Sunday, August 12, 2007

My own patch of paradise

This is the view from the garden looking north along the Tamar valley.
I'm located 15 kilometers from Launceston - a 15 minute drive.
I'm still shaking my head when I look out of the window - it's just a picture perfect view.

On Cloud Nine (in Tassie)

I’ve been 8 weeks without my computer and mailing list. Now, at last, I have them back and have a bit of catching up to do.
But have to admit, I still haven’t come down to earth completely.
I'm still floating above the clouds at the moment!

If you haven’t heard or read my news, I have two things to tell:

Firstly I have moved lock, stock and barrel to Tasmania.
I have settled in a Swiss-style village called Grindelwald which is 15 km north of Launceston.
My house is built in the style of an 1800s English Rectory and it stands on the top of a ridge overlooking the broad Tamar Valley. In the mornings when the mist rises, I can look down on the clouds as they turn pink and mauve – it’s beautiful.
And it feels like I’m a million miles from everywhere – let alone Western Australia.

Despite the move (which is probably about 3500km), I’m pleased to say that my email address has not changed.

The second bit of news is that my third novel is due for release this month in London. It’s a story set on a barge on the Leeds and Liverpool canal in the 1890s.
If you are interested, the details in the item below.

Sitting here at the keyboard once again, I have to admit it’s nice to be back in the real (cyberspace) world again.
Best to all
Marg Muir
Photo: The view of the Tamar Valley from my balcony.

The Black Thread - Press Release (Hale Books)

The black waters of the canal lead to an even darker secret

The Black Thread is Margaret Muir’s third novel.
Published in hardback by Robert Hale Limited on 31 August.

Set in the 1890s, the story tells of Amy Dodd’s desperate journey along the Leeds and Liverpool canal in a bid to escape from her father.
But her freedom, once gained, is short-lived.
Confronted with a shocking revelation, Amy has no choice but to return to Leeds to unravel a twenty year old mystery.

By the end of the nineteenth century, the era of canals and horse-drawn barges was already waning. In her novel, the author paints a picture of life on the canals at that time.

Though the story is set mainly on a canal short-boat, the Yorkshire mill town of Saltaire, with its Florentine-style architecture, also provides a striking backdrop.
The unique funicular tramway at Shipley Glen, which attracted thousands of visitors to the town over 100 years ago (and still operates today), also features significantly in the story.

The Black Thread is a dramatic tale which will be of particular interest to lovers of canal boats and the British Waterways. The historical details of Saltaire, Salts Mill and the Shipley Glen Tramway at the end of the nineteenth century, should appeal to lovers of history.

Though the author recently moved to Tasmania, Margaret Muir grew up in Leeds, Yorkshire. She visited Saltaire and the Leeds and Liverpool canal last year as part of her research for this novel.

The Black Thread
by Margaret Muir
Published Aug 2007 by Robert Hale Limited
ISBN: 978-0-7090-8343-6
A copy of the novel can be ordered on-line from,, or from any good UK bookshop, or library.

Photo: Salts Mill at Saltaire built around 1850 beside the Leeds and Liverpool canal (M Muir 2006)