There was a buzz in the town of Havant in Hampshire (England) when I turned up this morning at Havant Arts Centre to give my talk. Not, I hasten to add, because I was speaking, but because of the wide range of interesting events being held. I am really pleased the literary festival is being greeted so enthusiastically because it is the first one to be staged in this area, and I know the organizers have worked tremendously hard to pull it off.

I wasn’t sure how many people to expect. It could be one man and his dog. However, as it turned out, there was a smallish but highly interested group of people. It was great to meet a few fans of my novels and also to introduce my work to new readers. Councillor Jackie Branson was present and bought a copy of Tide of Death which I told her to wave around at the Tory Party conference she is off to this weekend. I’d be happy to sign a copy for David Cameron or any other politician irrespective of their political colour – I’m not prejudiced.

I spoke about how I write and took along my pencilled plotting and spider grams to show the audience how I develop characters. These characters each have an index tag and are all neatly tied with a treasury tag. They stay on my desk along with my plot notes and outlines until a novel is finished when the whole lot moves to another table behind me and only gets filed away once a book is published. It was also good to have a pathologist in the audience who gave me a couple of ideas for future DI Horton novels. I’m only sorry I didn’t take his contact details as he could be a valuable source of information – so if you’re reading this, please get in touch. I’d love to hear from you.

My next talk is on Thursday 2 October. I am the keynote speaker at a Women Into Business Conference and I know there are ninety women registered to attend this - so a sizeable audience. Here I will talk about my former career in Marketing and how I made the switch from that to being a professional writer. And of course how I apply my marketing skills to my business of being an author.

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