Peace Lily and Speedwell research – #Transport #

I\’m now getting engrossed in research for my new, very different book, but thought I\’d post some of the pictures from the research for Speedwell, before moving on. These beauties were all photographed at Beaulieu Motor Museum – highly recommended for a visit. You get a ticket for two days, because there is so much to see.
For those of you who have read Speedwell, you will know that the inner workings of cars in the twenties are deeply involved in the plot twist that makes all the difference to Kate Phipps. She has a life-changing idea about cars, which is born of trying to help Douglas win some races on the Brooklands Racing Circuit.
I thought I\’d share some of the gems I discovered while researching all this mechanical history.

Early motorcars looked more like horse-drawn carriages, similar, but even older than the one Kate\’s customer drove in Chapter One of Speedwell.

This is the type of car that Jem learned to drive on in Peace Lily. A Sunbeam Tourer, just like the one in Cassandra\’s old stables at Cheadle Manor.

Here\’s another Sunbeam but a very different one! Obviously a racing car, it gives a good idea of how quickly cars became streamlined, once their drivers had tasted the thrill of speed.

Two wheels can sometimes be more convenient than four. This is the Triumph motorbike that Kate salvaged in Peace Lily, until the Army caught her at it! But if they hadn\’t, The Katherine Wheel Garage might never have gone into business.


Putting Speedwell ( ) to bed in #ThePlottingShed

Just off up the Plotting Shed to clear away the debris of writing Speedwell All the random bits of paper will go into a file that I shall probably never read, but still, you never know when those little bits of research might come in handy. Could there be a fourth book in The Katherine Wheel Series?
The big advantage of a shed is its wooden walls. I can pin anything on them and they are currently covered in news bulletins of the 1920s, the weather at the time, leaflets about Brooklands Racing Circuit, postcards of Malcolm Campbell in one of his big racing cars and, most essentially, a timeline of the story. It will be very satisfying to wrap it up and start a fresh new project.
I have already written a third of The Rose Trail. It\’s a ghost story with the English Civil War as a backdrop to a modern narrative. It\’s a complicated tale with five different voices and three time zones. Can\’t wait!

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The Katherine Wheel\'s photo.

#Tenby Book Fair a resounding success by Christoph Fischer

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Thanks to Christoph Fischer for this great pictorial memoir of a fantastic day at Tenby on Saturday. We hope next year Christoph will join our group of authors who made it such a success.

Poster-online-21-211x300This weekend I’ve attended the Book Fair at the Tenby Arts Festival. Having seen the busy London Book Fair last year and on the other end of the spectrum some deserted halls with only two tables and four attendees elsewhere, I was pleasantly surprised to find a good vibe and a great buzz in a busy hall with lots of mingling and literary delights.
I got to meet some lovely authors, which I will introduce to you over the next few weeks in a series of blog interviews, named WELSH WEDNESDAYS.
For me it was particularly great because I finally got to meet the talented author Judith Barrow in person, who was one of the organisers of this fair. Watch out for my series WELSH WEDNESDAY – and if you are an author in Wales, get in touch.

#Tenby Book Fair Saturday 19th September hosted by Tenby Arts Festival #FREE!

Off to the Tenby Book Fair tomorrow. Always good fun and such a lovely bunch of authors. Here\’s the line up:

Well worth a visit as part of the Tenby Arts Festival. Looks like a sunny weekend – how about spending it in lovely Tenby. Tenby is in Pembrokeshire, south Wales and boasts not one but two town beaches, a picturesque harbour, beautiful Georgian architecture, an offshore island where monks who make chocolate live, lots of cafes, restaurants, pubs and shops.

Make a weekend of it – starting with the BOOK FAIR! SPEEDWELL

The third book in the Katherine Wheel Series has already garnered 7 x 5* reviews on
Please help to spread the word by tweeting the link in the title.

\”Living in the fast lane tests everyone\’s limits\”

Here\’s some of the comments from those reviews:
\”Wow!! To put it in the vernacular of the era of Speedwell, what a rip-roaring book!\”
\”This is a book that leaves you weeping and cheering at the same time. \”
\”Life is full of surprises – some of them shocking – and in Speedwell, there are plenty of times when this feels true.\”
\”There is such a richness of plot here to keep us glued to the characters\’ triumphs and defeats, loves, losses and surprises too.\”
\”I simply loved this series and can\’t wait for the next one to be published. It has been a roller coaster of emotion reading books one to three and I have fallen for the characters and their stories. Kate, Jem, Douglas and Cassandra stole my heart.\”
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