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Sunday, 24 May 2015

A confusion of book...why I Don't Want to Talk About It is like a large poo..

Well, that's it on book number nine - I just turned in the final edits today! Which is weird because book number eight (clue...this one)
has only just been released into the wild.  It's odd, this publishing whirl, because the book that is uppermost in your mind is always the book you are currently working on - in my case that's the Bronze Age timeslip, Living in the Past. Next uppermost, or to put it more succinctly, bobbing around just under the surface, like that 'thing' in the garden pond that you hope is a frog but rather suspect is a large poo, is the book that you're just editing, which is I Don't Want to Talk About It - the book I've just turned in those final edits for.  Next one down in the geological layers which are my brain is the book I've just finished writing, which is the Tea Shop Book, which has had several different titles but is most commonly known as Crush.Then, and only then, do I get to the book which has just been released, ie, How I Wonder What You Are. Which leads to an awful scenario..thus..

Questioner (usually someone looking for a topic of conversation): How is your book doing?
Me (in my normal state of baffled-but-pleased-someone-is-talking-to-me): Oh, not too badly. A bit sticky in places though.
Q: Really? What, like with jam?
M: Well, with ideas, mostly. I've got a really difficult plot point 3,000 years ago.
Q: But it's already out, isn't it?
M: Er. (slowly) What does the cover look like?
Q: You don't know what the cover of your own book looks like?

And then I go for a bit of a lie down.  I have no idea how authors who have three or four books out every year get on - they probably just say "fine," whenever they're asked how the book is doing, just on general principle. Anyway. This being a Bank Holiday weekend, and half term and everything, I am off to do a bit of Bronze Age research, only not the uncomfortable, living-without-pants, sort of research, no. I rather thought I'd wander wistfully around some Bronze Age sites, pat some stones, gaze into the distance whilst saying 'of course, this would all have been covered in trees, you know' and then find a really nice tea shop for a sit down and a cake.

And worry about what that 'thing' bobbing around in the pond actually is..
Poo not shown.

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Suspension of Alpha Billionaires..I mean, disbelief.

I've never been much of a one for alpha-billionaires. No, let me put that another way, alpha-billionaires have never much been one for me.

I've always been told off for my inability to suspend my disbelief, and I'm even worse when it comes to books, and when I read (or write) romance, I have to half-believe that the hero could, given the opportunity, actually fall for me.  Of course, this does presuppose a degree of blindness and/or mental incapacity on the part of the hero, but not nearly as much as would be required to make a billionaire fall for me.

This isn't false modesty. It isn't even real modesty. I mean, I'm still upright, I have most of my own teeth although I am quite positive that the two front ones were stolen from a Derby winner one debauched night, my hair is... shiny and my nose is cold. I am, in fact, a perfectly attractive and healthy dog. And, when it comes to heroes, I am confident of my ability to gain the attention of one.  However.  I prefer my men not to 'instantly know what I need/like', if I need/like something I shall tell them, thank you very much, not have them tell me.  Where I come from, that's not Alpha, that's bossy.  And while I am sure a man who knows what he wants is all very well in the short term, I'm not sure I could put up with it for thirty years plus.

"You want a new sink."
"Er, no, actually, I quite like this one, it's the right height and.."
"No. You want a new one. I've ordered it, it arrives tomorrow."
"But I like this one!"
"No. You don't..." etc

'By the Power of Greyskull - you're getting a new sink whether you want one or not!'

And, billionaires?  Have you seen the women they end up with?  For a start, very few of them look as though their teeth belonged once belonged to a horse.

All this is why I write heroes who are...dare I say it...realistic. Even if, by some terrible fluke they happen to find themselves reasonably well off, they tend to have problem that means the world of women is not universally open to them.  So, basically, I write the type of man I find attractive... and who might, conceivably, fall in love with me. So, no billionaires.  By the way, has anyone ever encountered a billionaire who isn't an Alpha?  Because, although I'm not particularly bothered reading about people with enough money to solve most problems, I'd quite like to be introduced to one in real life...
Sadly, none of my heroes are based on Lovely Tony...

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Verticality - to authors what table tennis is to cats...and the terror of the Author Picture

In honour of the paperback appearance of How I Wonder What You Are...(go ahead, check it out, I'll wait...) and because the sun was shining, I decided that now was the time to get a new author photo.  Now, I am an author for several reasons, and only one of those reasons is that I don't have to get my face out in public, but sometimes people need to know what you look like, even if it's only so that they can avoid you at gatherings.  So, in the interests of alerting people to my presence, I thought it was only fair that a truly representative picture should be achieved.

So I went over onto our immaculate village green, my own garden being in a state of dandelion and puppy, and posed, whilst DD1, who has some experience in these matters, pointed a camera at my face.  The grass was wet. I got damp pants in the interests of trying to look 'authorly'. Plus, I was wearing a new top (to look writerly), clean trousers (so as not to look too writerly, because we all know most writers wear their trousers until it's only the dirt holding them up), and, for some unholy reason, heels.  I wore the heels because I actually, and misguidedly, thought that some of the pictures might be of, you know, me vertical. Even though verticality is to authors what table-tennis is to cats (we might experiment with it from time to time, but it's not really for us, we don't have the right equipment and things bend in the middle and occasionally snap shut at inopportune moments). Anyway.  Here, in glorious technicolour, is a picture that I feel is representative of me and my writing..
And also my surprise at being in front of the camera. Damp pants not shown.

Also taken was a photograph of how authors really come by their books - it's a little known fact that we don't, in fact, write them, we just wait until the conditions are right and then harvest them from fields. Like aubergines.
Or it might be anchovies. I forget.

But, eventually, and after some faffing during which my pants got wet, dried out, and then got wet again, DD1 (whose name is Vienna, incidentally) managed to capture me, nail me to the ground, and forced me to have an expression that wouldn't make people want to run away.  So, here it is, in all its glory - my new author picture..
Ta, as they say, dah!