Category Archives: Uncategorized

When a book leaves home.

I’ve been lucky enough to have books sold into translation – and often, once published, you hear nothing more until a finished copy arrives – a finished copy I can’t read because I don’t speak the language.  I stroke the covers, stumble over the words, and put them alongside others on my Babel shelf. But over there in Poland, they’ve been very busy making these tiny animated adverts – taking Robert Ball’s terrific artwork and turning them into mini trailers, that make perfect sense to me, without language barriers.

I, for one, am impressed.

Here’s the first, for Murder in Midwinter (love the footsteps – and the psycho music)

 

And now they’ve done this one – for Saving Sophia (the plait’s my fave bit)

 

Both books are available, in Poland, in Polish through Zielona Sowa   Green Owl, publishers.

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Murder mystery, not a thriller.

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It’s my fault, really – I said I’d do a murder mystery in the library – well I love Cluedo, who doesn’t? So now I’m writing one and it’s so different from writing a thriller.

It seems that while one part of my brain is trying to extricate two children from certain death, the other is tying puzzle knots, making sure that no loose end is left hanging.

Come and join me in Salisbury library on Friday, 11.00 to see how I did, and I can see how you do with my clues.

You don’t need to book – drop in any time from 11 – 1

Part of the Salisbury Lit Fest.

 

The daft things we do…

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This is me and Maudie a week ago. Full of excitement. But now it’s now and what seemed a good idea at the time seems a bit scarily close.

In just over three hours time, we’ll be bookselling at Waterstones in Salisbury – testing our expertise in kid’s lit.

You can test it too.

Come and join us.  3 – 7 the two idiots at the back of the shop.

 

 

 

 

 

Stuff that holds you up.

Now I’m not doing Nanowrimo – which for those who have never heard of it is a group of people who all try to write a novel in a month.  It leads to massive word counts and finished novels and is probably a thoroughly good thing, but personally, not for me.

I am though, trying to write a novel in a month. Or at least, finish one that I started a while back – I’m motoring through, huge word counts, massive chunks of plot down on virtual paper and the end is in sight.

But then I get stuck.

And its the silliest thing.

Two girls get into a boat and look for some food.

Olivia reached out for Grandpa’s lunch package.  Oh no. Innuendo.

Olivia rummaged around under the seat and found Grandpa’s sandwiches. Now I can’t stop the innuendo.

Chloe handed Olivia Grandpa’s packed lunch.  Even worse.

Reaching into a bag Chloe took out the lunch that Grandpa had given them.  Too  long.

“Time for lunch” said Chloe, digging out Grandpa’s package.  Arghghgh!

At which point, I go and have lunch and spend all afternoon looking for an old photograph.

 

As you were….

Here’s to sleep –

This year, my hopefully attainable, New Year’s resolution is to get more sleep.

Not to work more, or to eat less, or to exercise more, but to sleep more. And I don’t just want to lie in bed, I want to sleep properly. Deep sleep, the kind that  knits up the ravell’d sleeve of care.  The sort of sleep that means you go to bed with a knotty problem but wake up with it somehow solved.  The sort where strange and inexplicable dreams wander off with your worries and leave a soft rabbit’s ear of comfort in their place. The sort of incredible sleep that actually leaves you refreshed.

So – to this end, I have ordered the Empress of mattresses. One, according to the sales woman, that will transform my sleeping habits.

Hopefully, more sleep will make me a nicer person a more disciplined person, a clearer minded person.

Hopefully, more sleep will transform my  writing habits, eating habits and exercise habits too.

Ask me again in a year.

 

 

Indecision V Prevarication

For me, and I’m really talking personally here, these two are my worst enemies.

Indecision, is the thing that stops me writing – really.   Because in my experience the hard part of writing, and in some ways the exciting part of writing is  making millions of tiny decisions.  From tiny, to massive.  What word? Where? How?  What voice?  What character?  What should I do here?  What shouldn’t I do here?  What would happen if I took that section out and scrapped this character?  I have to think it through.  All the way through, but often my tiny mind isn’t really up to it, so instead, I get about half way and then…

I prevaricate.

I do a multitude of pointless things, like Twitter and Facebook and checking my sales figures on Amazon – Oh yes, I hate Amazon but I want to sell my books on it.  My son says “we’re human, we have a right to hypocrisy.”

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I clean the fridge, I empty the dishwasher, I paint windows, I pick up fallen apples and prepare them so that they add to the already enormous quantities of stewed apple stowed in the freezer, ready and waiting for the zombie apocalypse.  I dig the allotment so that the weeds have a better time in the freshly tilled soil.  I walk. I stare at the sky. I write blog posts.  I try to play Moonlight Sonata on the out of tune piano.

And so, after several days, when I’ve prevaricated enough, I go back to make myself make that decision. The idea is that time will have done the work for me.  Like sleep and that ravelled sleeve that Shakespeare invented.

If I’m really lucky, time has, and some higher wind takes me through it really fast and the little fragments of grey matter that have been so absorbed in packing apple into the freezer know exactly what to do.  Within minutes a whole mass of decisions have been made and acted upon.

But if I’m not lucky, as if tramping through mud on a slope, the whole thing becomes messy and backwards and I wish I was still painting windows.

Or peeling apples.

Preparing…

I’m getting ready for that event, on Saturday, in Bath.

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Getting a few pictures together.   A shot or two of model villages I love this one – Huven, geddit?

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Making some miniature cakes perhaps – anyone like cake?

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If you’re there – you’ll get to join in.

If not.

You don’t get any cake.