The Tree of the Year – and me

My very favourite tree – the magnificent Allerton Oak in Liverpool’s Calderstones Park – has been named England’s Tree of the Year, and will be in the running for Europe’s tree of the year in 2020. That oak has seen some action, dating back to before the Norman Conquest in 1066, so is older than the city that surrounds it.

In 2008 I chose the Oak as my favourite spot to be photographed by Dan Kenyon, for his book ‘Liverpool Sung & Unsung’ – portraits of assorted scoundrels and heroes of the city for its year as European Capital of Culture. Fun, isn’t it?

Woman in silk stole standing by ancient oak tree
A 2008 moment by the 1,000-year old Allerton Oak

 

Romania at the London Book Fair

I’ve just found this video from the Romanian Cultural Institute’s event at the 2018 London Book Fair. I was very much the easy-reading grit in the academic literary oyster… My bit starts 1 hr 11 mins in.

panel at Waterstones April 2019

Candour or caution?

RJ headline & pic

Thanks to the Romania Journal for some keen questions in yesterday’s interview. I opted to be candid, since cautious answers make for an anodyne read…

What do you think – should I have responded more neutrally?

What a day! Bookfest 2019

On the first day of Bookfest 2019 in Bucharest, I had an audience to talk about my book A Stake in Transylvania. This is how much I enjoyed it.

Abbs at BOOKFEST

Thanks to Bookfest’s clever photographer…

And at the very end of the day, as a very unexpected bonus, the British Ambassador introduced me to one Klaus Iohannis, President of Romania. And to my great surprise, he recognised me… “Is it possible that I’ve seen you in a documentary?” he asked. “It’s possible,” I replied. Here’s the evidence (the Prez is the tallest in the line-up)

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Is it safe to publish?

The latest Floss review came in today, from Alex Tatulescu who lives near London. I hope you can read the image – it’s so nice to read his letter as he wrote it.

Alex Tatulescu review

In case the image isn’t quite clear enough, you can read his review here.

And yes, Alex, I’ve already started the next book. It’s set in the same village, but it’s a very different story! Funny, and a bit bonkers, with some proper baddies. I don’t know when it will be published, but keep your fingers crossed!

When an idea takes flight…

Never give up on a story because you think it’ll never be published!

IMG_1502 bookfest - Dina's pic

Have confidence in your writing and put faith in your characters. Free your imagination!