Monday, 3 February 2014

February already

I had a bright idea: that I would be finished with book 3 at the end of January. Good idea but a bit unrealistic because I forgot how many things I had to do in January. I went down to Winchester to talk to some students on creative writing courses, and some other writers, and had a fantastic time. Looking over the seated people (a fellow student from my year in the front seat) it was lovely to be telling my story and encouraging fellow writers to push on, finish that book, get on with the next one. It's not a pipe dream, it's still very hard to get published, of course, but those writers who have stories they just have to write down would probably find readers just as enthralled by their characters. I followed that by a talk to creative writing students at Brockenhurst college. If my personal philosophy wasn't 'give back, give forward' I still would have got loads from addressing these different groups. Questions make you look at what you do and why. Sometimes it is the younger students at the beginning of their writing journey who make the biggest challenges, and gave me a chance to reflect on aspects of writing I hadn't considered consciously before. So, thank you for making me welcome and thank you for making me look at my writing practice and understand the process better.

Anyway, back to work. Book 3 is in its last stages of development then I can put it aside for a couple of months to work on book 2. Book 1 is in its paperback incarnation (which will, hopefully, sell well) and looking rather eye-catching, I think. It's embossed like the hardback, very glossy white writing, very smart. 


Meanwhile, cancer-cat seems unbothered by her probable fate, despite being a bit lumpy around the neck. It has made me wonder what it would be like to be animal and child free at some point. Free to travel, maybe. I can't imagine writing without her, though. She sleeps in the study when I'm working, curled up on a  blanket  on a sling on the radiator, occasionally sitting on my lap and the keyboard for attention.

I am wrestling with the vagaries of sixteenth-century travel. Countries that we think of as Greek were under Venetian control but they must have had their own ideas about their identity. Venice wasn't part of 'Italy', which wouldn't exist for centuries. My characters are aliens, lost in a conflicted world of the Ottoman empire.    

6 comments:

  1. Hi Rebecca

    Paperback looks ace! Is it out yet?

    Oh and I've nominated you for one of those Liebster blog award thingies - have a look to see you if you want to take up the mantle (no pressure) -

    http://teresa-stenson.blogspot.co.uk/2014/02/shit-job-crap-backpacking-and-weird.html

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    1. Hi Teresa, Thank you for the blog award thingy, I'll get on with that later. I loved your answers! Paperback is out in March, it will be interesting to see how it goes! Reb x

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  2. Congratulations on your book success - three on the go at once sounds wonderfully mad. I'm here following Teresa's congratulatory bandwagon. Sorry about your cat, though, poor thing.

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    1. Hi Rachel, I shall check out your own 'blog award thingy' as Teresa so eloquently put it! Cat - yes, we've had a bad year, lost two and another got cancer but it's because they're all old. Cancer-cat has bounced back from surgery and is chasing her tail like a kitten so she's not finished yet.

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  3. Congratulations on your book, you must be so excited. You sound like a bit of a workaholic! I know what it's like working on a series, my book 1 is on the brink of getting a deal, halfway through writing book2, book 3 is at the 'thinking' stage! SD

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    1. Well done for getting this far - it's exciting, isn't it? It still feels unreal to me! I'm just finishing book 3 (thank goodness) but I'm getting there. I've broken my 'write every day' habit though, which makes me feel insecure! Good luck with that deal, do tell me how it goes!

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