The Pillowbook of Prudence…

This latest addition to my published  list is a rather cryptic, enigmatic little non-fiction book called The Pillowbook of Prudence.

A million miles from what I usually write.

Then again, when I crossed genres from fantasy to historical fiction, I thought that was a million miles. Likewise, when I had a complete conniption last year and published a contemporary fiction that was gilded with approval by the great Cathy Kelly – that was a galaxy and light years away from my usual style.

But this Pillowbook is in truth, a bizarre little edition of escapist non-fiction reading prompted by the earthshaking events of 2020. (Non-fiction for heavens’ sake!)

My year began with the news that COVID-19 was decimating China and that it was spreading across the globe. Lockdown began in my own country and it seemed that Fate handed most writers a chance to scribble like fiends, with nothing to do but stay at home (and hope for the best).

But many writers were like me and found that the overarching concept of this abnormal situation placed brakes on creativity. What made it worse personally, was that my dear friend, work colleague and French researcher, Brian Cobb, died of cancer in this period. My book, Reliquary, ground to a halt…

In a moment of stasis, I was flicking way back through my blog, reading things that I had written in happier times and came across a series I had written in 2010.


This was The Pillowbook of Prudence.

I read it back, escaping for a little while and then decided to lift it holus-bolus and send to my editor for comment.

He approved it, Oh so many wonderful gems in this piece…’ , and required me to put in some corrective work before pronouncing it ‘done’!

Then it was a matter of line-editing, a cover design and formatting for e-book. The cover is very me; all atmospheric blues and taupes with a little bit of soft Asian influence, alluding back to my inspiration, Sei Shonagon. Cover designer Jane Dixon Smith knows me well.

If you had asked me six months ago, would I publish a piece of non-fiction, let alone one that comes under categories of journals, journal-writing etc., I would have said ‘Never! You jest!’


Never say never…

So here ’tis:

Please rush out and purchase and then, if you like it, please review. I will kiss your feet (as long as you observe what I say about feet in the Pillowbook) .

Oh, PS: Am on fire writing my historical fiction, Reliquary. Seems the Pillowbook was the key to unlocking the door again. I hope it unlocks doors for you, dear reader…