First of all I’d like to wish everyone a very belated Happy New Year.
Now all the festivities are over for another year and the decorations were taken down weeks ago, life seems a little grey and I’m spending every day in my office, working on next year’s Wesley Peterson mystery. All I can say at the moment is that it features a reclusive author and was inspired by a real life Devon ghost story. But watch this space later in the year for more details. I’ve only just finished the first draft which needs an awful lot of work. Writing is re-writing as Ernest Hemingway once said. How right he was. I’m still wrestling with possible titles but as soon as I have a definite one, I’ll let you know.
Over the past couple of weeks there’s been a lot of discussion about writers getting paid for their appearances. Perhaps because I’m polite and British and was brought up never to push myself forward, I’ve always felt awkward about asking for payment. However, I know it’s wrong to feel like this because, as a professional writer, that’s how you make your living and put food on the table. The plumber analogy is used a lot – try asking a plumber to come and mend your boiler solely for the promise that it will raise his (or her) profile in the area and he might (or might not) get more business from your recommendation. I think the plumber’s reply would probably be unprintable! I always prepare for events conscientiously and never like to short change my audience so events tend to take up a lot of working time. Having said that, I love meeting readers and I often don’t charge a fee to speak in libraries that are local or in places I’m visiting anyway (where travel and loss of working time is minimal). Incidentally, I intend to tweet like mad on National Libraries Day on February 6th. We really need to support our libraries.
The big event of February will be the launch of THE HOUSE OF EYES, Wesley Peterson’s twentieth mystery (sometimes I can’t believe I’ve written so many books). I’m particularly pleased with THE HOUSE OF EYES and I think my readers will enjoy the dose of Sicilian sunshine I’ve injected into the mix!
I’m about to embark on going through the copy edited version of my stand alone novel, A HIGH MORTALITY OF DOVES. I’m so pleased with it and I hope everyone will be enthralled when it’s out in November.