Archive for August, 2017

Amelia Earhart Research Papers

August 2, 2017

I have recently donated all my Amelia Earhart research papers to the Solent Sky Aviation Museum at Albert Road South, Southampton, Hampshire, UK. SO14 3FR.

This seemed  especially apropriate given that when Amelia flew into Southampton in 1928 in the Friendship, the seaplane landed on Southanpton Water and Amelia and her crew stepped ashore only a short walking distance from the location of this little gem of a museum.

Anyone wishing to access the papers should write to Mr David Whatley, Chief Archivist.


August 2, 2017

August 2nd 2017

Riviera Set is well received.

I am happy to report that the hardback of The Rivera Set which was published by Little Brown of London in November 4th, 2016, was well received and reviewed in most major papers. It went into several reprints before the paperback was issued in July 2017 and  is already – within 3 weeks  – described by Amazon as ‘ a bestseller’.   The American edition is due out on September 5th and several advance reviews in USA trade papers such as KIRKUS  and Publishers Weekly are out and are favourable.   Please look under The Riviera Set for publication details in USA.

 UK issue of CAST NO SHADOW.

This book was was researched and written between 1989 and 1992. Commissioned by Pantheon (New York) for a huge advance it sold well in the USA, but never went into paperback probably because the book was ‘orphanned’ in the USA (the term used when th commissioning editor leaves a publishing company and someone else takes over the portfolio – rarely is there much interest in inherited projects.  I am afraid I had little interest in the matter at the time as my husband was dying of leukemia and the fate of a book seemed very minor in the scheme of things.  The book was offered to my UK publishers – Hutchinson in those days – but when it was scanned by the company lawyers there was consternation because I had broken any number of secrecy laws.

I had included much information that I had found in the National Archives in Washington, open there in the Political Section,  but still classified in the UK in order to protect the identity of former MI6 agents who were retired and alive. 

          Because of my domestic situation  a rewrite never happened, and in the end  this book was never was published in the UK. For many years copied traded hands at inflated prices as a sort of ‘cult’ book vy espionage collectors.

     Now that everyone concerned in the events I have written about in Cast No Shadow is dead, my present UK publishers, Little Brown, decided to issue it as a Kindle book.  As of August 1st it is available on  for download, and I am already receiving reader’s letters about it.

       This means that all my books are in print – which is very satisfying.

New Works.

I have noticed that many of my writer friends who write novels can turn out a book – or even two books – a year. My biographies have historically taken me about 4 years to produce – 2 years for research, a year or so to write, and a year for photo research, obtaining permissions and copyright, plus any number of copy edits for accuracy and the various publishing processes.   As I am now 76, and with indifferent health, I have decided not to take on another biography, and instead I have turned to historically based fiction – faction, if you like as I will stick closely to fact and research,  but without requiring the very meticulous research required for a biography.

As a result of this decision I am present working on a Tudor based novel – with a working title of ‘Under the Crown‘   –  and if that works out, I will get to work on a book I have researched for years, set in Barbados in the 18th century, and will probably be called ‘St Nicholas Abbey‘.