November 14 2008

Where have you been?

I have some great news. I have just had a letter from the publishers, Hales, to say that the world rights to publish a large print edition of MURDER IN BARE FEET has been sold to Thorpe’s. (Thorpe’s have already published 9 of my books in large print for those with impaired eyesight). That's good, isn't it? But even bigger news is that Hales have sold the audio rights in the book to Isis. That means that MURDER IN BARE FEET will be recorded by an actor on a CD, so that blind people or people who like being read to, can listen to the book. Isn’t that fabulous? I looked at other writers who have their books recorded and sold by Isis and I am indeed in honoured company. I was wondering who they might get to record it. If I had a say, I would go for Robert Hardy. Although he normally speaks in a cultured accent, I’m sure he would produce an excellent northern twang for Angel. What do you think? I’ll let you know how it goes.

Hey. Did you know it was The National Year of Reading, 2008? It’s a government initiative directed at libraries, publishers and responsible writers. Evidently I am expected to prise myself out of my comfortable hidey hole where I do my writing and go out and meet people. I am not too chuffed with the thought, but I appreciate that the idea of encouraging everybody to read more (particularly books) is in my ultimate best interests. I am, therefore writing to the 12 library authorities nearest home offering my services to talk or be interviewed or whatever they might want to do with me, before the year runs out. I don’t care if nobody takes me up on it. I will have done my bit. I can write all the more and stay cosy by the fire. I am nice bloke really, and I love meeting people, it’s just the business of getting dressed up, leaving a warm house, finding the place and parking the car …. I don’t know what will happen. We’ll see. I’ll tell you how it works out.

By the way this weather is playing havoc with my joints. I didn’t think I’d ever be saying that, but age tells all. My dear wife Celia’s wrist is still giving her some punishment, but very slowly improving we think. Hope you’re weathering the wintry punishment. Turn the fire up, blow the expense. Somebody else will have to pay for it if you don’t.

Thanks for looking in. Come back soon. Take care.
November 5th Guy Fawkes Day 2008
Hello there.

I must tell you. I woke this morning at the ridiculous time of 1.30 am. But it was not to start making bonfire toffee, nor to find bottles suitable for launching rockets, nor to find a suitable post on which to pin a Catherine wheel, oh no. It was to watch the result of the election of the President of the USA. And I had to wait until 4.30 am before it was 24 carat certain that it was to be Barack Obama. I am pleased to see that he is the victor, and I wish my friends (I have lots of readers in the US) the very best in the future … But I wished I had slept through. I will be in a fog all day. Instead of writing page turning saleable stuff, it will probably all be tripe and have to be scratched out tomorrow. I will not merely have lost a night’s sleep, I will have lost a day’s work as well.

Moving quickly on …
I got a few good wishes on the launch of MURDER IN BARE FEET on October 31st, which was very kind. The dust jacket was well up to expectations and should be quite striking among the hundreds of other books competing for attention in the shops. Also, my dear wife, Celia, did have the pot removed from her arm, and we did go out and had the special haddock to celebrate. The country pub we go to has a big log fire and we sat by it and heard the logs crackle and enjoyed the heat as we tackled the batter.

It is nice to live extravagantly now and again, isn't it? …

I knew you'd agree.

Oh dear. (Yawn. Yawn)
I must get some sleep.
Thanks for looking in.
Come back soon.