I’m very excited about the next few weeks and beyond. First, on Tuesday I fly over to England to do an interview with BBC Sussex and Surrey in Brighton, and then meet fellow novelist with Brandon Sheila Bugler for a photo on Eastbourne station and some dinner and great conversation! I have never done a live interview before (though I once, improbably, interviewed for a job as presenter for Lyric FM!) and while I don’t tend to be the shy type, it will be nerve-wracking!
But the most exciting thing for me – apart from meeting Sheila of course – will be the opportunity to retread the steps of my characters, particularly Eva. First I will be taking the train from London to Eastbourne, along the same railway line 100 years back which she would have taken to start the year at her finishing school, on the verge of changing her life forever. I doubt there will be time to see the Belle Tout Lighthouse, which is now a luxury bed and breakfast, but during the time of the novel was a disused building, replaced by a newer lighthouse at the bottom of Beachy Head. The reference to the Belle Tout Lighthouse in White Feathers is so entailed with the despair and suffering of both Eva and Lucia in that scene that I find it hard to reframe it as an expensive hotel. Much as I would like to be driving down country lanes retracing Christopher on his bike, I doubt there will be enough daylight during my brief visit for me to experience that. Maybe next time.
I will be in England again later in the month (21st) for personal visits in York and Leeds. I’m open to any opportunities to promote the novel on the Saturday evening should they arise 🙂
Then on December 6th, I will be paying a visit to Schull to perform a reading and signing in the wonderful Whyte’s Bookshop in Schull, one of the most celebrated independent bookshops in the country. On the Friday, (December 5th) I will be in Cork at lunchtime onwards, signing books at Waterstones and Easons and one other bookshop whose name escapes me, but I’ll update as soon as I find the email from O’Brien, many apologies.
This is all aside from any other radio or appointments that may happen here in Ireland!
In the middle of all this busyness I want to take some time to thank so many friends, book bloggers, journalists and just people in general who have cheered on White Feathers and have been moved by the story. I want to really express my gratitude to all who have read and appreciated because deep down I’m not a confident person. Before I became a novelist, I was involved in advocacy, and advocacy is sometimes a very lonely and alienating path. Now I am no longer alone; there are a million little lights keeping the darkness at bay. Thank you, my friends.