Monday, 27 May 2013

Having It All ...

How are you all? Just back from London here, exchanging Spring rain and bluebells for searing heat and dust. It was a great trip - but more of that later. Today I'm welcoming fellow writer and expat Liz Fenwick to WKDN, where she shares her tips for the great juggling act all writers with families face. Over to Liz ...

Being a writer, an expat, a mother, a wife and a friend doesn't leave a lot time spare in my average week. In fact because my children all go to school in the UK and I live with my husband in Dubai it feels at times like I live on a plane or more truthfully in between places, never quite where I want to be except when I am finally in Cornwall where we have out permanent home. This morning here in Cornwall it is unseasonably cold but the sun is shining and the sky is blue, but not the blue of Dubai or even London. On this bright crisp morning it is a watercolour wash of cerulean blue which will intensify as the day progresses into a deep cerulean as the sun rises higher in the sky. 

And that's the thing... it's hard to find the time to notice the sky's different shades, my children's accomplishments and making their favourite foods, write the next book, listening to a friend's triumphs. I'm not entirely sure how I do it or sometimes even if I do it at all. Some days it feels like I am fire fighting and not doing anything well. What I call my bounce disappears and I need something or someone to help me back on track. This week on Thursday my second book A Cornish Affair was out. I woke in the morning with zero bounce. I had spent the day before in Manchester with my oldest child and doing research for book 3. I arrived back in London at 11 PM. It had been a wonderful day but left me very tired on launch day. But the huge support for me and my book on Facebook and Twitter lifted my step and allowed me to bounce through the day.

So what are my tips...I don't have many to be honest. I try prioritise but I'm hopeless. I tend to fall back on what I did in university when the tasks in front of me seem insurmountable...begin with the easiest and then once I've started I keep going and I begin to feel good because things are happening...My family always comes first, but it can be touch and go when deadlines strike!

For my writing...when all else fails I use an egg timer set to twenty minutes and that seems to unlock the words. Twenty minutes is easy and so it proves to be.


Running out on your wedding day never goes down well. When the pressure of her forthcoming marriage becomes too much, Jude bolts from the church, leaving a good man at the altar, her mother in a fury, and the guests with enough gossip to last a year.

Guilty and ashamed, Jude flees to Pengarrock, a crumbling cliff-top mansion in Cornwall, where she takes a job cataloguing the Trevillion family's extensive library. The house is a welcome escape for Jude, full of history and secrets, but when its new owner arrives, it's clear that Pengarrock is not beloved by everyone.

As Jude falls under the spell of the house, she learns of a family riddle stemming from a terrible tragedy centuries before, hinting at a lost treasure. And when Pengarrock is put up for sale, it seems that time is running out for the house and for Jude.

You can find 'A Cornish Affair' here and at all good bookstores.

If you haven't discovered Liz's great blog, I highly recommend it. For sheer professionalism, and how to handle the business side of being a writer, Liz's advice on social media and marketing your work can't be beaten. I first 'met' Liz several years ago through the Romantic Novelists' Association blog, and assumed she was a published author. It has been great following her path to publication, and lovely to catch up with her at Emirates Lit Fest earlier in the year. Thank you, Liz - and wishing you every success with 'A Cornish Affair'.


  1. Morning Kate. Thanks for having me on your blog...still in Cornwall and the sun has disappeared and the wind is whipping round...only missing rain to make it a real May Bank Holiday!


  2. I don't know how Liz fits everything in to her day, but having read both of her books I know that she writes beautifully. Thanks for another great post.

  3. HI Debs! You are very kind!!!


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