On the train…

I  am writing this from the Eurostar on the way back to Paris. The France Show is over for another year, our Olive Farm lunch (anyone from the Olive Farm Facebook page who attends the France Show is welcome to join us for this annual event) is also behind us. Both were great fun. I feel as if the train that is carrying me forward on this bright late January day is journeying me towards my future.

The last few month have been rather taxing, which is one of the reasons I have not written anything for this site – apologies for that. My new novel, The Lost Domain, has now left my desk and is beginning its journey towards publication… This is always a very exciting as well as nerve-racking period. I have to let the book go now and allow others – editor, agent and various other publishing folk – their fresh-eyed perspective on it. I have to be ready to hear the feedback. I love this stage of the work. It is thrilling when others begin to talk about the characters who have batted about in my head for sixteen months, discussing them as people, as living beings.

Next time I send you a message here, I will tell you more about the story and what lies ahead for the book. Right now, it is a little too soon…

So, in this interstice between spending hours at my desk researching and writing  my novel and, in a short while, attacking the editorial notes, what will I do with my time? Well, a long rest would be a good idea but I am not very good at that. We have maintenance work to carry out at the farm so I will spend a little bit of my energy concentrating on planting trees and overseeing the construction of a very long stone wall to enclose a new swathe of land we have purchased alongside the original acres. We are discussing the joys of many more almond trees and perhaps a few more olives. The almonds offer such a delicate pink blossom that heralds the arrival of spring so I always think of them as rather joyous plants. They are also some of the first blossoms foraged by the honey bees when they leave their hive after winter.

If any funds remain in the kitty, there are one or two other projects we are also talking about – the reconstruction of our ruin, for example. It was once upon a time the vineyard bothy – but all these may need to wait for another season, another book…

Appassionata Ruin...
Appassionata Ruin…

I have deliberately not accepted any events for the coming  months because I was not sure how long the completion of the novel would take me, but now that there looks to be a short window of time, I expect to go to China in late March where The Olive Farm has been translated and published. The Chinese publishers have been inviting me over to publicise it for a while, so the visit is overdue.

And I will also join the jury for a short story competition in Strasbourg in April. If you are reading this from Strasbourg or its environs, there will be details to follow if you wish to enter.

If you are in Texas in the USA, do take a look at the programme for the Third  Annual Texas Hill County Olive Festival in Dripping Springs in late May. Unfortunately, I shan’t be attending, although I hope to make it back next year, but I understand they are putting together an exciting line-up that will include one of The Olive Route films.

Here is their website: www.texasolivefest.com

And Don’t Forget:

If you are searching for a cosy base for your holiday discovering the Cote d’Azur, the Olive Farm cottage at the foot of our small estate is for rent. There are photos on this website and more information can me found through olivefarmbooks@gmail.com

The gorgeous hardback coffee table book The Illustrated Olive Farm is, alas, now out of print and selling for fortunes on various sites. We still have quite a few copies in stock at its original retail price. These can be signed by me and personally dedicated (as can all my books) and purchased through olivefarmbooks@gmail.com

The same applies to the set of five DVDs of The Olive Route documentary film series.

Send an email and all questions will be answered, all books and films packaged and sent out to you.

It keeps me busy!


As soon as I can post more news on the novel, The Lost Domain, I will do so.

Thanks for dropping by

All good wishes,


Copyright of all photos: Carol Drinkwater. Not to be copied or reprinted without permission. Thank you.

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