05 February 2009
My writing schedule works on one simple basis. I can get all the work I need to done on time as long as ABSOLUTELY nothing happens. This includes no illnesses, no power cuts, no Internet interference, no car break downs, no impulse trips to the shops to buy spam because for the first time since 1978 i fancy spam (the canned spiced ham, younger readers, not the nuisance electronic mail), no unexpected and lengthy phone calls from beloved but verbose friends who like to tell you long stories about people you don't know and finally and most importantly NO SNOW.
Monday morning 7a.m wake to find world carpeted in a glittering garland of snow. 7.15 Lily my seven year old little girl wakes up.
'Look out of the window!' I whisper, all agog.
'Oh yeah, snow,' she says decidedly unimpressed, which is a symptom of her going on her first skiing holiday with her dad over Christmas. It appears that a seven year old can experience a surfeit of snow.
'I means your school will probably be shut,' I tell her.
'Does that mean I can watch telly all day?'
'I know, lets build a snowman!'
'Can I have a packet of skips.'
It's 7.30 in the morning you can't have a packet of skips.'
'Then why are you even thinking of building a snowman?'
And so it goes on. Anyway a couple of hours later and suitably girded, Lily in her skiing all in one suit (more of that later) me in a pair of leaky boots and a sheepskin coat that an eighties premiership manager would have rejected.
'Let's make a really big snowman,' Lily says enthusiastically.
'Yay, lets!' I am prepared for a mother/daughter magic moment.
'You make it, I'll watch.
Lily does not watch. Lily rolls around in the snow. I am quite charmed by her rolling around in the snow so forgive her for abandoning the snowman project before its even begun. However it soon becomes apparent that under the lovely fresh snow she was rolling around was a message. A message left by a particularly large dog. (NOT mine. I am a responsible owner)
Gingerly we go in. Have you ever tried to peel an all in one ski suit plastered with poo off of a near hysterical child. You must try it. It's a blast.
So we had an extra day together and it was lovely, poo aside. And we had Tuesday (Lovely) and now Thursday (LOVELY) and it looks like probably Friday too. And I love her being at home. She is a great laugh, she's funny and smart and great company. She's not that keen on my working though when she's around and neither am I. I'm so busy most of the time that when she is here I want to be with her. So my precariously balanced schedule slips back a week.
Not to mention my lack of wardrobe. I have a small house. My house is so small that literally the whole thing would fit in the hallway of my friends house (Think flashy new build faux Georgian, fake pillared, gated community stoke broker pile). I'm short of storage so reluctantly I decided to sell my lovely Edwardian oak wardrobe and get a fitted one from Sharpe's. For two weeks now my clothes have been piled up on my tiny office floor waiting for the new roomy wardrobes to come. I have been writing (or not) amid a cacophony of frocks, a confection of underwear, a hails of hats and a pile of shoes that nearly reaches the ceiling. (My house is small but there is always room for shoes.) Today was D day. Today my super dooper new wardrobes were due to be fitted but they did not come. Why?
I am so over snow.
27 January 2009
Well, this is my first ever blog at author's place. I haven't looked at the other writers blogs yet so that I don't get intimidated. I always worry that I'm not an awfully good blogger. For example my blogs are never terribly deep. I don't often question life, consider philosphical theories or try to disect the very nature or writng. I do quite often moan about cleaning, talk about my daily life and often about the book that I'm working on. Also you will see typos and spelling mistakes in my blogs, although I promise to try and keep them to a minimum. This is because I am dyslexic and they seem to have left spell check off of this system!
I'm here on this site because I have a new book coming out in a couple of weeks, THE ACCIDENTAL FAMILY. It's a sequel to a book I wrote a couple of years ago called THE ACCIDENTAL MOTHER about a woman called Sophie who ended up inheriting her dead friends kids, how she copes with the upheaval in her life and how she eventually comes to terms with her own past by allowing herself to fall in love with the children. I loved writing THE ACCIDENTAL MOTHER but it wasn't my idea to write a sequel, it was the readers.
As soon as I started to blog on myspace, facebook and googlespot (much later than everybody else, if it was up to me I'd still use write with a quill and use a carrier pigeon) I started to get messages from people wanting to know what happened next to Sophie, Louis and the girls. The funny thing is that I too had often wondered that (And yet STILL never thought of writing a sequel - duh!) Finally THE ACCIDENTAL MOTHER was published in the states and did pretty well out there too and while I was doing an online interview fo that book I was asked the question 'When are you writing the sequel?' For the first time I thought about it seriously, and then I realised that actually while I had been busy writing other books like THE BABY GROUP and THE ACCIDENTAL WIFE Sophie, Louis and the children had been living on in the back of my mine almost with out me. The second I gave some serious thought to what the book would be like and how it would be plotted, the ideas came tumbling out and I got the distinct impression that Sophie was tapping her feet with her hands on her hips, wanting to know where I'd been all this time? But then that's writers for you - we are a bit funny that way.
So The Accidental Family is out in a couple of weeks and I hope its the sequel that readers have been waiting for, I know it was the one that I had to write. I think its pretty funny, and in places a bit sad and I know that it is the most romantic novel I have ever written. I can't tell you about the ending but you'll see what I mean if you read it! It was a lot of fun to write, and great to be back with Sophie and all those characters again.
Waiting for your book to be published is a bit like waiting for a boy to call you after a date. It's an extremely anxious time, you know there's nothing you can do about it without looking like a desperate looney (I'm talking about the writers who stalk the bookshops of the UK turning their books face out on the shelves, which I certainly have never done and I have never put my books on top of Jakie Collin's either for that matter, honest guv) all you can do is wait and hope for the best. Of course if a boy doesn't call you after three days chances are he doesn't like you. But the waiting to see if people like your book, the thing that you laboured over and loved for the best of a year is a little longer. And then all of sudden publication month is gone, there are a whole lot of new books out by those other pesky authors (seriously, EVERYONES writing a book these days - don't people want to paint or sing or drive trains anymore?) and you're looking at another long year waiting to be filled with a new book, working towards the next publication month, the next nail biting moment, waiting for the metaphorical boy to make that metaphorical call and hoping that next time its dinner and a movie. What am I talking about again....oh yes, writing.
Now I am working on my next book which is going to be called THE AFTER WIFE and I am loving every minute of it. I do count myself lucky that I get to do this job, my dream job. It really is the best job in the world, although I'm sure that if they thought about it a lot of those other pesky writers really would love train driving, or scuba diving, or moutain climbing....just a suggestion.