A long summer full of warm days and balmy evenings… What can I say? It continues to be a joy. But it’s also been a busy one.
In June I went to Florence with my daughter (the art… the buildings… the crowds…). OK, yes, and the occasional Aperol Spritz while you’re about it, why not, when in Rome/ Florence and all that… I also finished the first draft and early revisions of next year’s novel – ‘The Lemon Tree Hotel’ set in splendiferous Vernazza in the Cinque Terre on the Italian Riviera, no less, and in my own lovely West Bay in Dorset. I planned my annual writing holiday in Andalusia – it was our 8th year there, which says everything – and celebrated the paperback launch of ‘Her Mother’s Secret’.
When a new novel comes into the public domain it’s always an exciting but scary time. So far, only your agent, editor and maybe the odd – hopefully not too odd – nearest and dearest have read it. What will the rest of your readers think? What will they say – to you, to Goodreads, to Amazon? A few excellent reviews can create healthy sales; equally a bad one can bring down your ‘star rating’. Do we care? Damn right we do – this is our livlihood and our confidence we’re discussing here. Don’t readers know how fragile we are..??
I wouldn’t wish to censor any reviewer. Most of us welcome constructive criticism (gnashes teeth quietly) and writers never stop learning. But when a ‘review’ doesn’t even mention the content of your book and is all about not being able to download it from Amazon… That’s more than questionable. And as for the personal comment about how many books I might be contracted to write per year and how I might feel the need to ‘churn them out’ – well, I’d better not even go there. But – writers work hard, you know? We’ve re-written this book a zillion times already. So, give us a break maybe?
Fortunately for me, HMS has been well-received and many people have said some lovely things about it (Thank you! I love you!)
July was a time for social media binge-ing, author events, editorial revisions for ‘The Lemon Tree’. And… Our Writing Holiday! What bliss: another friendly, interesting group; another perfect week at the glorious Finca El Cerillo; another chance to talk writing with a group of like-minded people, to listen to and read their work in progress, to hear their frustrations and celebrate their successes. Roll on 2019.
Best of all this summer I’ve found time to read some fabulous books – which is my favourite thing to do. So, look out for my reviews on this Blog in a few weeks time. Before you ask, yes, they are mostly complimentary because if I don’t like a book I won’t review it (I probably won’t even finish reading it). But they are always honest. And whatever you’re doing this summer – reading or writing, or something completely different, savour every lovely moment.
- Summer Pages
- Spring Reading Delights
- Writing at the Finca in March
- Winter Chillers
- Autumn Pages
- Researching in Liguria
- Writing at the Finca in July
- Summer Sizzlers 2022
- Spring Reading 2022
- Flash Fiction Slam at BAC
- Writing at the Finca March 2022
- I Am Editing…
- It’s getting colder – time for some late Autumn goodies…
- Writing and Researching during a Pandemic
- Summer Sizzlers – my summer reading
- The Seville Orange and Almond Cake
- The Writing Walk
- Winter Reading Hotties
- Returning to Belle-ile-en-mer
- The Creation of a New World (to Everyone who Does It)
- Autumn Warmers
- Research in the Walled Gardens
- Late Summer Reading…
- Writing Cinematically
- June News
- Spring Reading (In Lockdown…)
- Returning to Mandalay
- Writing at the Finca in February
- Winter Reading
- Oranges in Seville
- Autumn Reading
- Portishead Visit
- An Italian Supper
- Spirit of Place
- Writing at Finca el Cerrillo – seven reasons for a group leader to host a Writing Holiday
- Summer Reading – 8 books to add to your summer tbr pile
- Self-Promotion – how ready are you to shout about it?
- Featuring The Lemon Tree Hotel
- On the Scent of a Storyline
- Location for The Lemon Tree Hotel
- Spring Reading 2019
- March Madness
- The Books I Read this Winter (so far…)
- The Books I Read this Summer…
- My Summer
- Sense of Place
- Winter Reading 2017
- Planning or Pantsing…
- Summer Reading 2017
- Another Little Theatre by the Sea