Mary's musings

Mary Hoffman, author of over 90 children's books, including the Stravaganza series and Amazing Grace, has begun a web journal which will be updated roughly once a week. You can read more on

Friday, March 23, 2007

History and a bit of geography

The SAS conference in Coventry was stimulating and helpful as ever.It was good to know that other writers get fanmail in which the e-mailers ask what's in the FAQs too! And it was a real eye-opener to hear how thoroughly some people plan a novel before they start writing. Back on the Sunday to Mother's Day cards and presents and supper cooked for me - bliss.

Monday was all preparation for the "presentazione" on Tuesday based on Dacia Maraini's new book.

Then I was off to London for a publicity and marketing meeting on Princess Grace, whose stunning artwork was just in. On Thursday I was at Broadcasting House recording an interview for Open Book (Radio 4) in which I had a conversation with Caroline Lawrence (Roman Mysteries) about writing historical fiction. We were just getting into our stride when it was all over!

Caroline and I have some points in common - we both went to Newnham College Cambridge and then University College London for postgrad work. And we both studied Classics, though she took it too a higher level than I did.

I've booked a weekend in Antwerp to visit the printing museum. It'll be my first visit to Belgium and I'm taking Jess. We're travelling by Eurostar and staying in a hotel with an acquarium next door.

This week I read Julie Bertagna's Exodus and Zenith (reviewing the latter) and Caroline Lawrence's The Slave Girl from Jerusalem (a Roman Mystery). Also Lene Kaaberbohl's Silverhorse. That's another "first of a trilogy", by a Danish writer I met in Iceland. I hope to get back to adult books next week!

I listened to Messaien's Turangalila-Symphonie at full volume in my new car and haven't been able to get it out of my head since. (This happens every time)