Saturday, June 29, 2013

Independent Booksellers' Week and Mazey Day

Today was the start of Independent Booksellers' Week and to support one on my favourite booksellers, The Edge of the World Bookshop in Penzance I offered to man the reality stand outside the shop and chat to people.
Liz Fenwick and friend in front of Edge of the World Books
It was also Mazey Day in Penzance which is part of Golowan. Golowan is the fest of mid-summer, the feast of St John, which was traditionally celebrated with bonfires and tar barrels all around Cornwall but died out in the late 1800s. You can read more about it here.
The Mazey Midday Parade
I had such a good time talking about books and watching parades that I'm already looking forward to next year! The rest of my photos are on my Facebook page here.

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

When Fanny Blake Ran Away...

Today I'm launching A Cornish Affair in Dubai and it seemed appropriate to save one last running away story to mark the Dubai launch. 

Here's Fanny's story...

I’ve always been told running away from your problems is the wrong thing to do. But for me, it worked.

Being made redundant from a much-loved job in publishing one Christmas was tough. The cheque was little consolation for being made to feel so humiliated and useless. I was driving everyone, including myself, mad as I moped around the house, with next to no motivation to find another job, convinced I would never work again.

A friend suggested I escaped by going away. But my kids were at school and my husband was working. There was no possibility of their taking the time off. How miserable I would be lying on a beach on my own, going over what had gone wrong. She insisted it didn’t have to be like that.  A friend of hers had just come back from trekking in Bhutan. Why didn’t I do something similar? By the end of that afternoon, I was booked on a flight to Thailand.

My husband manfully agreed to take on the brunt of looking after our three boys and off I ran to the Far East for three weeks to forget what had happened. It was the best thing I could have done.

I met with a band of travelling companions in Bangkok, and together we caught an overnight train north before travelling down the Mekong river to Laos. Being with strangers who knew nothing about me, and had no expectations, was liberating.

While I missed my family, I forgot the repercussions of the redundancy. Instead, I visited temples and palaces, wandered round markets, ate local delicacies, stayed in modest guesthouses, bicycled in the countryside and explored the towns of Luang Phabang, Vientianne and Savannakhet before driving on into Vietnam.

However, my subconscious must have been working away. Eventually a lightbulb moment came when I was least expecting it, sitting alone in front of the cascading Kuang Si Falls. I realised I would never work for one employer again. I would try to put together some kind of portfolio career, to avoid the same thing repeating itself, and to allow me to spend more time with my family.

I hadn’t expected it, but running away from what had gone wrong freed me from the constraints that had prevented me thinking clearly about my future. I returned home a changed person, with different priorities. I did work for another publisher, but I also began to write journalism, then non-fiction, and finally I wrote the first of my three novels. I’ve got running away to thank for that.

Rose waits for her family to arrive at their villa in Tuscany when a casual glance at her husband’s phone tips her world upside down. The text reads simply: ‘Miss you. Love you. Come back soon’. 
Fanny's latest book will be out on the 4th of July and you can pre-order it  here.

As the family gathers for the summer break, Rose’s faith in Daniel is shaken. How well does she really know him? She fears that, after decades of marriage and children, the man who lies beside her at night is lying in other ways too. Then events take a tragic turn.
Wise, wry and richly entertaining, The Secrets Women Keep celebrates the passionate, emotional lives women lead as wives, mothers and grandmothers. 

You can find out more about Fanny and her books here.