Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Something Very Like ...

THIS is happening to 'Turning the Tide' at the moment!

If you click on the picture it enlarges... not sure 'Turning the Tide' will reach any schools though!

Ooh! Sorry to do a bit of Trumpet Tootling but I feel very honoured to have my own Author's page at Hilary Johnson's Authors' Advisory Service. I was very fortunate to meet Hilary through the Romantic Novelists' Association's New Writers Scheme and used her service when I wanted a professional opinion of my initial draft of 'Turning the Tide'. I can honestly say it was Hilary's belief in my work since those early RNA days that gave me the tenacity to keep going!

Monday, 26 April 2010

A Very Proud Moment!

Thirty-four years after an extremely homesick Tom dropped out of his studies at the University of Swansea (those were the days of snail-mail, public phone boxes and student digs in the middle of nowhere) this is the moment when he was finally awarded his degree by the Vice-Chancellor of the Open University.
Tom’s battled not only with the usual trials and tribulations of life, but has also overcome cancer and serious illness to reach this point – we couldn’t be more proud of him.

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Whirlwind week

Friday 16 April
a.m. Up at crack of doom to go to hairdressers for Big Night Out in Cardiff. On return, have quick sitting with Stepson Two and Gorgeous Girlf, for a round of possible PR photos. Stepson Two takes photographs while Gorgeous Girlf smiles encouragingly just behind him. Ask Stepson Two if he can take out all bags, wrinkles and blemishes. ‘Yes,’ he says, ‘but what would be the point?’.

Midday. Drive Stepson Two and Gorgeous Girlf to Carmarthen to catch their train. A series of diversions mean we make the station with two minutes to spare. The best part of is it that they have booked this train so they can drive to Heathrow to collect GG’s parents... except that GG’s parents are now stuck in Egypt due to Volcanogate.

p.m. It’s too early for us to meet Lily in Cardiff so we head for Penarth which is fabbity-fab-fab. We sit in glorious sunshine on the lovely old pier enjoying two cups of tea and three Welsh cakes for a truly bargainous £2.50. Perfick! Ring Lily at work to make her jealous.

Off to Cardiff Bay. Lovely Lily and Russ are taking us out for a meal to celebrate Lily’s promotion (yay!) and as an entirely undeserved thank you for the very little we have done for them. A very good time had by all. Thank you so much, Lily and Russ.

Saturday 17 April
Up and out for bracing walk along Cardiff Bay to the Barrage and back. Have lovely time spotting dogs and babies. Yummy sushi for lunch. Tom and I walk into town where Tom has an OU lecture. I decide to walk round the shops. By the time I meet Tom and we walk back to the bay my feet are almost on fire.

Sunday 18 April
Give house a thorough tidy for house buyers viewing at 3pm. They do not show up. Total berludy waste of a day... but at least the house is tidy.

Monday 19 April
Kate Harrison, super-talented author of six novels, has been reading Turning the Tide for me. Receive really lovely email from her saying all kinds of nice things about it. Happiness levels soar.

Tuesday 20 April
Wednesday 21 April
More visitors, the last for a little while, but this is for a very special occasion. Ma, MiL and DiL are coming down for Tom’s graduation on Saturday. Prepare for much bursting with pride in Cardiff that day!

And over at Choc Lit we’re blogging about the joys of publishing today with each of us writing about what stage we’re at.

Painting is one I’ve posted before. ‘Silence Katyn’ by Tom Tomos

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

An Emotional Day

Yesterday started on an emotional note; I’d finally caught up with Saturday’s Guardian magazine whilst making an early morning cup of tea (visitors have been arriving in droves at Hotel H since the middle of March. It’s been lovely to catch up with everyone, but it’s been quite tricky trying to fit everything in). Then I turned to ‘Saying goodbye with my camera’, Briony Campbell's moving record of her father’s death from pancreatic cancer and just couldn’t hold back the tears – it was just like saying goodbye to my own dad again and brought back so many memories.

Maybe I should be ‘over it’, (and a few regular readers of this blog will probably think, ‘God! Here she goes again!’). But I honestly don’t think time is a healer. It feels as if Dad’s been away too long and I just wish I could talk to him. Quite simply, there’s a huge hole left in my life that can never be filled and I just try not to fall in it too often.

Anyway, I pushed the tea past the lump in my throat, said hello to the guests and got on with some work. Then a message from my publishers popped into my inbox... and there was the PDF of ‘Turning the Tide’. So what? You might think. That’s what I would have thought and yet it just seemed to elevate my typescript into, well, a real book. It was a truly thrilling moment. I had another howl then rushed round the house summoning folks to admire it – I just wish my dad could have been here to see it too.

Sunday, 11 April 2010

Paranoid Activity

Along with the more familiar night terrors, like dreaming I haven’t revised for a Very Important Exam or that I’ve turned up at some glittering occasion in scruffy clothes and dirty hair, I’m now tormented by a new fear. As the process of pre-publication continues, it’s been easy to lose sight of the fact that I have a real live novel coming out this summer!! Each step has meant concentrating on a something new – looking at jacket designs, thinking about publicity, doing copy edits etc and in all the activity I’ve hardly dared imagine what it’s all for. I’m still haunted by the fear that someone’s going to tap me on the shoulder and say, ‘Nah! Not you!’

It’s not surprising then, I suppose, that I’ve invented a new nightmare for myself. Last night I dreamed that I was summoned to appear before some big chief. I couldn’t actually see who it was; all I could see were the legs of an enormous desk towering above me and a voice booming out, warning me not to let everyone down. Eek! How scary is that? The thing is, as publication comes closer, I’ve started to worry that no one will like Turning the Tide - is this normal, do you think? Or am I just particularly good at scaring the bejeesus out of myself?

Painting is ‘West Coast Surf’ by Tom Tomos, whose lovely work can now be seen here at the Venetia, a restaurant and boutique hotel at the tip of the Llyn Peninsula