Current work: Medical, polishing (still - because I loafed, yesterday: bad me)
Listening to: Take That (great to drive and sing to – catchy, poppy and fun; plus one of the tracks is going to work on a Black Moment playlist)
Reading: next on TBR pile
Madam and I had fun in town yesterday, despite the queues. The Christmas shopping is done (including the stocking and special chocolate Santas for the dog – yes, Santas made from special doggy chocolate do exist).
Now all I have to do is wrap the stuff.
At the moment, everyone (including the dog) is banned from my office until wrapping is done. (Though I know they’ve been peeking. They take after me. Can't wait for a surprise.) DH and the kids have trimmed the tree, and it all feels nicely festive round here. As I’m just about to start my new book – set in winter, in Norway – it’s the perfect background.
This evening, the new library at Poringland has its official opening and it’s one of the National Year of Reading events. Authors attending include Sue Welfare, Sharon Griffith (local journo who writes a column I really enjoy in the EDP), and a certain Kate Hardy. (Actually, I’m going as both parts of me, as my talk is ‘A double writing life: romance and local history’.) Which means lots of make-up to hide the dark shadows under my eyes, and hope the light isn’t too bright!
Am still quite surprised at (and flattered by) the news that my blog is listed in Writing Magazine as a resource for writers. (Thanks, Nicolette, for letting me know – and also thanks to those of you who’ve emailed me.) I don’t tend to do that many craft posts. Maybe I should do more. If there’s a topic anyone wants me to cover, do tell me in the comments (or email me if you’re shy).
Still, I guess if you want to know what an author’s life is like, this blog gives a flavour.
And today (when I’ve finished the book, which has first priority), I’d better update my website, which is horrendously out of date. (Dear Santa. Please may I have a time machine for Christmas?)
Oh, yes – and those two secrets I’ve been teasing you about… One will be revealed on Tuesday over at the Pink Heart Society. I’m immensely excited about it (about both, actually, but I'm not allowed to talk about the other one yet).
Maybe I need a Pandora bead to celebrate. (Have bought one for Secret #2.)
I was going to buy the Northern Light bead yesterday, to inspire the new book, but sadly it wasn’t as nice in reality as it was on the website. Far from having turquoise waves on a black background, it had kind of twisted Vs in fawn, with the tiniest bit of turquoise. Very disappointing. So I’m sticking with Pandora, as I like the designs more.
Nice post yesterday: Greek copies of Breakfast at Giovanni’s (aka In Bed With Her Italian Boss - it’s out as a Desire). And M&B has sent its authors a book I was planning to buy – “The Art of Romance”, which is M&B’s cover art since 1919. Fabulous stuff. I do like the 1920s covers. Some of the old titles are gorgeous. “Where No Stars Shine” by Ivy Ferrari – really evocative. (Nowadays, there’s a 3-second buying decision, so that’s why we have “buzzword” or “hook” titles – it’s a kind of code for the reader.)
And I was so chuffed that the cover of the book that started my own journey into M&B is included: The Devil at Archangel by Sara Craven. This was the book that made me realise I wanted to write M&Bs. I was 13 at the time – I read it in 1979, the year after it came out. (And Sara's books are still wonderful. I tend to buy by author rather than line, and she’s still one of my autobuys. And the fact that the author who started this whole thing for me happens to be a friend of mine, now... Just pinch me. Sometimes this glitzy writing life is unbelievable.)
None of my covers are included in the book, but it’s still thrilling to see the names of people I know personally in there. Besides, I’m not a Really Big Name – I might be writing my 37th book for M&B right now, and I might be this year’s RNA Romance Prize winner, but my first M&B only came out in November 2002 – there’s still a long way for me to go! If one of mine had been included, I would have liked it to be The Cinderella Project – still one of my favourite covers – or The Spanish Doctor’s Love Child (that baby is soooo cute). Or...
Dear, lovely editor, please can I have Antonio Banderas as my cover model?
(You can hear her laughing, can’t you? One of these days…)