Newsletter no 66 June 2013

To cap the story of the Missing Banana skin, this last month I have been going on a killing spree! Anything made of cashmere or pure wool is like a magnet to the little horrors which infest this part of London. I have thrown out pillows and cushions and a rug, I have treated the carpets, I have scoured corners of cupboards and shaken out clothes I haven’t worn for a while. I keep a small towel for blatting purposes, as I can then reach the moths as they alight on the ceiling and make faces at me. Some days I kill only two and think I’ve pulled through the worst of it. Other days there are ten or so flitting around. I have not found any sprays which work. Neither do the teak balls, nor the strips of impregnated paper. I used to put my faith in bags of lavender culled from the garden and dried by my own fair hands, but even they have let me down. I suppose that killing clothes moths is good for getting rid of aggression. But then, I need some killing instinct to write about murders, don’t I?

I had a surprise email in the other day, asking plaintively why I hadn’t confirmed a speaking engagement at a Women’s Fellowship meeting. I had nothing down in my diary for May, and nothing in the way of a letter or email giving me details. It transpired I had been asked some time ago if I still gave talks, and I’d said ‘Yes, but not often’. Apparently I was also asked if I were free at the end of May to give one? I have no recollection of looking in my diary. I probably said, Please confirm. There was no confirmation, only this desperate email, which reached me the day before the event!  I dropped everything, phoned a friend to give me a lift there and back, and made it just in time. Some people think I was mad to respond affirmatively, but it was a nice distraction from editing, and well . . . why not? It was a pleasant occasion and we had a few good laughs. Yes; why not!

So yes, the editing of the next Bea Abbot is going on apace. I had thought I’d be able to get it in early, but Things Happen in life, don’t they? I’ve had to ask for three days’ extra to read it through one last time, but I think it’s all right now. Picture me anxiously waiting to hear what my dear editor at Severn House has to say about it.

Don’t forget the Winchester Writers Conference will soon be upon us. I’ll be doing two talks, one on what voice suits a writer best, and the other about working the media and e-books.  I hope to see some of you there. Dates: June 21st to 25th. Contact details:

A FANFARE is required here!

The fourteenth (yes really! 14th!) Ellie Quicke – MURDER WITH MERCY – is now out in the UK. Allow a couple of months for it to reach Canada, America, Australia, et al. 

In this story, Ellie is asked to investigate whether or not some deaths in the community are exactly what they seem, while her pregnant, difficult daughter Diana is struggling to cope at work, and her husband is still in a wheelchair. What’s more, sabotage at the big house nearby is being blamed on young Mikey, who is certainly up to something. Can Ellie track down whoever it is who is killing for mercy, keep Mikey out of the clutches of Social Services, and steer her difficult daughter Diana into calmer waters?

STOP PRESS! There’s a new moth-killer on the market which looks like a battery-operated tennis racquet. It fizzes and spits as it exterminates! I love it!

Veronica Heley