August 22nd 2009

Hello there. Now I know I owe you an apology for not keeping this diary going the way I should have done. You regulars expect a paragraph or two every day. I will try and do better, but the truth is that old enemy, time.

I have been working hard on my current Angel book which is taking me longer than usual because, friends, the book will be longer than usual. The big white chief at Hales, the publishers, said my next Angel book needed to be 20% longer to match up with a new format they have devised to give a better deal to readers of their ‘Hale Crime’ series.

I am writing this diary today because frankly, I need a breather. I have to review the plot and make sure it is coming out right. The only way I can do that is to read it phrase by phrase from the beginning again. Anybody who tells you writing is easy doesn’t know what they are talking about. Of course it’s easier on the spine than cutting out a face of coal, or on the feet and legs serving behind a deli in Tescos for eight hours at at stretch, or on the eyes and nerves excising an appendix and tying off the bowel through a keyhole incision. But as my back is strong enough to keep me sitting upright, my feet and legs to keep me walking about, and I had my appendix out years ago, writing I can manage just fine. How I ever finish writing a book though, I’ll never know.

Got an invitation to speak to the Writers’ Group at Doncaster Central Library in October or November. Just working out the details with Alan Archer, their right hon. sec. If you’d like to attend in Doncaster, or you want to contact me, my address is I would always be pleased to hear from you.

Well those who could afford a holiday I reckon will have had theirs. If you are among them, I hope you managed to go abroad or if at home chose rain free days. The queen and I often talk about a trip we had in July up in Ullapool about ten or fifteen years ago in our motorhome. We parked on a great site at the front close by the water and it rained for 36 hours non-stop. It wasn’t a storm. The rate of water coming down didn’t change. It was as if God had turned on a million hosepipes over us, set them on medium fine spray and then left them to run while he went to watch the Aussies play for the Ashes.

I hope you will enjoy the sun while it is warm, and all the flowers and trees it helps to grow. Summer is a great time, we must make the most of it.

Please come back soon for more ramblings from of an old writer.