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"I don’t change the facts to enhance the drama. I think of it the other way round, the drama has got to fit the facts,
and it’s your job as a writer to find the shape in real life."
Hilary Mantel

Dec 28, 2017

Closing out 2017

Autumn of this year returned me to England. I covered a fair amount of ground, from Windsor to a Somerset village to Bath to London. Overall, this visit was more personal in nature--meaning there was a minimum of research connected to future novels.

The garden seat in Somerset

The village church
At Evensong in Bath Abbey

My only professional activities were book promotions related to A Pledge of Better Times at Hampton Court Palace, an event at Hatchard's in Piccadilly, and a meet-up with our many friends at the London Historians' monthly pub gathering,

Posing with the novel's inspiration, protagonist, & cover girl 
With London Historians--I'm a Founder Member!
With historian Charles Spencer--a Beauclerk descendant

We had an unusually warm autumn in New England, a protracted season for roses and for foliage. It was a quiet American Thanksgiving--I'm not very good at it, having spent so many of them in England!

The Christmas festivities began early in December with the cutting of our tree on a mountaintop, and the annual performance of Handel's Messiah. Lots of parties--but of course my favourite is the annual Caroling Party we host for friends and neighbours, with local musicians accompanying us. It snowed on the night, so walking the white streets, singing joyfully, with the flakes falling, was quite magical!

Musicians at our Caroling Party

The New Year will bring a great deal of travel. But before I begin jetting around, I must finish a manuscript, And then start the next novel!