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Penguin have bought The Tea Planter’s Wife

September 2013

Now summer has gone I realise I spent most of it waiting and biting my nails. It’s taken a while but the great news is that we’ve sealed the deal, and now that Penguin have bought The Tea Planter’s Wife, I have a proposed publication date of June 2015. I’m not used to planning so far ahead, but it’s such a relief to know that my second book will definitely be published, both in the UK and in Germany. Who else might publish? That’s a question of crossing my fingers and waiting. There is a fair bit of waiting during the publishing process; first you wait to see if your agent likes it, then you wait for the publisher’s response, then what will the booksellers think, and finally, and most important of all, will the reader like it? A book is only ever as good as its readership. I certainly don’t spend hours, days, months and even years of my life giving myself neck pain and backache just for my own amusement. Though, of course, I do love what I do and wouldn’t change a thing.

Meanwhile, it’s wonderful that The Separation has just been published in Italy as La Separazione, and in Germany as Bis Wir Uns Wiedersehen. It will be launched in France in the Spring, followed by Norway, and finally the UK. And that I can’t hardly wait for.

The Tea Planter’s Wife opens in the sweltering heat of Colombo, Ceylon in 1925 with the arrival of a young woman, Gwendolyn Hooper. In his spanking new Daimler, Henry, her new husband takes her to the family’s Tea Plantation where they are to live in an idyllic villa beside a misty lake. Surrounded by hilly tea growing country, Gwen falls instantly in love – but soon realises something isn’t quite right in this paradise. Why is her lovely Henry acting so strangely and what really happened to his first wife, Caroline, and their baby boy? As the people of Ceylon begin their journey to oust their British colonial masters, The Tea Planter’s Wife faces her own struggle to survive against a backdrop of rumbling discontent and racial tension. But it is only when she gives birth herself that she faces a shocking choice and is forced keep a secret that will almost destroy her.

So what’s next? Well edits on Tea Planter, of course, but also the next stop on my travels will be Vietnam, a research trip for Book 3 set in Hanoi and in two times periods: 1954 & 1995. More on that will follow…