Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Writing limbo

Just when you're dying to write you can't. Pah. We are blessed with a  house move that is turning into a big challenge - we have to move ourselves. Down a long, narrow drive and by hand - from a six bedroomed house. Most of our stuff is already in storage in two big containers. 

Fortunately, I have a bunch of lovely people helping, and we'll do it over a couple of days. I can't wait to be in now. And be unpacked, and have the fire lit, and something nice in the oven, and a kitten or tow on my lap so I can go back to my present project. Even though it's a heavy heavy new desk, I feel it's full of new stories...

I also branched into applying for a writer-in-residence post. The 'job description' just sounded like so much fun - and so much lovely teaching and workshopping as well. I didn't really think of myself as a 'writer' other than - you know - spending time every day writing. But I have learned a great deal through the process of being published, and I would love to share that with other writers. See, I have no problem calling them writers, since they are actually writing! I don't expect to get an interview, but how cool would that be? 

Feedback for book 3 is coming in - thank you Charlotte, Sophie and Guy - and I am working their suggestions in. The worst thing is that I didn't start out to write a trilogy, and certain pitfalls have revealed themselves! It is really difficult to write a book 3 that someone new to your books will like - or understand. Lots more suggestions will need to be explored. The book is with my editor at the moment, I am sure he will have some helpful suggestions as well. I like feedback. I've learned that you can't see your book for the first time again, once you've written it. You need beta readers. But it needs to be better before I send it off to anyone else.

So, all we have to do now is say goodbye to an incredible house, pack up the last few things, and head off to our new life in a Georgian town house near the river. I'm looking forward to a new start.   

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

New house, new book...

I have delivered book 3 to my agent, which is a huge relief, and am back to charging forward on the sequel to A Baby's Bones, sadly unsold at the moment. ABB 2 is independent so I don't mind too much, and I'm back exploring history and it's another mystery/romance. I hate the word romance, it suggests some giggly silliness that ends up with the perfect guy and perfect girl skipping off into the sunset, but many 'romances' are actually exploring real relationship problems like infidelity and incompatibility. It's more one of those. 

Like previous books it has a historical and a contemporary theme, although I'm leaning heavily towards the historical here. I think, if I have time and the energy, I would like to write a 'historical novel' about the period I've been investigating so heavily. I'm drawn towards a real person whose life was remarkable, but I'm fairly terrified of the level of research you need for a real historical novel. I can do the fill in the gaps bit, I'm just worried about getting the real bits wrong. Like most Tudor women, her life is recorded thinly, and by men. Maybe for a PhD.

In other news - we're moving! Hooray! It's in the everything we need is in boxes stage, pretty well. We're hoping to actually move in two weeks, but the date is still not fixed, not even provisionally. We're moving from a rural, monster quarry-master's house from 1865 to a late Georgian terrace in a town. We're also downsizing from 7 beds to 4 which may produce a few problems but there's just about room for the thousands of books and more than a dozen guitars (not mine!). I'm going to miss the house - it's inspired several books including the one I'm just starting again, the much rewritten ghost story set in a B&B. 

The new house has a great living and dining room/study (for my new desk! Not a good time to buy a desk when we have to pay for the removals and buy my daughter a new car but these moments can't be missed) and stark and cold modern kitchen stuck on the back. I'm sure we'll cheer it up. But I'm going to miss my woodburner the most.