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Showing posts from December, 2009

Happy Endings, New Beginnings

Blended families come with conflicting loyalties and at Christmas time nearly everyone has somewhere else they feel they ought to be. Throw partners into the equation and it gets even more complicated. Since Tom and I aren’t especially hung up about Christmas we’re happy to let our children go with the strongest flow, but I have to say it was a great delight to have the girls and their partners staying with us this year. When such moments are few and far between they become very precious. My stepsons weren’t far from our thoughts either, not least because we had the very happy news on Christmas Day that my elder stepson and his girlfriend had become engaged. Congratulations Dan and Gill, here’s wishing you every happiness together. Tom and I end a year that has seen the fruition of many years work, both of us crossing important thresholds within weeks of each other. I’m really looking forwards to seeing Turning the Tide published next year and it’s been so satisfying, afte

Something in the Hare

We travelled home the other night beneath a clear, sapphire sky with Jupiter twinkling on an invisible thread off a sliver of a crescent moon. Suddenly there was a movement in front of the car; a hare, pale gold in the headlights, loping in front of us before leaping into a bank. ‘Ooh,’ says Rose, when I tell her, ‘Isn’t that symbolic?’ So I look it up and read about fertility, longevity and rebirth none of which seem particularly relevant at first, unless I suddenly find I’m expecting octuplets in which case I’m straight off to the papers. But then I start thinking about everything that’s happened over the last couple of weeks; certainly, so far as my writing is concerned, I do feel reborn. I’m overflowing with ideas and looking forwards to getting them down in the New Year. Tom, too, has crossed a threshold this week; he’s passed his degree and achieved a Diploma in Music some thirty-odd years after deciding, as a very homesick eighteen year-old, that university the first time

Boots, Jacket and Rellies

Ma greets the news that I am a soon-to-be-published-novelist with a variety of pigeon noises. I know she’s thrilled, but it’s just not the done thing for her to say anything that would make me or the Kid, too big for our boots. Her mother was the same; as soon as the news broke that I’d passed my eleven plus I got summoned before Nan and Grandad and warned about the perils of becoming a snob. Same again when I was offered a place at university. No lectures about sex, drugs or sausage rolls, just ‘don’t be a snob’. Thinking about it, it was Dad who usually tackled the tricky stuff, like before my very first date assuring me that if I became pregnant I wouldn’t be turned out the house, but I ought to reflect on how it would ruin my life. Sheesh! Mind you, his tactic worked; for years I got a bit nervous if a boy so much as put his arm round me in case something flew down his sleeve and impregnated me. Although Dad could deliver some dire warnings, he was always chuffed to

New Author for the Choc Lit Selection Box!

Do they mean me? They surely do because now there’s a press release from the lovely Lyn at Choc Lit to prove it! Honestly, I still can’t believe it’s happening; it’s a very strange feeling to think that something that began with an image in my head now has a life of its own. I’m very excited to be joining Choc Lit (isn’t that a fab name?) because I had a Mystic Meg moment when I read about them. You see, it was winning a tin of chocolate at primary school in a national essay competition for my story My Life as a Cocoa Bean (a tragedy – I can still remember that ‘Oh, damn!’ thought when I realised there was only one ending to that particular tale) that started it all for me! It wasn’t just the name of the publishers that attracted me ‘though; I like to have fun when I write and I also really enjoy writing from my hero’s point of view so I felt that my novel would be a good fit for them, too. Luckily Lyn, Choc Lit’s Marketing Director and the team at Choc Lit agreed and I’m th

First Steps

In July, I opened Book2Book’s ‘Book Trade News Digest’ for a quick scan and noticed that an author I ‘knew’ had just been taken on by a publisher I didn’t know. Popping over to their site to satisfy my curiosity, it only took a few seconds for me to realise that this was The One. I couldn’t imagine a better fit for my novel. The novel had spent many months on two desks before being rejected with heaps of praise that were incredibly frustrating to read and left me wondering why, if they loved it so much, they hadn’t taken it on. This time, though, I was sure my book was a good match so I sent an email with a synopsis to the publishers the same day and was absolutely beside myself when I had a return email the next day asking to see the entire manuscript. An amazingly prompt six weeks later I had my reply; they loved the story and characters but wanted some changes. Now, during its time on two desks, FTT, as I nicknamed it, had gone through a couple of metamorphoses, but this t