It's been incredibly difficult to blog through the last few weeks. I thought it would be easier, with the book coming out on the 10th October, but that fact has been overshadowed by other events on my life. Twenty-two years ago, I was widowed. My young husband was being treated for a chest infection in hospital when he collapsed and died from what turned out to be leukaemia. I was crushed, and also felt totally let down by the medical system that had repeatedly failed to notice - despite us asking - that he had leukaemia. Now, in the last few weeks, my second husband has been diagnosed with another form of cancer. I don't want to dwell on it here, but you can't totally put yourself aside when you write (well, I can't, anyway). At least he has been diagnosed, and has been offered treatment, and unlike Steve, has a good chance of surviving, at least for many years. That's all I can say about it, except that it has driven a tractor through my writing schedule, and with surgery coming up in just weeks or days, will continue to do so. I shall just have to write when I can.
Book wise, the good news is that The Secrets of Life and Death has sold in Finland as well as Germany and the US. I have no idea how it's selling here yet - hardbacks don't sell well here and it's really Kindle sales and Amazon that we'll eventually look at. The paperback will get a bit more of a plug next year. Selling abroad is just a bit of a bonus for the author. They may be quite modest sums involved - the cost of translation is huge - but the writer doesn't have to do anything for it. I'm really looking forward to the covers - they will suggest another take on the book, another graphic interpretation. Interesting stuff.
I'm tackling the contemporary strand of book 3 and after sorting out a weird moment when I've introduced two different divergent explanations of the same thing, have found the story flowing again. I'm looking forward to adding all the Kelley stuff, of which I've written about half, but will need to completely rewrite in the first person having started out in third. The thing is, the other two books work in first person so I think I need to bring them into line. Tricky stuff when the tale is being narrated as much by his daughter as anyone. I'll work it out.
I have had great fun blogging for Mslexia - another distraction from blogging here. I also had the surreal experience of being photographed for the Daily Mail. This led to some strange conversations with a make-up lady called Antonia.
'Have you got anything a bit more formal - less pattern, not black?'
Everything I have is black or patterned. Or black and patterned.
'Well, think about what you would wear to a dinner party?'
I usually wear an apron, since I'm always the cook, or we're going to someone's barbeque in which case I wear T-shirt and jeans. Like I'm wearing now.
'Well, do you have shoes?'
Boots or trainers?
'No, proper shoes. Oh, you really do mean boots or trainers. How about a nice necklace? Let's have a look at your jewellery box...you don't have one?'
I wouldn't let her put curlers in my hair, but she did plaster me in make-up - to my mind, anyway. I do appreciate that the flash will bleach out anyone, but I don't normally wear make-up since I don't really give a f*@k what I look like. I couldn't wait to get it off. But she, and the photographer were so nice and friendly and kind we did do our best to co-operate, and hopefully the result will be worth it. Watch this space.