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I wrote my first story aged eight and have never really stopped since. A busy career, mostly in the fashion industry, filled my days. I have written articles, regular features and a blog for many years but every attempt to write a novel never made it beyond the first couple of chapters.
Finally an opportunity to follow my dream came when I lost my job and simultaneously got a buyer for our house in the UK. We planned to downsize and remove to Spain. Almost as light relief from the organisation and packing I started to write the first chapters. Unlike on previous occasions the words flew off the keyboard and the first book of The Friendship Diaries, Palmerstone, was born. I continued writing furiously once settled in Spain.
I loved writing the Friendship Diaries and I had high hopes that readers would love the characters as much as I had loved writing them. Caitlin, Rebecca, Suzanne and Penny have been my imaginary friends for a long time. I always had the intention of continuing the stories with the younger characters to the fore. The warm and supportive feedback that I have received from many of you has inspired me to crack on with the next series of stories - Beyond Friendship.
My sincere thanks go to all of you who have followed my stories. Particularly thanks to those of you who have taken the time and effort to give your very valuable feedback. Writing can be a lonely business, a word of praise or a constructive criticism are always welcome.
I completed the planned four books of Beyond Friendship and published in October last year. Then I took to reading for a change of emphasis. Amongst the books that I picked up was Jane Austen's fabulous P&P, an all time beloved of mine along with many other JA fans. So I curled up and re-read my all time favourite novel savouring the acute observation and sly wit and, of course, the classic romance between Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy. Once I had completed reading the novel I was at a loose end. I got to wondering what the Bennet family would be like if they were around today...
The result of my musing formed my next project. A Universal Truth, written in two parts (Emerald and The Master of Pemblane), transposes the Bennett's into the 21st Century. I changed the names of the characters to suit the modern setting and had a little fun with the plot. The story is anchored in the past by a parallel love story that haunts the modern characters.
A Universal Truth is not an attempt to emulate JA's wonderful work, rather to recognise its ongoing extraordinary popularity 200 years after it was penned. I hope not to seriously offend any stalwart Austenites, if I have I apologise wholeheartedly. (And I had absolutely no idea how many JA tributes and sequels have been written until I embarked on the second half of this project. Naive or what?!).
What next? It is difficult to decide because I have several half formed ideas. My decision has been made for me by requests from my lovely readers for another in the Friendship and Beyond stable - therefore the adventures of Hattie, Charlie, Chantal, and Poppy; plus the old guard from the first series will hit the shelves by the end of May 2014 with a bit of luck and a following wind!
Thanks to my readers once more for all of your feedback, appreciative or otherwise! I love to hear from you.
on July 09, 2013 :
Great continuation however felt a bit too all over the place. I think a little more focus would be better for example Sally's story is not really that interesting.
(reviewed within a week of purchase)