I am suffering from the dithers. I have so many projects on the go that I don’t know which to tackle first. You will remember that I lost 20 pages of script I’d put on a netbook? I did manage to re-write them, and I have finally made it to the end of the plot. Hurray! Rejoice! Then I did a word count and found I was way over because I had put in Too Much Plot. It’s not the first time I’ve done that, either. In this case it was easy to excise the offending section about a couple who’ve been lingering at the back of my mind for ages. Harold is a bitter little man who is constantly sniping at his big, good-natured wife. Gwen laughs off his nasty remarks, but I can’t help feeling that one of these days she’s going to lash out at him and then . . . who knows what will happen next? For the moment I’ve put Gwen and Harold into a separate file. Perhaps they’ll turn up in a short story some day.
Meanwhile, I am working hard to edit the next Ellie Quicke, to iron out inconsistencies, replace awkward sentences, tidy up loose ends. At the moment the title is MURDER WITH MERCY, but we’re still thinking about that. Delivery is to be by the end of November, and I should be able to make that in spite of all the other demands on my time.
So what has caused me to dither? To start with, the Methodist Recorder has asked for another short story for their Christmas issue, to be delivered by the middle of November. Yes, November – not December. I think I’ll write about the awkward guests or relations who don’t believe in Christmas – and what can or cannot be done about it. The words ‘Bah! Humbug!’ spring to mind. No doubt I can work them in somewhere.
My webmaster has turned the second of the Eden Hall quartet – The Lady of the Hall – into an E-book. There were favourable reviews on it within days, so we are going to look at transferring the third book pretty soon . . . if I can find the relevant floppy disc. Or maybe it’s on a memory stick somewhere? I really must get down to looking for it.
Then there are guest blogs to do. I seem to have missed out on some invitations to guest on other people’s blogs while I was recovering from shingles, and am now trying to catch up for Murder in Mind – which came out in May – and for False Alarm, which comes out this month. The problem is that although these books are published here in May and November, it will be another three months at least before they are available if they are sent overseas. So these guest blogs are set up months ahead of whichever date we’re thinking about and working from two calendars gets me thoroughly confused.
Another thing; I’ve been asked to produce an article for the Christian Writer about the pros and cons of putting your work into an electronic format. That probably won’t appear till the spring issue but I had to deliver last month, which meant more dithering – which job to tackle first?
MOST IMPORTANTLY – please note that FALSE ALARM will be published in the third week of November. See below for a description and for the ISBN number.
RESERVE YOUR COPY AT THE LIBRARY NOW!
I very much enjoyed the two talks I gave here in London last month. Great fun, with lovely audiences. Thanks to everyone who was responsible for the arrangements.
COMING IN NOVEMBER 2012 (lst March ’13 in USA)
FALSE ALARM, the 7th Abbot Agency story.
Bea is asked to find the person who laid a booby trap for the powerful tycoon, Sir Lucas Ossett, in his own block of flats. She finds his wife in a state of fear, while gossiping elderly ladies cast doubt on the probity of their neighbours. These include a ‘therapist’, an ex-employee of Sir Lucas’s, and a cross-section of yuppies and oddballs with problems. Call-girl cards have been left in tenants’ letterboxes, a cat has met an untimely end, and snow is forecast. Sir Lucas’s influence reaches out to touch and corrupt even those nearest to Bea. ISBN 9780 7278 8237 0.