*This was published by Open Book as part of my writer-in-residency appointment. I’m writing to you from the plane to London. I’m headed to my favourite city for ten days, following by a few days in Edinburgh visiting friends. Interspersed are trains to Cardiff and Cambridge. It’s a research trip for my third novel, set in London. The project continues the exploration of global money-laundering, political corruption and the illegal but highly profitable actions of the […]
* This was published by Open Book as part of my writer-in-residency appointment. Hi, I’m Jane, and I’m the protagonist of Helen’s novel, Pull Focus. I’m taking over the blog today to answer questions readers may about me, or the book, or anything else. What’s an Agony Aunt? A woman who replies to reader’s letters, usually in a newspaper or magazine column, and gives advice. What qualifies you to give advice? Probably not too much, but […]
*This was published by Open Book as part of my writer-in-residence appointment. In March 2021, my house was completely destroyed by fire. Thankfully, I wasn’t home at the time. Although the fire incinerated only one floor, the smoke and soot travelled everywhere, including via the firemen’s heavy boots as they ran up the stairs with their axe chopping holes in the walls to ensure no sparks flew unseen. Smoke and soot are carcinogenic, so the […]
*This was published in Open Book as part of my writer-in-residence appointment. You’ve finished a book. Congrats! Now, you’ve got a book deal, decided to self-publish or signed with a hybrid publisher (the ‘pay to play’ option, which provides some editorial and marketing support, but at a fee). The hard work of marketing is about to begin, and you’ll need to become an author-entrepreneur, regardless of your publisher, or whether you’ve engaged some freelance PR help yourself. It’s […]
Ultimately, I believe home is found in comfort and familiarity. Today, I celebrate all my ancestors who came before, the generations that will come after, and most importantly, the loved ones who walk beside me in this life.
The Dublin book launch of Pull Focus, postponed last fall due to Ireland’s strict Covid lockdowns, has been rescheduled for July 12th. I’m entirely delighted. As readers of this newsletter know, I hold dual Canadian and Irish citizenship, and have spent a lot of time in Ireland over the years, visiting friends and family (and my father’s grave, who’s buried in his hometown of Mallow alongside my grandparents). I also partially wrote Pull Focus during two residencies at the Tyrone Guthrie at Annaghmakerrig, […]
Please join us to celebrate the Irish launch of Pull Focus, 12 July 2022, 6-7:30pm, Hodges Figgis, 56-58 Dawson Street, Dublin 2.
Well, that was fun. Meet ‘The Jane’ – a gin, cucumber juice, fennel-infused SoCal kind of cocktail, created by Jonathan the mixologist at Piccolo Santa Monica where I held my long Covid re-scheduled City of Angels (aka, Los Angeles) book launch. A drink as feisty and original as her protagonist namesake. It was wonderful to be back in LA, a city where I previously worked. Years ago, during a two-year run on a crazy entertainment project, I’d fly […]
Recently, we watched the first episode of Murder in Provence, a cozy mystery series produced by ITV, airing on BritBox. A Cozy Mystery Worth Watching Set in Aix-en-Provence, France, the scenery will leave you drooling, nose pressed against the television, as cars wind through breathtaking lavender fields, or pull up in front of 16th-century chateaus. Then there’s the restaurant scenes where middle-aged characters (yay!) drink rosé and eat charcuterie during long lunchtime meetings, while the sun beams beatifically on the […]
The Exumas are a chain of 365 cays over 130 miles in The Bahamas, starting thirty miles southeast of New Providence. Great Exuma, at 60 kilometres long, is the largest and most populated island (about 7,000). Much of the beaches and sea in the area are preserved by the government under the Exuma National Land and Sea Park, protecting underwater limestone and coral reefs, drop-offs, blue holes, caves, and marine life. I snapped this picture […]