Saturday, July 29, 2006

Nothing puts of a determined writer!

It has been so hot. Is this England we ask ourselves as we sit outside cafes sipping lattes and watching the sun dancing and shimmering on the pavements? The garden looks as if it has gone in for scorched earth policy. Yet amazingly flowers still bloom and from somewhere the trees manage to find water and look green. Nature's resistance and adaptability never ceases to amaze me. But how much can it take of this drought? I would hate it if our lovely green British countryside was to be no more and we turned into a barren landscape like Andalusia.
Suprisingly the one thing I can do in the heat is write. It is a sitting still occupation plus an absorbing one. So I pull down the blind, put on the fan and leave the heat behind while I cry and laugh and get excited with my hero and heroine. And, folks, I have finished it! (see last blog) The Crimson Bed (present working title) is all done and now being revised. So let's hope some agent feels it's the best thing ever to fall onto his/her doormat.
It is a tale set in Victorian London of 1853-62 and the story intertwines the fortunes of Gabriel Dante Rossetti and Lizzie Siddal with Frederick and Eleanor Thorpe (my hero and heroine) whose romances are contrasted with one another and yet have strangely similiar echoes. Lots of drama, passion, suspense.

So dear agent, please enjoy!

The picture shows Rossetti's drawing called How They Met Themselves. The doppelganger is a presage of death ... an odd thing to draw at such a time. It has always fascinated me and I personally see it more as an alchemical 'quaternio' a meeting with one's Higher Self or with one's Shadow self.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Crime and Romance

Sorry folks. I’ve been a busy girl this month. Lots going on and the latest scorching weather is just melting me into a soggy pool and turning my brain to mush. I can’t move an inch without breaking into a sweat so have been sitting on my chair with a fan going and reading Agatha Christie novels.

I ought to mention going to London a short while ago for the CWA Golden Daggers Awards. My daughter Thalia and I went together hoping to see a mutual friend, Laura Wilson, win the big prize. Laura was shortlisted amongst the final six which is an achievement in itself. Her book A Thousand Lies is a stunner.

I met Laura some years ago when she was about to go to University. She was a cheeky, chatty, punky young lass with hair standing on end but now . . . she is a calm, cool blonde, elegant and utterly beautiful. Sadly, she didn’t win the prize and I totally forget who did as I was so cross about it. It would have been a nice £20.000 for Laura!
Then off to the Romantic Novelist Conference at Penrith in Cumbria, a glorious location. This was my first conference and I thoroughly enjoyed it, picked up lots of tips and hints and expertise from the speakers. The RNA is well known for its friendliness, the help members give one another and general air of comradeship rather than belligerent competition. But then a Romantic Novelist must surely be ruled by Venus, Goddess of Love so you’re generally going to find a co-operative and helpful bunch under her rule!

And at 12. noon on Monday 17th July I finished the first draft of The Crimson Bed my latest novel. Always a sublime moment of birth and an auspicious time at noon when the Sun is at its zenith. I feel like a Mum who has just given birth and, as with all births, now comes the real hard work! Glaring discrepancies already stare at me and so off I go to sort them all out before some cruel editor swoops upon them.

Crime and Romance are strange partners and the bookshop that has both used to be Murder One in Charing Cross Rd. London, now sadly closed. But there's always Goldsboro Books in Cecil Court, London with their signed first editions!

Favourite Quotes

  • My home is my retreat and resting place from the wars: I try to keep this corner as a haven against the tempest outside, as I do another corner of my soul. Michelle de Montaigne
  • Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony: Mahatma Gandhi
  • Friends are people you can be quiet with. Anon.