Actually, I have to say I felt rather like Max presenting a report to Dr Bairstow when I typed that. In my last job, the phrase ‘situation update’ was the polite way of saying, ‘You’ll never guess what’s all gone tits up now.’ Which I think would make quite a good title, but the cover would have to be enormous so as you were on that one.
I’ve been taking a few days off – yes, I know, but even I have to go outside occasionally, so I headed for Wessex, which is somewhere I’d only ever associated with Thomas Hardy and long dreary afternoons at school while our English teacher made us read someone else’s idea of a good book.
But Wessex is Old Sarum, Stonehenge, Avebury and Winchester, and it’s fabulous. No matter in which direction you look – History has happened all over the landscape. There’s barrows and tumuli (is that right?) and cursuses (is that right? Spell check is nearly as useless as I am.) and castles and cathedrals. I was quite blown away. I also remember thinking I really should have done this before writing about Stonehenge, King Alfred, hill forts, etc, but where’ s the fun if you do things the conventional way?
Anyway, it’s been a great holiday and I’ve enjoyed the days away from my laptop. And I’ve had several ideas along the way, which is good, and also proves I didn’t spend every waking moment scarfing ice creams, chocolate, cheese scones and fudge – not simultaneously, obviously – well not most of the time.
In other news, I’m thrilled to see that Lucy Price-Lewis – who made such a cracking job of The Nothing Girl – is also reading The Something Girl as well. Sadly for her, not only must she brush up her hungry donkey impersonations, but must extend her repertoire even further and develop her aggressive Patagonian Attack Chickens noises as well. I wish her the very best of luck with that one! The Something Girl is out on Audible on 24th August.
No news yet on who is reading White Silence, but I’ll post something as soon as I know. Many thanks to all those who’ve gone ahead and pre-ordered without knowing who the narrator will be. I believe both the Audible and Kindle versions come out next month.
I’m writing to Hazel sometime today because we’ve had a good idea for another competition we hope will be a lot of fun for everyone. Except for me, of course, the hapless judge, because I always like everyone’s entries and would give a prize for all of them if I could, which, I’m always being told, is not the point of the competition.
And before anyone asks, I’m cracking on with the next St Mary’s book which is due for publication next April, I think. There have been many vigorous discussions over the title, all of which I lost, and so the next book will be entitled An Argumentation of Historians. ………. A row of dots signifies sulky author silence.
For those of you who can’t wait – and you know who you are – there’s the Christmas story, Christmas Past, which will come out as usual on Christmas Day, thus throwing a spanner into the works of any number of carefully planned Christmas lunches. (Too early to pre-order yet)
And on top of all that, there are two short stories and the sequel to White Silence planned for next year as well, so as you can see, I don’t just sit and stare out of the window all day. Well, actually I do, but you can get away with it if you’re a writer, because everyone thinks you’re being creative and not, in any way, thinking about Matt Damon.
I think that’s it – there’s Afternoon Tea at Octavo’s on 14th October, of course, and I believe you’re all getting yourselves together for a knees-up in Birmingham sometime. Good luck with that. I shall expect photos. Many, many photos …