meet, with a sick husband and five children to support. Aggie, her eldest daughter, is twelve years old and longs for excitement. But prying into the adult world shows her more than she had bargained for. And Phyllis Taylor is a widow who has managed to put a dark and traumatic past behind her. But the return of her daughter Dolly threatens all that…
Available on Amazon
It has been an interesting year, seeing the changes in how many of you are reading now on electronic readers such as Kindle. This seems to be a big and ever increasing transformation in the way we read.
Thanks to all you e-readers, My Daughter, My Mother reached #1 in the entire Kindle store last summer – for about 24 hours anyway! Chocolate Girls has also continued to be particularly popular in this format.
And talking of Kindle…
Janey Armitage’s father is missing on a climbing expedition on Kanchenjunga in the Himalayas. Her mother Liz decides she must visit the place where he disappeared. Janey, 11 and an only child, refuses to believe he is dead. Janey is dismayed to learn that while her mother is away, she is to go to her grandparents, her eccentric grandfather George Baxter, an antique dealer with a mournful dog, rows of Victorian rat-traps outside his shop, and a new wife Brenda, who has pernickety ways and bat-wing glasses .
George has a plan of his own. Soon Janey is travelling in a caravan to Italy where her grandfather has unfinished business from his wartime years. Janey gets to know her grandfather, who is kind to the grieving girl. He is also prone to introducing all sorts of extras to the journey from stone dogs to naked statues, and taking her off on adventures with a few too many glasses of vino inside him.
On the way they also meet Fizz, a troubled 13 year old boy from Manchester, who does not go to school and is travelling with his mother, stepfather, baby sister and bad-tempered parrot aboard a battered camper van...
As they reach the south of Italy George Baxter begins to share the secrets that have haunted him since the Second World War. But then George sets out with Janey to climb Vesuvius - an adventure which goes dangerously, terrifyingly wrong...
This is a warm-hearted story of adventure, friendship and how family can be created in the most unexpected ways.
To be enjoyed by anyone from age 9 to 90... or so!
Available on Amazon
This year sees new covers for several more of my backlist books. This time it’s the turn of Poppy Day, Orphan of Angel Street and A Hopscotch Summer (see below). They are also being re-released in B format – the nice big paperback format which gives you something more satisfying to hold in your hand (unless you’re reading it on a Kindle of course…!)
The new spring edition of the Saga newsletter, 'Tales from the Heart' is now available, full of interesting articles and bits and pieces by myself and Macmillan's other saga writers you love to read! If you do not already receive a your free copy and would like to be added to the mailing list, please contact: Pan Macmillan, Saga Newsletter, 20 New Wharf Road, London N1 9RR.