Current work: revisions on fairground book
Listening to: Corelli
Reading: next on TBR
Was delighted on Saturday to see in the EDP that the Norfolk Miscellany is #1 in the Jarrolds local book chart. Yippee. (That’s my third week on their bestseller chart, so I’m really pleased.) (And yes, I’m blowing my own trumpet, but I’m an author and this is local history. If I don’t talk about it, nobody’s going to do it for me!)
As for seeing the wood for the trees… Sometimes, as an author, you’re too close to your book to tell if it works. You read your MS and you read what you intended to say, not what you actually said. Sometimes – no matter how experienced you are – it takes someone else to point that out to you.
Luckily, I have a stellar agent who’s very good at doing that, and in a really positive way. She sent me an email on Friday, pointing out the good bits of the book – and then I got the kicker. It didn’t work for her. Then she asked me two questions: why I started the book where I did, and what the conflict was.
She was spot on about the starting point – oh, duh, why on earth didn’t I start the day before? I can really up the emotional stakes if I start the thing in the right place. As for the conflict… I thought it was a goodie. So I rang her and told her what it was. ‘Great. That works. BUT it’s not on the page.’
Again, she’s right. I’ve downplayed it and left it too long to drop the bombs, and I need to make it clear right up at the front.
As this was my 40th M&B, you’d think I’d know this by now. But hey ho. I spent the weekend revising the first half of the book, after talking over different books with my lovely editor (and warning her not to look at the fairground book because she’s going to have a different version later this week). So I’m focused and I know where I’m going. Good.
Oh, and the result of the editor chat? Sadly, I don’t get my Regency Doctor… well, I can bend him in a little bit provided he doesn’t take over. My time-travel one was a no-no, too. (Though I should add that I am NOT jumping on a bandwagon; I had stuff published in the early to mid 90s that would be classified as paranormal, nowadays. And I’ve been a Barbara Erskine fan for a very, very long time.) But we’ve worked out what I’m doing next, and worked out the conflict that was giving me trouble. Again, sometimes it takes someone else to point something out to you or say something that triggers off your creativity.
Son enjoyed his final cookery lesson on Friday and came home with a really scrummy Black Forest Gateau (which we all liked), and chilli (which I liked but the fussy people I live with refused to try). Bless him, he looked so proud of himself. He has an inset day today (teacher training day). Madam is dismayed to think we’ll be doing something without her. ‘You won’t do anything FUN, will you?’ Bless. She has an inset day at the end of the month, so I’ve promised her we’ll do something fun then.