Bernardine Kennedy

A chatty and newsy blog about author Bernardine Kennedy, her books, her writing career and her life. Check out the latest news, views and recommendations along with the occasional irrelevant photo.

Saturday, April 28, 2007


A TYPICAL THAMES SKIFF.... see The Skiffing Boys update below!

Went up to the Savoy Hotel in London yesterday for the annual Romantic Novelists Association awards luncheon.
Terribly glam as always with maybe a little less black than previous years.
Para-Athlete Tanni Grey-Thompson was the speaker and award giver... she gave a brillant speech that was just right in tone and length for the occasion.
Rosie Thomas won the main award for IRIS AND RUBY and Nell Dixon the category romance award for MARRYING MAX.
And then the hardened among us headed, as usual, to the Coalhole pub on the corner to carry on.
This year I didn't stay in town overnight so I gave up earlier than usual. I gambled as usual on a last minute bargain room and timed it wrong. No way was I going to pay £150 for a shoebox in a none too desirable establishment! Luck of the draw, I had many bargains over the years so I can't complain.
London is so expensive though... I've had some info through from The Breakers in Palm Beach, Fl (stayed there once, super super luscious hotel) and I could have a room there in the summer for the same price. Silly silly.

Anyway, as usual I digress! While I waiting for a friend in the foyer I saw a familiar figure climb out of a limo and march purposefully in through the revolving doors and then away down the stairs.... Gordon Ramsay! Better looking in the flesh than on TV. Wondered if he's been called by the Savoy to dispose of the the troublesome vegetarians knowing his distaste for us!
Because I knew the majority of people arriving and because I recognised him without instantly realising who he was I was just a split second from saying hello and looking stupid. Hey ho.

WORD COUNT. Nothing to say right now but I am hanging my head in shame!

The skiffing boys went off this morning on their 'Three men in a Boat' (without a dog) re-creation on the Thames on a skiff. Sad to say husband Ian has already taken a dip in the river in a classic 'you've been framed' moment. One foot on the boat, one foot on the bank, the boat moved out.... splash! Don't think Trev and Phil were much help, they were still laughing a couple of hours later.
You see this is why I like BIG ships like the monstrous Caribbean cruise ships. The floating towns.... We're off on one of them later in the year. More info to follow. Even I couldn't push one of them away from the dock all by myself!
Clambering into small boats is fraught with danger. Don't think they'll be sleeping on it now they've seen it up close and experienced the size of it!
Never mind they have Ian's teepee with them.
So if you're strolling along the riverbank and spy Three Men in a Teepee making tea on a Gaz stove then stop and say HI for me.

Till next time.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Tuesday, April 17, 2007


Lots of discussion lately on other blogs and forums about how authors / novelists write. Several drafts? Several edits? just the one of both? or somewhere in between?

I remember being stunned to discover that Jeffrey Archer does up to 12 drafts. Now I enjoy his books, but..........
However, we all seem to be different in our approach. I'd love to be able to do a quick rough draft and then go back to the beginning and polish but I can't. Almost compulsively I have to edit each chapter as I go, I simply can't move on until its done.
The upside of that is that when I type THE END it is the end and I email it immediately.
Swings and roundabouts I guess.

Anyway else intending to head off to New York with the brilliant exchange rate? I'm not into designer shopping (a size zero may just nestle comfortably around one calf) but I do love the outlet malls. Luckily HB does as well and our record is two days in Sawgrass Mills, that huge emporium of everything that is inland from Fort Lauderdale; however the Mall in St Augustine came a close second. I don't spend a lot of money, I'm more into trinkets, but it is such great therapy.

The Skiffing Boys are training hard. Well, hardish. Two of them have discovered that a rowing machine in the gym bears little resemblance to a real rowing boat so a nice big skiff on the Thames is really going to be a challenge. This is going to be a 'live-aboard' boat though I guess the odd night in a B&B will prove too much of a temptation. Or the comfort of a tent on the riverbank? hope the weather holds for them. I am a little in awe as I would sooner stick hot needles in my eyes.

My latest offering, PAST CHANCES, is published in hardback on May 2nd and on May 3rd I'll be speaking at Southend library, times etc to follow.
Check the book info out at Bernardine Kennedy (n.b. the spelling of Bernardine; female of Bernard) I'll successfully put a proper link in one day!

Also in May, on the 19th, a new book by author JANE WENHAM-JONES is published. It's called 'Wannabe a Writer?'; the title is self-explanatory and it's packed with info including a contribution from moi. Check it out at

I'm working hard today so I'm now going back to it while my brain is in the correct mode!

Sunday, April 08, 2007



Just passing through to wish you all a Very Happy Easter with much chocolate and little cooking as a result of much chocolate! Those of you with children... I hope they're not too sick.
I have been given a huge bar of Cadbury's Dairy Milk, my absolute favourite. Memo to self.. do not eat it all at once.

My big excitement for Easter Sunday is CLEARING OUT THE GARAGE! Wow. The excitement of it! But it has to be done.
We have started but I've come in for a breather......

Boxes of books, boxes of crockery and kitchen utensils that have been long forgotten. Enough party plates & glasses / cutlery / napkins etc for the forty thousand. Sadly I can never bothered to dig for them when I need them and I go out and buy more and more and more.

Needless to say we've found stuff we'd forgotten about including three old phones, several melted garden candles and several rolls of damp, useless wallpaper. Oh and many many spiders the size of mice. Good job I don't mind them.

As a dedicated hoarder I find it really hard to get rid of things so I have a routine. It goes from the house to the garage and then sits there until I'm brave enough to make the decision to move it on for good. Maybe. is brilliant for me because it takes away the guilt factor.

I have however found my very original Beatles bedspread (candlewick of course) from way back when. No way should that have been in the garage so I sense dark forces at work. (The chuck-it-out fairy).
It was my prized possession at the time.... Beatlemania was 'my' era. We queued up for three days for tickets to see them at the Odeon in Southend, sleeping on the pavement in mid-winter. Aaaaahhhh. Got into trouble of course for skipping school. The nuns at my convent were very street savvy even back then and they KNEW many of the girls would be there so they sent someone down to film the queue with a cine camera.
Worth it though because I can say 'I saw the Beatles live'.

The 'Skiffing Boys' have been to the gym twice now to hone their skills in preparation for rowing the Thames: or rather some of it I suggested they watch the Boat Race yesterday for tips but was told not to be sarcastic. Moi?!

Now I must get back to the garage and it's secrets.

Have a good Easter Sunday and a fun bank holiday tomorrow.