At last, an uninterrupted hour to update my website! Writing one book a year certainly isn’t for the idle, particularly if those books come in at two hundred thousand words of romping, big cast action. Add in running a second business from home and raising a young family, and it’s starting to occur to me why I don’t get out as often as I used to, or update my blog as much as I’d like. My To Do list is now almost as long as one of my first drafts, and when my agent enthusiastically encouraged me to ‘set time aside for Twitter and Facebook this year’, I laughed slightly maniacally and pencilled it in for the 5am diary slot. The poor dog, very low down the list, has taken to lying on top of my feet to remind me that she exists and would love a walk. Unfortunately this tends to mean that when I do stand up, my feet have gone to sleep and I’m incapable of crossing the carpet let alone several stubble fields. Perhaps she should try tweeting me instead?
At this time of year, I really miss the lengthy daylight hours of summer, but winter is traditionally my most productive writing season, and this is no exception. From November to the beginning of New Year has been a creative juggle, swapping between setting out my next book, going through the copy edit and later galley proofs of The Love Letter and writing a ten thousand word short story which will come out as an e-book exclusive in March, a month before The Love Letter publication. It’s entitled Sealed with a Kiss and is an exciting new development in marketing books, a ‘trailer’ to lead up to the main novel. I’ve written many short stories and it’s a format I love. This involves characters from the book itself, in a completely self contained mini plot. It was great fun to tackle, and I’ll post a download link on here as soon as I have details.
From now on, it’s back to my latest novel with gusto as a part of the ten week siege my family have grown accustomed to, traditionally taking up most of January, February and March, when I spend almost every waking hour in my office living and breathing my imaginary world, only revisiting ‘real life’ in small, bad-tempered doses (after falling over the dog) and occasionally enjoying a cheery weekend off. I would love to be a bit more organised and balanced about it, but this is the only way I know how to do it, and I’m absolutely dying to get back to all my new characters and their plot twists. This will therefore have to be a very brief blog update before my self-imposed exile. I can however promise to be blogging away merrily from April when the Love Letter publication date approaches and I’ll get a short burst of liberation to promote that and research new ideas. Publication date is 26th April and a sneak preview should be appearing on this site very shortly along with a first glimpse of the all-new book jacket look. Watch this space.
Finally, I must again thank all of you who visit this site and send messages through the contact page, or leave comments here on the blog. It’s wonderful to get so much feedback and to know what readers think about my work. My replies to messages tend to be sent in lovingly-written if badly-spelled doses between writing marathons, so if you don’t hear back straight away, rest assured I’m on the case. I also really enjoy reading all the blog comments left here, although my technological prowess was until recently limited to working the kettle and I’ve yet to fathom how to reply and post your comments online for others to read, but bear with me and I will work it out eventually. When my wizard-like ‘moderator’ passed over mastery of this site to his confused apprentice (me), I knew I was wholly unqualified to take on that role. There’s never been anything moderate about me for a start, and by the time I learned to program the video recorder, VHS had become obsolete. Thank heaven for books and the total escapism they provide to both writers and readers. For now, I am switching off the phones, closing the door and hoping to write almost non-stop through coming weeks until my random 5am tweets are accompanied by a spring dawn chorus not frosty winter night fox barks. At least I know the dog will keep my feet warm…