A Bit of a Blog
I’m continuing with Lisa’s questions which I should have done weeks ago, but I hit a bit of a purple patch with Book 7 and then got caught up in a possible sequel to The Nothing Girl. Sorry!
Do I have a day job?
Yes, I do – writing. And it’s a night job as well. I’d like to be able to say I write 24 hours a day because I fear nothing less will satisfy some of my readers, but it comes in peaks and troughs.
I write first thing in the morning – anytime from 5.00am onwards. I usually pause around mid-morning to contemplate the possibility of housework, reject the whole idea, and write until lunchtime.
I laze around for a while, watching TV or painting, thinking out plots and dialogue, blogging (doing it now!), and answering emails. Chocolate is usually involved. I tut at the state of the house, wonder why the fridge is always empty, and pick up my writing again around 6ish.
The most important part of the day is bathtime – especially now that a friend has given me a waterproof notebook – because I can sit up to my ears in bubbles – not an attractive picture, I know, but you did ask – and let my mind drift wherever it wants to go. I’ve had some amazing ideas in the bath. Is it me or does that sentence sound slightly improper?
I do try and switch it off when I go to bed, curling up with a good book, but I’m often woken up by Max or Markham yammering away about something or other and I have to rummage amongst Kindles, laptops, sundry notebooks, bent biros (I keep sleeping on them), tissues, research notes and other writing paraphernalia to get it all written down before I forget it.
I mention all this only so everyone is aware that I don’t really spend all my time lolling around and watching TV and consuming the product of the cocoa bean.
How much of Max is in me?
This is not easy to answer. I say not much – Max is brave, organised, likeable and so on. I’m grumpy, argumentative and don’t have red hair.
Other people say quite a lot – they can hear my voice in the things she says. I should point out her language is worse than mine.
We’re both short because they say you should write what you know and I have no idea what it’s like to be tall.
Do I love tea as much as St Mary’s?
Why did I publish A Bachelor Establishment as Isabella Barclay?
A very good question!
There was a bit of a discussion when I submitted the manuscript, but basically it came aboutbecause ABE was so different to anything I’d written before, that it was felt some readers might be disappointed. Especially male readers. I was instructed to think up a new name, and believe me, it’s not easy. I wandered around the house, seriously depleting the world’s supply of Jaffa Cakes and then emailed my editor for help.
‘Something soft and romantic-sounding,’ she said, helpfully, so that was Dirk Thrust kicked into touch.
I had a bit of a think and sat down to make two lists. Forenames and surnames, and then I started to put them together. I have to say I was rather taken with Clare Alexander but she turned out to be someone famous in the publishing world so that was out. Second choice was Gianna Rossi because I saw myself, dark and mysterious, penning deathless literature, but somehow it wasn’t quite right.
The name Isabella was on my list and I thought, ‘Well, why not Isabella Barclay?’ I honestly never thought I’d get away with it, but I did. And yes, I do have some ideas for a couple of Regency Romances, but they have to wait their turn.
That’s the end of Lisa’s questions – thank you very much, Lisa – and before anyone asks – yes, I’ll be straight on with Book 7 as soon as I send this off. It’s coming on quite nicely, and I’ve even made a bit of a start with Book 8.
Happy Weekend everyone!