Friday, July 24, 2009


You all know I blog about books.

The books I read, books written by friends and colleagues and books I've fallen in love with. The books I write, too. The characters who populate them, the clothes they wear, the problems they cause me.

Well this blog is about a book, too. No change there, then.

But everything else about it is different because this book isn't a romance, or even a thriller. It's non fiction, hard cold fact; UNAUTHORISED ACCESS is published by John Wiley & Sons, will be on sale in the first week of August in the UK -- October in the United States -- and has been written by my son.

We now have two generations of authors in this family and I am soooooo proud.

Here's the cover --

The son and heir has always loved computers. He was given a calculator as a present by a friend of ours when he was two years old. He took his father's Hewlett Packard calculator (hundreds of pounds worth, folks) to bits when he was two and a half and his first actual computer was a Sinclair Spectrum.

Then he saw the film Sneakers and decided that he wanted to be the Robert Redford character when he grew up. That's the movie where a bunch of computer savvy guys are paid to break into banks and steal their money (they give it back!) to test their security systems.

These days that has a name -- it's called Physical Penetration Testing (and is one step on from online computer penetration testing) and my son, who is these days an international security consultant based in Europe, has written the first handbook for IT security teams on how to do it for themselves. (They don't steal anything, btw, they leave something behind to prove they were there.)

So, just to make this writerly, anyone thinking of writing a thriller or a crime novel might want to check out the chapters on lock picking, planting bugs, or even dealing with guards.

The foreword to the book has been written by the world's most celebrated ex-hacker, Kevin Mitnick, and for those of you who haven't heard of him this would be like Susan Elizabeth Phillips telling romance fans that they should read my book.

Did I mention that I was proud? You should see his Dad.

Sunday, July 19, 2009


Last week we all got very excited about BAGS. Thanks to everyone who stopped by to offer an opinion, share a story. As to which bag I finally decided on, well, my favourite was the small feathery one, but I think the swirly one goes best with Josie's hair and personality. And since she'll be carrying it at the pre-wedding dinner where she'll need to have her emergency kit to hand, she'll need a little extra room, too.

You were all so great that I'm giving all of you a book from my back list. If you posted, then email me with your full name and snail mail addy and a shortlist of the books you'd most like at liz @ lizfielding. com I haven't got spares of everything, but I'll do my best.

The books I don't have a single spare copy of are an early trilogy, The Beaumont Brides -- Wild Justice, Wild Lady and Wild Fire.

These were pub'd in the late 90s by Robinson Publishing and are 100,000 word novels about three sisters; a revenge story, a bodyguard story and a Cinderella story.

They've been out of print for a long time and although I plan to tidy them up and publish them as Kindle editions on Amazon, I've decided that in the meantime, fans should be able to read them. So from this week, you'll find them serialized -- a chapter a week -- at a special blog -- The Beaumont Brides. It's there just for you, so when you have a moment help yourself.

Meanwhile --


I've finally put together my first Clippy Book Bag.

In case you haven't encountered this phenomenon, these bags (in all shapes and sizes) were invented by the lovely Calypso.

Each contains pockets into which you can slip your favourite photographs or any items which define you. On this side I've used aircraft boarding passes, a promo postcard for the Japanese Manga version of The Sheikh's Guarded Heart. There are daffodils and a dragon (for Wales), a postcard I bought in the National Portrait Gallery of T E Lawrence, the little icon that represents my upcoming book, Christmas Angel for the Billionaire, and a birthday card the dh sent me. Oh, and the little gardening bits and pieces that came with a Clippy kit!

On this side, I've put my hero, with one of the grand-dogs. There's a picture of my son's book (Unauthorised Access, out next month), both the grand-cats (Nigel is the ginger guy, Bernard is the black and white chap). There's me as the "stepping queen", one of my pocket calendars (I've got a supply to give away in another pocket!) and the centre pocket represents my trip to RWA New York a few years back. Two silver Rita pins and the covers of the books short-listed that year, with my RWA Conference pin and a Big Apple.

I've also got a big shopping bag with 24 pockets and that's my next project.

So tell me, if you had a Clippy Bag what would you put in the pockets to express your life and loves?

Sunday, July 12, 2009


The heroine of the book I'm writing at the moment first appeared in The Bride's Baby (which you can download free here as Sylvie's punk assistant who had a bit of attitude and a background she didn't talk about.

She immediately appealed to me as a heroine in her own right -- secrets, mystery, attitude, who could resist?

I had a couple of ideas but then the Escape Around the World mini series came up. I'd always wanted to write a story set in Botswana and suddenly everything fell into place with a celebrity wedding going off the rails and Josie -- now a partner in the business -- needing to prove herself to the "Establishment".

I decided to move Josie's story on a few years, basically so that she wouldn't be quite such a challenge to the cover artists. Purple spiked up hair, goth makeup, punk grunge clothes and those Doc Martens...

(You'll have to imagine the sound of teeth being sucked here.)

I had a really lovely time playing with 1940s chic -- and I may yet use all that research -- but while the images piled up, the story stalled.

The clothes got in the way and after weeks of struggling, it suddenly hit me why I was having so much trouble actually writing the story.

This wasn't my Josie.

This woman calling herself Josie Fowler was an elegant (if still different), confident woman who'd found her place in the world and -- after three years as a partner had clearly been accepted by all those people who had raised their eyebrows to the roof when Sylvie rescued her from a hotel scullery and gave her a job.

My Josie still had to make that journey and that was what I should be writing about. Finally, the penny had dropped. I was thinking like the marketing department, trying to make it easy for them instead of standing up for my heroine.

Not my job.

Fiction should challenge not conform. And when I started to think about my Josie, the real Josie, a name emerged from the cluttered attic that is my brain.

Zandra Rhodes.

Punk, successful, outrageous and glamorous and overnight, the Katherine Hepburn look vanished at a click of the mouse.

This is the back of a ZR vintage dress from the 80's -- a partnership gift from Sylvie to her protege.

Josie is back, but, because marketing -- whose job is to make sure that nothing on the cover will scare away readers with images that might challenge their idea of what a heroine should look like -- will turn her into the Stepford Wife on the cover of the book, I wanted you to see her the way I see her.

Well nearly.

She's not as beautiful as the hair model. "Striking" is the word, Gideon McGrath, uses when he first sees her. A total contrast to the celebrity bride and her stunning bridesmaids.

My only problem now, is which of these fabulous Zandra Rhodes bags that I found online would you put with that fabulous dress?

Enquiring minds want to know and while I haven't got a new book out until later in the year, there's a signed copy of a book from my backlist for great "bag" stories.

Leave a comment telling me which one you'd choose, and share your "best bag" story.

I'll pick a winner next weekend.

Sunday, July 05, 2009


I've come over all French.

Or is it that the French have come over all Liz Fielding, this summer?

There are three specials on sale in France this summer, starting with Le bebe du boss (please forgive the lack of accents I can't work out how to do those on Blogger) an anthology of novellas including A Perfect Proposal.

This is the one where a plain Jane secretary proposes to her gorgeous boss and he says yes. Unfortunately a perfect secretary does not necessarily make the perfect wife. Or does she?

Then comesPassion au soleil, another anthology with a reprint of my first ever book, An Image of You -- or as they say in France, Idylle in Kenya -- where a women's lib heroine finds herself working hand in glove with photographer Karel Lukas on a sexy calendar shoot in Kenya. They have history. She's hoping he doesn't remember.

And finally, Coupe de foudre au bureau, in an Azur reprint of three novellas written especially for Strictly Business with Penny Jordan and Hannah Barnard, which includes The Temp & the Tycoon. Workaholic boss and a secretary who can never ignore anyone in trouble take a trip to New York where she makes it her mission to reawaken the wonder in his soul.

Both A Perfect Proposal and The Temp & the Tycoon, were issued as a Mills & Boon 100th Anniversary editions last year.

The Temp & the Tycoon is still available in the UK in print and eBook formats

Thursday, July 02, 2009


It's a very special day for the Nina Harrington, the newest "Romance" author in the world.

Her first book, Always a Bridesmaid, has been published today. Go to her blog and congratulate her.

Better still, click on the link and read an excerpt. I know that once you've done that you'll want to rush out and buy the book! Or if you can't wait, you can download it, as I did!


Can I draw everyone's attention to a new blog link on my side bar for the Romantic Novelists' Associaton?

This new blog will give details of new books published by RNA members each month, craft articles, updates on the conference and pretty much anything else of interest to the romancer reader and writer.

There's also a Twitter link on the blog so if you're tweeting, do "follow". Members will be tweeting from the conference at #RNA09