‘‘A serial! Brilliant idea. I feel quite excited about this. I will read it avidly.”

Victoria Moore – Wine Editor, The Daily Telegraph

“This is exactly the kind of writing I like. It’s so direct and straight to the point. You can visualise every scene in your mind.  It’s just great writing chief…not a word or sentence wasted.’’

Richard Siddle – The Buyer

I wrote a novel twelve years ago, called Tasting Notes.

I meant to find an agent and be published. I sent maybe two dozen query letters through the years but got nowhere. Conventional self-publishing didn’t appeal: I wanted the recognition that comes with being picked by an agent first and then a publisher.

So, for twelve years, I did nothing apart from some frantic yet sporadic editing.

Having an unpublished novel is like being a toddler with a favourite toy. You show it to people you like. Sometimes they love it and that creates a new bond with them. Sometimes they don’t, or worse, they say nothing so you pick up your toy and skulk away, mortified, having found yet another reason to sit on it like a hen on a pebble. That is a French colloquialism by the way. I love French colloquialism.

Having an unpublished novel is also like a bad itch: it doesn’t go away and this one has been itching for so long I finally decided to do something about it.

Starting today I shall serialise Tasting Notes, one chapter at a time, in weekly blogposts on this site. I shall also throw in a few opinion pieces about the novel, wine, writing and life. Please have a read, subscribe if you like it and comment as much as you want.

I am terrified of the exposure. Writing has been my secret garden for such a long time I am not sure how much criticism I can take. Be kind, please.