Money: angels, demons and family

Hello my friends. Most of what I post on Twitter is about sunrises and sunsets and my periodic swims in the North Sea. I post things that raise my spirits because boy, do we will need it.

But I have a day job, I’ve always had a day job. Once upon a time, in a long distant world, I was an investment banker. I gave that up to write financial thrillers. I’ve written six to date. I’ve also written a memoir about my kidnap and imprisonment in Iran. I’ve also written children’s stories because I love escaping into other worlds, and because I have three children of my own and I wanted to give them something special that they could read and enjoy. But something happened a few years back when I was writing a preface to the 20th anniversary edition of my first book, which went on to be a global best seller, Nest of Vipers. I discovered a sense of slow burning fury about some of the excesses, idiocies and culpabilities of the financial world (in which I still work incidentally, as a company director and consultant). I found I had a lot to say.

I wanted to lay bare my take on how the money world works, for good and for bad and what we individuals can do about it. The financial demons that can destroy our lives and the financial angels that can help save us. There is so much to say about money, about what it really is, about the money psychologies we all harbour, often unconsciously, which can impede our best efforts at money makeovers et cetera.

Essentially, my message is this: money is one of the most important languages on the planet and I want to help people understand and speak it better.

I have focused on 10 things which I think everyone needs to know about money which, by no coincidence, is the title of the non-fiction book I have written for readers of all ages. 10 Things Everyone Needs to Know About Money will be published this April by Atebol, a creative, dynamic, wonderfully supportive and huge fun publisher, and let me tell you, the last is as important as the other qualities.

This is a serious book about a serious subject, but I have always believed in the power of humour and as a writer of thrillers, I want to entertain. So I commissioned an old friend of mine, a renowned portrait painter and war artist, Nick Bashall, to illustrate some of the more absurd aspects of the financial world about which I write. So the book is interspersed with Nick’s brilliant and hilarious cartoons which shed light in their own humorous way.

The book is available for pre-order now from Amazon.

So, interspersed with my nature tweets and my wild swimming tweets will be some more serious ones about money.

This book has been a labour of love. I only wish my late father and my late brother could have been here to read through drafts, to comment and discuss and to share their wisdom. They were both economics professors and my father’s speciality was money. His last and greatest work, which won multiple prizes around the world, is called The History of Money.

I was very lucky, however, to have academic support. I progressed this book considerably during my term as Writer in Residence at my old Oxford college, Saint Edmund Hall. Professor Dimitri Tsomocos (Professor of Financial Economics and Fellow in Management, Saϊd Business School) read through several drafts and commented and guided me. I also have had much input from practitioners in financial services such as Alexander Chartres (Investment Director at Ruffer LLP).

And I’m particularly lucky to have an in-house specialist, my husband, Rupert, who has helped me with the very real world challenges of writing a book, preparing it for publication, and raising a family in the midst of a pandemic.

This pandemic makes taking control of our finances more important than ever. I hope this book will help all those who need it, and entertain everyone along the way.

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