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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

Jan 8, 2024

ANNOUNCEMENT: A Change of Location, my first contemporary novel!

I'm thrilled to announce that A Change of Location, my sixteenth book--and my very first contemporary novel--arrives in April 2024.

A great deal of personal experience went into this story, although it isn't actually autobiographical. It takes readers to areas in Somerset that are very familiar to me (only slightly fictionalized), and is based on some of my own past activity in film and television.


Hannah Ballard’s most successful relationship: her career. Her superpower is an uncanny ability to discover perfect movie settings while avoiding the limelight herself. She’s involved in pre-production for a film based on a bestselling historical novel when a chance meeting with an aristocratic landowner leads her to Somerset and his estate in picturesque Milver Vale—the ideal backdrop for a period drama.

Martin Latimer, Marquess of Milverston, believes the release of a high-profile motion picture can increase tourism and bolster the local economy. And he hopes to spend more time with its intriguing location manager.

But Hannah’s discovery that Martin is a magnet for the scandal-hungry press forces her into a painful and damaging decision. Powering through heartbreak is hard. Especially when coping with unemployment—and dealing with members of her fractured family. For their protection, she must part from the nobleman asking her to stay with him. Who makes her believe that, at long last, she actually could be falling in love.


Some advance reviews:

Porter has perfectly captured the romance trope of finding unexpected love while traveling to new places. The author also deftly portrays the machinations of a twentysomething career woman who's somewhat closed off to romantic intrigue. Porter skillfully immerses readers in the fictional Milver Vale and vividly evokes British village life, from pubs to fun characters to countryside exploits . . . A charming sojourn to the English countryside for readers who enjoy smart love stories. Kirkus Reviews

Hannah's ability to navigate and analyze unfamiliar surroundings and people becomes a driving force in a novel that explores her international sojourns, matters of the heart, and the people and places that motivate her to step away from her former successful patterns and into different relationships and milieus . . . A revealing novel of new possibilities and life that covers unemployment, romance, heartbreak, other cultures, and new lives . . . The perfect ticket for a warm account of movie-making and personal magic. Midwest Book Review

A triumph! A Change of Location hits its marks perfectly on both sides of the pond. I had so much fun with Porter's quirky, thoroughly lovable characters that I couldn't put the novel down.” Leslie Carroll, author of Royal Affairs.

Perfect for romantics who adore stately homes, all things England . . . and delicious budding romances. . . . Highly recommended! The Literary Redhead

Pre-order links are already live on retail and e-tail sites. They can be found HERE.

Jun 12, 2023

Author on the Move

Recently I returned to England, for numerous reasons--several personal, some professional. The weather, as evidenced by these photographs, was perfect--only five minutes of rain the entire time I was there, which fell on me during a short walk to the village post office. But no more after that!

The flowers were abundant, especially the wisteria in Somerset.

At Barrington Court

At Forde Abbey

Over the border in Dorset: Forde Abbey, so many water features

Montacute House, Somerset-every time I'm there, it's sunny!

Many of the places on my itinerary were chosen because of ancestral connections. I hadn't been to Glastonbury since my teen years, and it was wonderful to visit the Abbey ruins again. The famous Glastonbury Holy Thorn was flowering.

Holy Thorn

Glastonbury Abbey

About a fortnight before my arrival in the family village that serves as my base, the little river running through it burst its banks during heavy rains. By the time I was there, it was gently flowing once more, but homes and businesses suffered greatly 

Our little river, no longer flooding

In the village

I visited a series of ancestral properties--and churches.

My ancestors once owned this manor house.

In a different village church, my relatives' effigies

An ancestress in another church

Moving on to Gloucestershire, I visited many more family manors and churches. And I had the opportunity to stay in this one!

View of the rear facade from the canal

Making myself at home in the former family manor house

After leisurely time in the countryside, I had a rather busy schedule in London. 

View of Mayfair and more from a hotel skybar

I appeared in the documentary being filmed in this location

At the British Library, I renewed my Reader's Card

Visiting my favourite rose garden, in Hyde Park

I'm always glad to return to the Ritz!

This grand staircase at the Ritz appears in my contemporary novel

A highlight of my time in the city was attending the exhibition "Style and Society: Dressing the Georgians" at the Queen's Gallery, Buckingham Palace.

A magnificent court gown

I was framed!

A double portrait by Hogarth, with special significance for me

Beautiful laburnum

My return home plunged me into plenty of activity--two writers' conference (presenting at both), several upcoming media interviews (print and broadcast), having my author photos updated, and my annual Rose Party/Open Garden, when neighbours and friends come to admire my 190+ rose bushes at peak bloom. Oh, and finishing Novel #17, the sequel to my contemporary novel. Plus spending leisure time at the lake house, with my husband and our dog.

On the lakeshore with Dot

May 30, 2023

Celebrating Women's Fiction Day 2023: Multi-item Giveaway


winner of the Women's Ficton Day giveaway!

As a member of the Women Fiction Writers Association, I'm participating in events related to this year's Women's Fiction Day--with a giveaway!

The randomly selected contest winner will receive a trio of autographed women's fiction historical novels: Beautiful Invention: A Novel of Hedy Lamarr, The Limits of Limelight (Hollywood adventures of starlet Phyllis Fraser and her cousin Ginger Rogers), and The Myrtle Wand (a retelling and reimagining of the ballet Giselle set in 17th century France), the Beautiful Invention ceramic coffee mug, a Giselle ballet t-shirt, a wand carved from myrtle wood, and a live myrtle plant grown.

 There are four methods of entry:

 1. Via my contact form, with "Giveaway" or "Women's Fiction" in the message box.  


 2. By subscribing to my newsletter 

 3. Following Author Margaret Porter on Instagram and messaging me "contest" or "contest entry."

 4. Emailing an answer to this question: Have you ever seen the ballet Giselle? Be sure to include your name and email address. You won't be added to the mailing list but will only be contacted if you're the giveaway winner.

Deadline for entry: Saturday, June 10, 2022.

Winner to be announced the following day.

 What Is Women's Fiction Day?

 Women’s Fiction Day celebrates women’s fiction authors, novels, publishers, book sellers, and most importantly, readers who appreciate women’s fiction and the power of a great story. This year for Women’s Fiction Day, members across the country will hold book signings to engage and connect with readers. WFWA is working with its 1,800 members across the country and internationally to hold a day of book events both online and in person on June 8.

More info--and giveaways--available here: Women Fiction Writers Association

 What Is Women's Fiction?

Women's fiction is a writing genre that includes layered stories in which the plot is driven by the main character’s emotional journey. The stories can be contemporary or historical, and may have magical, mystery, thriller, romance, or other elements.

Apr 6, 2023

The Second Annual Conversations with Area Authors

Exactly one year ago, at the conclusion of the first on-stage authors' event, my co-producer and collaborator and close author-television host friend Paul Brogan and I knew this would be an annual celebration of local literary talent. And all these months since then, we and our moderator/interview Laura Knoy, formerly of NPR and now podcast host and novelist, have been planning and meeting and preparing. We invited three different authors writing in different genres--Sarah McCraw Crow, Dan Lawton, and Kathleen Bailey--to take part in the interviews. We also arranged for four other authors to sit in the front row to be recognized as well. And like last time, Gibson's, a fantastic and famous independent bookstore, set up shop in the lobby for the autographing session afterwards.

Although Laura, Paul, and I live near one another, we're also very busy in various ways in the community--as well as writing our books. Sometimes it was easier to meet on Zoom.

Laura, Paul & me at a production meeting via Zoom

Because Paul has a television show, on which I've been a frequent guest--and sometime guest interviewer--last month he invited Laura and me to talk up the event. We also did radio show and newspaper interviews and various online promotions.

Me, Laura & Paul during the television interview.

Two days before the big night, the three of us met at the downtown theatre for a walk through with our production manager and to choose stage furniture. And of course, check with the box office to find out the number of reservations!

Sitting on the stage at the walk-through

It's so cool when your event (book cover) is featured on a theatre marquee!

The marquee--my book cover is far right

And then our big night arrived!

Almost showtime!

Because Paul and I have both had books released since the 2022 event--his memoir and my latest, The Myrtle Wand--Laura chatted briefly with us before we brought on our other three participants.

Paul and Me during our interview

The full line-up on the stage. Those chairs were so attractive and comfortable--the stagehands brought them down from the upstairs cocktail lounge.

Paul, Me, Sarah, Kathleen, Dan, Laura

Discussion about our books and writing process and challenges was interspersed with two Question & Answer sessions. 

Using my hands to make a point--a habit!

It was great to talk with other writers and readers in the lobby booksigning. And to sign books!

Chatting with another writer of historical fiction.

Five authors on the stage and four in the front row, some multi-published, equals a lot of books for sale!

The crowded table

Even before the Second Annual event, the production trio was already discussing the Third Annual! After recovering from a hectic publicity campaign and all the aspects of organisation and sponsor solicitation, we'll re-convene and start again!