February didn’t happen. My heavy cold morphed into a cough and there I was, stuck indoors, with no energy and copy dates marching inexorably towards me.
But oh, the kindness of friends! I couldn’t have managed without them. They popped in and out, and brought me food and fruit and bunches of daffodils. One day I decided I’d had enough of being an invalid and crawled up the road to our local shops . . . and then had to sit on a bench and rest awhile before I could manage the journey home. And what a scolding I got from my Chief Carer! I didn’t dare put my nose out of the door for another three whole days. I’m a little better now but she still rings me up and tells me whether I can go out or not!
I am a very lucky woman to have such good friends.
Do you remember I told you I now have to register all my audiobooks with the Public Lending Right system? My publisher very kindly sent me a list of all twenty-seven books, each of which has a thirteen-digit number. (Yes, 13 digits for each audiobook!)
Can you imagine how many mistakes I can make in copying out even one of these numbers? Fortunately one of my good friends has volunteered to come round some day and dictate the numbers to me, so that I can put them on the web. I’m amazed that so many of my books have made it to audio . . . do look for them in your libraries, won’t you? They’re all unabridged, and professionally narrated.
Also out in February was the large print version of MURDER IN TIME, which is the last of the Ellie Quicke books which has been published so far. Another story will be out this May or June – which reminds me that I have to set aside time in March for the copy editing of this next one, which is called MURDER BY SUSPICION.
Something else good happened this month: Booklist sent through a nice review for False Impression, which is a Bea Abbot and doesn’t come out in the United States till 1st March. They said, ‘Solid writing, larger-than-life characters, plenty of twists, and a lovable, Miss Marple-like heroine make for an entertaining and satisfying read.’ Isn’t that nice? For the storyline, see the end of this letter.
One of the things I had to get on with this last month was another short story for the Methodist Recorder, titled SAYING, ‘THANK YOU!’ which is due out on Good Friday. They need the copy six weeks beforehand, so this was a bit of a problem because of my fluey/cold and cough. I managed to rough the storyline out fairly quickly, but it was a hard slog to get it finished. I was asked recently what I meant by ‘editing’ something I’d written. For me, it’s reshaping an awkward sentence, taking out words which aren’t needed . . . sometimes whole sentences need to go. It’s all about sharpening the text, and making sure it reads as easily as possible . . . and within the word count. In the end I had to ask the Recorder for a little more time. That hurt! I pride myself on delivering on time. But it has happened this time. More about this story in the next newsletter.
Some of you have been enquiring about the moths? Well . . . sigh. I still get a few. Urgggh! After changing the carpets and all! Oh well.
February is the month in which I received that all important payment from the government for Public Lending Right, which amounts to almost 7p per loan for each of my books in the libraries. I’m really looking forward to receiving my next bank statement.
A blessing: May you always find friends to help you when you’re in need.
Recently published: FALSE IMPRESSION, 9th in the Abbot Agency series. Bea has taken in the helpless Dilys, who accidentally infects the agency’s systems with a virus, while Bea’s on-and-off friend Leon also seeks sanctuary with her. Both Leon and Dilys’s boy-friend Orlando had been lured to the car park of a swimming pool where a murderer had been at work – leaving them entangled in a web from which they find it hard to extricate themselves. Everything that happens can be interpreted in different ways and it’s some time before Bea realises exactly who was murdered and why. Before she does so, she and everyone else in the house and at the agency find themselves under siege. Severn House. ISBN 978 0 7278 8445 9.
The new pop-up by Francesca Crespi, for Noah’s Ark, has a text written by yours truly. Francesca’s work is stunning. Frances Lincoln, ISBN 978-1-84507-937-6.
In January the Ellie Quicke story, MURDER IN TIME, came out as a paperback on ISBN 978 18475 15186, and in February there was a large print version, at ISBN 978 072 789 7770. Both from Severn House
One of my earliest historicals – MY LORD, THE HERMIT – has just come out on audiobook at CD/9781407951638.
SUE FOR MERCY, my very first published book, is now out as an e-book, as are CRY FOR KIT, and THE SIEGE OF SALWARPE – a romance set in the middle ages.
You can hear me reading various bits and pieces in recordings made by Isis (Soundings) as follows: Podcast & Interview:https://soundcloud.com/isisaudio/isis-unabridged-podcast-3-veronica-heley-interview. Collected newsletters 2011-2014 (one audio file) https://soundcloud.com/isis/veronica-heley-newsletters-2011-2014 Links to individual newsletters (click on each title) https://soundcloud.com/isisaudio/sets/veronica-heley-newsletters
UNSUNG HEROES is now available as an e-book. This is a collection of short stories concerning the problems of three retired men and their families, plus some Ellie Quicke short stories. £3.40 UK, and $4.90 USA. http://www.veronicaheley.com/othertitles.php?l1-11
Find details of all the other E-books at http://www.veronicaheley.com/ebooks.php?l1-11