I’d like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a very Peaceful and Prosperous New Year.
I’m supposed to be putting my notebooks away and shutting down my laptop but we all know that’s never going to happen. No sooner do I think – that’s it. No more work now until after the New Year – then an idea drills its way through my forebrain and I’m off again.
I had also planned to use the holiday period to sort out all my notes and scribblings. As anyone who’s ever met me has instantly realised, I have the memory capacity of a small block of wood. If I don’t get it scribbled down immediately then it’s gone forever, leaving nothing in its wake but an uneasy feeling that there was something important … somewhere …
Since everything’s spread over five or six notebooks and an entire blizzard of scrappy bits of paper, this will be an enormous job, and so I have equipped myself with a filing cabinet. In a very pretty shade of duck egg blue.
Yes, I do know that really the colour isn’t that important, but I think we’ve all realised I’m a very shallow and superficial person. And with a poor … what do they call it? … memory! Yes, that’s it.
Anyway, I’m feeling very virtuous. I’ve brought my long-neglected accounts up to date, all ready for the inevitable dispute with my lovely accountant. I have pointed out to her that I write fantasy and what does she expect?
I’ve written and posted all my Christmas cards.
I’ve wrapped my Christmas presents with only minimal damage to the fabric of the building.
And Sainsbury’s are delivering Christmas on Wednesday.
So that’s me done. Today is Put My Feet Up Day while I re-read the Rivers of London series.
Good morning everyone, I hope your day is going better than mine. I know the sun has barely crept over the horizon but I have already:
Hit my head on my bedside table.
Knocked over my bedside lamp – not unconnected with a) above
Lost my internet connection, resulting in frantic key stabbing. I’ve got it back but can’t remember the series of keystrokes that led to its restoration.
Spilled my tea – on second thoughts, that particular disaster should probably have come first.
Trodden on my phone which, for some inexplicable reason, I had left on the floor.
Pulled the toilet roll holder over, resulting in unrolling on a massive scale and a great deal of toilet roll chasing. I only needed a Labrador puppy and Andrex could have filmed their next advert in my bathroom.
Run out of toothpaste. I knew there was something I needed from the shop yesterday but my mind went as I walked through the door and I came out with an enormous bar of Galaxy Salted Caramel instead.
Well I’m all over the shop again. Someone’s messed with the clocks and I spent all yesterday in a completely different time zone to everyone else. I usually rely on the TV to put me right but my Sky box is sulking and I can only watch a programme if I’ve recorded it first. I’ve no idea what that’s all about but it does prove the theory that TV is death to all creation and productivity because I had a great day yesterday, staring out of the windows and having all sorts of thoughts. There was a slight hiccup when I couldn’t remember the word for anarchist. For some reason, my brain couldn’t get past ‘archivist’ – much to the dismay of both anarchists and archivists alike, I suspect.
In happier news, I’m wearing my new socks. These were knitted for me by Hazel at Accent Press in an attempt to combat the problems caused by those two blocks of ice otherwise known as my feet. In a further effort to smooth my stony path, she’s knitted one in blue and purple and the other in orange and red. How thoughtful. Distinguishing right from left need no longer be a problem.
Today’s task is to work on the talk I’m giving for the Daisy Chain Project at Yarm on 7th December. The Daisy Chain Project supports autistic children and their families and I’m thrilled to have been asked to speak. The tentative programme is that I chat on for a bit – the way I do – then there’ll be a reading from the new St Mary’s Book – An Argumentation of Historians – followed by a Q A session. Plus, I’ll sign anything put in front of me. Here’s the link to their website describing what they do: https://www.daisychainproject.co.uk/ And the link to the event
And for anyone unable to get to Yarm on 7th December, I’m at Northallerton Library on 8th December at 2.00pm, just chatting about my books in general and giving another reading. I do hope to see some of you at one of these events where you will be expected to admire my socks.
Yay! Book 9, An Argumentation of Historians is finished and is now Accent Press bound. So I get to put my feet up for a day or so. Only for a day or so, of course, and then full steam ahead with the sequel to White Silence and yes, Book 10 of the Chronicles. I have a busy year ahead of me.
In other news, I’m off to Afternoon Tea at Octavo’s on Saturday. I’m really looking forward it. There will be tea and delicious cakes and, I hope, sandwiches with the crusts cut off. With luck, I’ll get to chat to loads of people and if you can’t be there but still have questions, ask them here and I’ll do my best.
And then – we have a bit of fun planned for Sunday morning. Does anyone remember the two tiny stories I knocked out last year when I should have been working? Desiccated Water and Markham and the Anal Probing. People really seemed to like them so I shall be recording them. Apparently, Hazel knows someone with a big mike. No idea what that’s about.
And isn’t Christmas Past doing well! Huge thanks to everyone who’s pre-ordered.
AP: You haven’t blogged recently. You need to engage with your readers.
Me – still scribbling: Are these the same readers who are screaming for the next book twenty-five minutes after the latest one’s appeared on Amazon?
AP: Yep. Bless them.
Me – still scribbling. And with both hands: But I haven’t eaten all day, and it’s getting dark and it’s not my turn for the candle, and if I don’t meet my 25k words per day quota you’ll set the rats on me.
AP: Stop whining and get on with it.
So, having set the scene and engaged your sympathy with this fascinating peep into the working day of an Accent Press author – off we go.
Here’s a sneak preview to the opening of White Silence that will be released on September 21st 2017. A limited edition signed paperback is now available – CLICK HERE to order.
People say, ‘Silence is golden.’
Silence is white. White and deadly.
My name is Elizabeth Cage. I’m a widow. My husband, Ted, died suddenly.
They took me after the funeral. It was quick and it was quiet. No one knew where I was. There wasn’t a soul in the world who knew what was happening to me. There was no one I could call on for help.
I knew what they wanted but they haven’t got it yet and they never will. There’s more to me than meets the eye. I haven’t spent years cultivating the dowdy housewife look for nothing. To look at me – I’m a drab, insignificant, anxious, twenty-something housewife with unfashionable hair and no make-up. Unfortunately, my appearance is the only thing I can tell you about me. Because I don’t know who I am. I don’t know what I am.
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?
Here’s a surprise for me as well as for you. Some of you may remember the first chapters of White Silence, posted here a few months ago. The good news is that it is NOW available for pre-order.
The ebook is being published on September 21st, with the paperback following next spring. It will be available on amazon.co.uk and amazon.com and Audible, all on the same day. Let’s keep life simple.
It’s the story of a young woman, Elizabeth Cage, who is more than she seems. Elizabeth has a gift – or a curse – and after her husband’s death she suddenly finders herself isolated and vulnerable. And as if that’s not bad enough – strange things happen wherever she goes.
The book’s a little bit thriller, a little bit romance and a little bit supernatural. Well, quite a lot supernatural, actually.
Hazel is to re-post an excerpt on this page – just to whet your appetites – here’s a sneak peek of the cover.
This story is a bit of new departure for me. It’s a very different story to both the St Mary’s and the Frogmorton Farm series. I had actually forgotten how nerve-wracking it is to launch a new series on an unsuspecting readership. Some of you might like to light a candle and indulge in a few minutes’ personal meditation to prepare yourselves. Or, alternatively, just rip the wrapper off another giant bar of chocolate and grab a bottle of wine. Whatever floats your boat.
I personally am in Dr Who watching mode – behind the sofa.