The highlight of this month - and a great start to 2011 - is that The Jewel of St Petersburg has been longlisted for the RNA's Historical Novel of the Year Award, as well as its prestigious Romantic Novel of the Year Award. The shortlist will be announced in the splendour of the RAF Club in Piccadilly, London on Feb 10th. So watch this space.
And the lowlights? Still struggling with the end of The White Pearl. Endings are tough. I have some theories about this but will save them for a later post, as when I get started on discussing the pitfalls that lie in wait for a writer there is a distinct danger that there is no off-button!
I was recently asked by one delightful but misguided reader if I would offer him some thoughts and insights about writing. No reader should invite an author to hold forth about their thoughts and insights unless they are prepared to sit up all night listening! Writers are consumed by their characters and their stories - it's the only way they can ever get to the end of a book - and though writers try to look and act like normal people, their heads are seething with another life and another place. They sit smiling at you and nodding in the right places but don't be fooled! They learn to be cunning, so that you do not guess that their minds are far away, battling with the blank page that awaits them like a nemesis from their subconscious.
Maybe I'll get to the end of my current book faster if I learn from the kitten. Whatever lurks in the underworld of my mind needs to get out - even if it comes out as strange barks.