Tuesday, April 20, 2010



Have been enjoying this not writing phase a bit too much.  Not being compelled to go back to the computer and the WIP at every spare moment is heaven. The flat's a lot tidier, even the laundry's up to date, ironed & put away, & I can feel a sort of space of fresh air around me. Have been working hard though, honest. But to be able to do normal time off things like lie in bed of a weekend morning with a mug of tea and a book and go into the garden with the Sunday papers and a cushion without feeling an ounce of guilt makes 9-5 an enticing idea.

Then, sprawled, guilt-free, in the garden with cushions & newspapers,  I read  Sadie and Melissa Jones' Relative Values in the Sunday Times mag:    And  'We both know that if you're a writer, you can't do anything else. You can't stop.' Um.

One of them published a novel that 'didn't sell as well as it should have.' Do they ever? I'd say to anybody that next time they're launching a book that's probably taken years of their life and a good chunk of their emotions along with it, not to mention the obligatory file full of rejection slips: mortgage the flat, live in a tent, sell the silver, do whatever it takes and get a publicist. Yes, publishers have publicity departments, but some (she says diplomatically) aren't up to scratch, unless you've had the 6 figure advance. Even then, what else singles you out from the rest of their output?  When you've got your book ready to go, try and find somebody with a genuine enthusiasm for the product to bat for you.  E's passion has been the most major boost on both an emotional and practical level. There's lots of news coming up I'm not allowed to talk about yet. Nothing's done until it's done, especially in publishing, but, dare I say it,  I'm feeling optimistic.

Bye bye, thanks for visiting, come again soon.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


Not Christmas, no, but this little one comes to the balcony every morning with its mother. Wasn't sure what their relationship was for a while, until saw this:


Last week's lull has definitely passed & back to doing 6 things at once. The press response to the ebook has been very heartening & looking forward to posting links to reviews, extracts and competitions to win soon. I've also just been making notes on the first chapter of the follow-up book, not written by me! I'm moving into editorial territory which is really interesting and fun.

No news on the novel but don't expect to hear anything for a while.  Agent is away until the later this week and then will be frantically busy at The London Book Fair. It all happens in Earls Court just a ten minute walk from my home. I should go really, but then wouldn't know where to go when I got inside, so I won't...

Read this article on toyboywarehouse.com founder Julia Macmillan (last night's Evening Standard) with great interest. Her initial online dating searches ("always matched me up with guys in their mid-fifties who liked golf”) is exactly my main character's experience. Really like Julia's blog too: Don't  Call Me A Cougar.   My character isn't in any way a cougar, the guy she likes is the same age as her which makes the older guy/younger woman norm even more annoying. There's plenty to say on it all, plenty plenty. Maybe, just maybe it is cows coming home time (sorry) for the 50something dating novel?

Bye bye, thanks for visiting, come again soon. 


Wednesday, April 07, 2010


The shortlist for the Author Blog Awards has just been announced. I'm not on it of course, but having quickly clicked through to a few of the entrants can see the standard is incredibly high.  Have just been reading Nicola Morgan's excellent Help! I Need A Publisher!  & nearly slipped into snuggling down for a good read all morning. First Nicola, then her lovely friend, Sally Zigmond who has one of the most  heartbreaking tales to tell about nearly but not quite getting published (scroll down Nicola's blog to her interview with Sally on Sat 3 April). At least she's there now & look forward to becoming a regular reader of Sally's blog as well.
Meantime it's all gone very quiet here. No more sales from website or Kindle, no more exciting emails from publicist and no new names on the website mailing list. Just to underline it, there's the thud of the post on the mat.

I know enough writers who've been through it to know this calm and quiet after all the fuss and activity is par. Author friends call it post publication depression. As I'm in control of this one, I know for sure all the publicity that's been set up hasn't even kicked in yet, but even so, it hasn't stopped that clammy clenching fear in the stomach.

Going to have to reactivate ebay account and think what can sell. We've just cleared the garage so there's stuff that can go. It's not as desperate as it used to be. Since moving to flat at least roof over head is as safe as it could be.  Insanely, have just joined a luxury gym. Is all my doing. Daughter and I did one of those 7 day free trial things and then were given an offer impossible to refuse. It's only for a month, then can  cancel, and I am getting a lot out of it. My fantasy life really, being able to write, pop out for a swim & sauna, do yoga, pilates and dance classes.

Another spot of brightness - Made in China, the short story I put up on kindle using a pseudonym to test the ebook mechanics  has sold another copy.  It's now at number 13 in the multicultural chart between Rip Van Winkle, 22 Goblins and Wind in the Willows!

Bye bye, thanks for visiting, come again soon.

Friday, April 02, 2010



V much enjoyed David Sexton's Evening Standard interview with Lee Child.

I've never heard of him. Not that he'd be remotely bothered about that with sales figures of 36 million and growing.  I'd noticed the thriller element replacing the commercial women's fiction on the Tesco shelves. Was a time not long ago when I could look at the chosen Tesco ones and go 'know her, know her, know him', and saunter off to fresh veg thinking that's quite amazing really. Jealous? Beyond that now, being published (in print) feels like another life away.

I've heard from my agent, though. The novel has been with the publisher for 2 months now so she's going to give her a nudge. So hope still flies. On the epublishing front I've seen the proof page for our first glossy magazine article and am very pleased. We've had more press interest and Smashwords have confirmed that Done & Dusted has made it into the Apple iPad iBookstore for its US launch today. Plus we've had our first UK customer downloading from the website. Thank you Hattie, a lovely lady I met at our Richmond writer's pub night last Monday. It was a good night with lots of talk about books and more writers I'd never heard of, The Transit of Venus by Shirley Hazzard anyone? The short stories of Lorrie Moore? And there were fliers:

Susan, my old creative writing teacher from Richmond Adult Community College is running a Hero's Journey/Writer's Journey 5-week course starting Thurs 22 April at Parkshot, Richmond, Surrey for a very reasonable £56 (for EU students, £90 non EU). And Richmond author John Harding will be reading from and talking about his new novel Florence and Giles on Wed April 14th at Waterstones, Richmond, 7.30pm. His book is extraordinary, I've read the first 3 chapters on Kindle, & will definitely be getting down there for my signed copy.

Bye bye, thanks for visiting, come again soon.