Monday, November 23, 2020

Friday, November 20, 2020

Feeling Sad. Last Novel is on Its Own. Like Your Kid Going Off to College.

 I knew I would feel sad. I've been through this before. We talk about our books as if they are our babies,  struggling for lives of their own. The process can be difficult,  frightening, although eventually rapturous. We persevered.  We nurtured them to completion, to a kind of maturity. And then we have to send them off to find their own way. Summer Must End has graduated. 

There are three of them out there now. I must admit to constant checking-in on them. A bit obsessive, really, but after years of working on each of them, you need to know what they're up to, without being too obvious about it. At some point, I'll stop and just wait to hear back about Royalties.  I can always obsess again later if I don't hear back.

In the meantime, the novel-in-waiting, "Hafan Deg" is firmly on the backburner. I wanted to release it this year, but it just isn't doing it for me. It's not that it's a bad story, but I have changed. Just as we wrote angst-filled poems as teenagers (well,  I did), so a story about an aging woman's reinvention of herself only spoke to me when I was doing the re-inventing. I'm on a different path now. It can wait a little longer. My new book, "Winnowing" has been taking up a lot of my thinking time. 

Here's a tiny blurb, because we can't reveal too much at this stage.

    Megan is an editor for a tiny boutique publishing house in London. She is particularly jaded with the local dating scene, and has more or less decided to give the whole thing a miss for a while. Until she meets Alistair Clarke,  a young poet her boss has decided to publish. He is neither attractive nor fascinating, but she appreciates his talent and is intrigued by his shyness and reticence. She gradually learns more of his background, and is determined to promote him as fully as possible, falling in love with him in the process. Sinister people begin asking oddly personal questions about him, and she worries, pressuring him about it, dissatisfied with his response. 

When Alistair disappears, she becomes frantic. The only address she has for him is in Wood Green, London, but he hasn't been seen there for weeks. The police are ambivalent. 'Too early to formally report it', they tell her. But then, in his folder of work, left at the office, she discovers a council bill for a property near Shepton Mallet, in Somerset. She has come to love this small, strange man. It's up to her to find out what's going on, isn't it? No one else seems concerned.  Megan is driven; she has never been in love before. 

Talk to you soon. Perhaps you'll tell me what you think of this new novel. Comment below.

Saturday, November 14, 2020

Third Novel Published, and Starting on the Fifth. The Fourth is Resting Quietly.

"Summer Must End" -- the paperback -- is published. (EBook was launched three days ago.) As it's via a European print company, I see my purchase price from them in Euros, which makes me feel quite grand and Monte-Carlo-ish. But, wherever you are, it will make no difference to delivery times or pricing -- from Toronto to Tenerife -- it's as if the printer is just around the corner, as if we live in one unified and all-embracing world. That's got to be good, if not a touch over-optimistic. It was only put to bed last night, so I don't know when the retailer information will be forthcoming, but you know I'll pass that on to you as soon as I can.

If you will go to my website, you will see the wonderful animation A.C.Merkel did for my book cover promotion. It's so pretty, I'm thinking of adding music to it...perhaps Clair de Lune.  A.C. is so creative, a writer himself, along with having the graphics talent. I am trying to think up other ways I can incorporate his art, but perhaps he'll just have to wait for my next book (early next  year). 

Unfortunately I can't seem to download it here, but my updated website is worth looking at anyway. Every single link I could  think of is there, but without over-cluttering (I hope), or confusing the poor viewer. I'm sure you've experienced that same overkill when you've opened a site that's so over the top, you get a kind of brain freeze. And click out of it. If it lets you...

I joined up with IAN --Independent Author Network-- and they made a very presentable job of my author listing, showing all of my novels. Very impressed. Might get some sales from this one, or at least some reviews. 

Speaking of which, as I cannot know who buys my books (unless they tell me), I cannot wag my digital finger at them and ask why they haven't reviewed it (whichever book). So I politely, but urgently, ask you now...if you should read something of mine, please leave a little feedback at that sales site. It's not just that we writers are insecure, and in need of the affirmation, but many marketing companies won't even consider your work unless you have reviews. Just saying.

I've started seriously working on the new book. I know it's serious because I can spend twelve hours working on it, not wanting to go to bed, That's intense. It's entitled "Winnowing" - a reference to the old farming method of separating the grain from the chaff, by tossing it up and allowing air to pass through it, 

to remove (as chaff) by a current of air; to get rid of something undesirable or unwanted; (winnow) out certain inaccuracies, (winnowing) what is true and significant; to free of unwanted or inferior elements.


"To get rid of something undesirable or unwanted..." Hmm, sounds like someone in this book is going to be meeting his/her maker a little sooner than expected. 

The story is tentatively set in London and the West Country (in a tiny cottage). Everything is tentative at this stage. Until I have my closing line, it will remain uncertain. 

I had mentioned getting Hafan Deg on the road. I am still working on this. The MS is finished, but I am so exhausted from all the edits and formatting for Summer Must End, that I really need to take a break. I do intend to publish it next year, after I've recuperated.

Your comments seemed to stop around the time I left Canada. They have only just kicked in again. I recall that I almost stopped blogging entirely for the longest time because I was overwhelmed by the changes in my life. So I'm thinking it's probably all my fault if you had nothing much to comment on. I'm sorry. I so look forward to hearing from you. We've been hanging around together for twelve years! 

Until next time.

Quotes to Consider

"If you would not be forgotten, as soon as you are dead and rotten, Either write things worth reading, or do things worth writing." ~Benjamin Franklin

"Well behaved women rarely make history."~Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

“A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.”~William G.T. Shedd (1820-1894), theologian, teacher, pastor

"It is common sense to take a method and try it. If it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something." ~Franklin D Roosevelt (1882-1945), 32nd U.S. president

“Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.”
~Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), essayist, poet, philosopher

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." ~Mark Twain

"You miss 100% of the shots you don't take."
~ Wayne Gretzky