Newsletter No 61 January 2013

                       AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ONE AND ALL . . .

So, another Christmas has come and gone. I have to admit that though I was rather late in getting organised, I did enjoy it when it happened. One of the highlights came about when a group from the churches nearby gathered to sing carols in our local shopping centre – that’s the street I call The Avenue in the Ellie Quicke series. Lots of people stopped to listen, some even joined in the singing for a while, children helped out by shaking maracas, and an elderly man told us how in times past he used to go carol singing, but of course no one does that nowadays . . .

Eventually, after giving me heartburn because I had to wait so long for the verdict, my editor did get round to reading the next Ellie Quicke, tentatively called MURDER WITH MERCY.  She loved it and has put it straight through for copy editing. Hurray!  I was worried about this one because I’d done something stupid and written the murderer’s bits in the first person/present tense whereas everything else was in the usual past third person/past tense. Putting the present tense back into the past, and turning first back to third was unexpectedly difficult, and I must remember to avoid making that mistake again.

Not, as it happens, that this will be a problem in the next Bea Abbot book, which is a whodunit so I don’t have to show the murderer planning to create mayhem. He/she just goes ahead and does it. I didn’t think I’d be able to get round to this story till the New Year but it began to roll out in my head, I managed to set aside an hour here and there to get started. So far, so good. As usual, I have to look out for the bit of plot that I have written in but don’t really need.

Two of my correspondents have asked about bringing back characters from earlier stories. Maybe I should run a quiz, asking you all to name one character you’d like to have pop up again in a future story. Well, why not? Drop me an e-mail and give me your suggestion(s). I promise, cross-my-heart, to use one of them if I can see how to work them into a next story. Right? Results of this in my next newsletter.

The short story called OPERATION CHRISTMAS was published by The Methodist Recorder as promised. It tells how our three retired friends cope with people who don’t want anything to do with this wonderful event. If you’ve been able to get a copy, fine.  If not and you’d like to read it, then drop me an email and I will send it to you.

So, wishing you a happy and healthy New Year, I’m signing off…….

Veronica Heley