My latest Book, LAST TO KNOW is now available in stores as Hardback, e-book and Audio CD.


My last book, PLEASE DON'T TELL is now available in Mass Market Paperback & in all e-books formats.

Order the book here.


My last book, A PLACE IN THE COUNTRY is now available in Trade Paperback & in all e-books formats.

place in country cover

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FROM BARCELONA WITH LOVE in stores in Trade-paperback and e-book.

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"It All Began in Monte Carlo" is now in stores in Trade-paperback and e-book.

Read the great reviews here.
Order the book here.

"There's Something About St. Tropez"still available in Stores on ebooks for Kindle, Nook & other ebook devices.




The first question anyone asks a writer is How do you do it? My answer is, I don't know. It's certainly not any magic formula, it's simply something there, inside my head. Maybe its due to that childhood shyness that cut me off from people and forced me into a world of my own imagination, I was an observer rather than a participant, an eavesdropper on conversations, a gleaner of information. A writer must be all these things.

(see also A Writing Experience and Music)

Inspiration is a mystery. I've never known how to define it. For me, it's never based on an incident I read about in a local newspaper or a magazine article. If I had to pinpoint it, I would say inspiration is an interactive chain of thought which always for me begins with the main character. As I write her, I get to know her, to understand how she thinks, reacts, who she is.

Once I have the idea for that character, that person, then the other characters emerge and the story begins to form around her. After that, my imagination takes over.


All my characters are fictitious, though some are based on real people. For instance, Annie in The Rich Shall Inherit was inspired by my own mother's Yorkshire family. And my wonderful Maudie, (my absolutely favorite character and the narrator in Legacy of Secrets) is the quintessential Irishwoman, like many I got to know when I lived in Ireland, old ladies full of wild stories and off-beat charm. And friends tell me they recognize Anabelle in the character, Ellie (the owner of a small cafe in Santa Monica) in Sooner or Later).

Leonie, Maudie and Ellie are a part of my family, along with Al and Marla in All or Nothing (published Dec '99 by Delacorte), and Zelda and Ed in In A Heartbeat (published in Dec 2000 by Delacorte) and of course, my lovely Lara and Dan in The Last Time I Saw Paris (published summer 2001 on St.Martin's Press).

They lived in my head when I was writing them. I almost became them. I ate with them, drank with them, spoke for them, dreamed about them, and slept with them. (And so, unfortunately, did Richard. He says to tell you never to marry a writer, she's usually only half there.)


In my novels, location always plays an important part. (see Travel) I write about places I know, whether it's Hong Kong and China in Fortune Is A Woman, Provence in The Secret of the Villa Mimosa, or L.A. in All or Nothing. Almost any place my characters go is real, the cafes and restaurants, the streets, the local shops. I have been there and what I do is try to take you there with them. (For a small sample of this kind of writing, see English Sunday Lunch, and A Writing Experience)


For me, too, writing is a love/hate occupation. I love it when I start a new book, I can't sleep for the long months I'm writing it and I love it when it's finished and out of my head, at last.

Writing is also a never-ending business. I write all the time: on my mac, on the little notepads I keep in my purse and scattered around the house, in the middle of the night when an idea comes to me. And why oh why do they so frequently occur in the middle of the night? It's such a pain because then I have to get out of bed and write everything down immediately. If I don't, I know I'll have forgotten it by morning. The fact is there is no rest for a writer. And nor, Richard grumbles when the light goes on yet again at two in the morning, is there for a writer's husband.

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