The Last Runaway is now out in the UK. Hurrah! I am scurrying around the country, giving talks and readings (see EVENTS), being interviewed on radio and telly, signing books. It is always a little nerve-wracking. To celebrate, I post a photo my son took of my various research notebooks over the years. Without prompting, he laid them out to look a bit like a quilt. Very fitting. Thanks, Jacob! I've put next to it the start of a quilt I'm making.



My new novel The Last Runaway has been published in the USA and Italy, and I am now gearing up for the UK publication in March. My first reading will be in Keswick, in the Lake District, on March 7th. For other Events in the UK and USA over the coming months, see EVENTS.

The Last Runaway is about a lot of things: slavery, the Underground Railroad, Quakers, principles. And quilts. I took up quilting as part of my research, and last summer at a book festival I talked with Lynne Hatwell, aka the wonderful literary blogger Dove Grey Reader. If you haven't read her BLOG, have a look, it's a must for book lovers. Lynne is also a quilter, and we had fun showing our stuff. Here are a few photos:







It’s always a shock when one of my books is published. I have been tucked away researching and writing for years, with no one to read it but me. Now suddenly the lid is blown off and everyone gets a crack at it. I can no longer make any corrections or influence how readers may respond. The novel is like a child riding away from me, the training wheels removed from its bike. Will it stay upright or fall over? All I can do is stand by and watch.

For a distraction from that anxiety, let’s look at some covers. Because face it, that is how we judge books at first. Here are the US, UK and Italian covers:

Isn’t it surprising how different the tone of each cover can be? Hard to believe the words inside are the same!

US & UK covers of The Last RunawayI'm delighted to report that my new novel The Last Runaway will be published in the USA, Australia and Italy in January 2013, in the UK in March 2013, and in other countries later in 2013. The US cover is on the left and the UK version is on the right.

I have spent much of the summer editing a new novel (The Last Runaway, out January 2013 in the US, March 2013 in the UK, with other countries to follow). Mostly, though, I've been glued to the Olympics, which transformed my fellow Londoners into cheerful, positive, helpful people. It was glorious.