How are you all? Back to school and 5.30am starts here, and a regular writing schedule. Yes, 5.30am. Trying to get two children out of the house by 6.15 is a nightmare (school starts at 7am here). There is a lot of coffee involved. But I love that new pencil case, new shoes feel. Even after five years I find myself hankering for autumn leaves and log fires and opaque black stockings, although it is high 40s and humid outside. I want to be cooking stews and French onion soup, but the hot shamal is screeching in the garden heralding sandstorm season. Oh joy. At least the frangipanis are flowering again - I took that pic last night in the garden (it's a bit like gardening in a steam room - two birds with one stone, yay for multitasking).
So, back to work and raring to get on with the new book that has been bubbling away for the last few months. The secret Pinterest board is groaning with pictures storyboarding it. Have you tried doing that? You can see my boards for the previous books here. If you write visually, as I do, it's a great way to trigger story ideas (and a lot easier than the old cork boards). The book's soundtracked too on Deezer - what did we used to do without all these things? Mix tapes? I've been writing long enough that my first novel was written on a green screen WP, with the keyboard balanced on my (then) boyfriend's sock drawer, and stored on floppy disks. Now everything I need is on a sleek little laptop. All I have to do is write the book ;)
I had to remind myself which names I'd used in the previous novels. Naming dogs and cats - no problem. People - much harder. 'Hold on ... didn't I have an Alec in the last one? Wasn't there a Mike in 'The Beauty Chorus'?' Still, noodling around with ideas with the lovely new red Elsa Peretti pen the pilot brought back from Washington for my birthday is a pleasure. There's a tip, by the way - if you're stuck for a birthday present for a writer you can never, ever go wrong with stationery.
So, all set for the new season and raring to go. What are you all working on? If publishing is in crisis, nobody told my writer friends on social media. ROMNA (the RNA's online chapter), Facebook and Twitter are awash with two and three book deals, Sunday Times bestsellers, awards and two writer friends are Richard and Judy pics. It's buzzing. Meanwhile, my new novel 'The House of Dreams' (known as 'The Sunday Girl' in Germany), is being published on Monday. You can read a free ebook prequel here:
There's also five days left to enter the competition on Lovely Books to win a copy of the novel itself. If you or a friend read German, I'd love to hear what you think.
Happy reading - and writing x