Newsletter no.113 May 2017

Well, I survived almost a month without my trusty computer. I am very grateful to my little old netbook which, wired up to the gills, managed to do almost everything I asked of it. I managed to cope with the copy-edit for the next Ellie, which is called Murder for Nothing, and due to be published on July 10th. It was not easy. At different times the MacAfee thingy swung into operation, reminding me it was out of time or money or something. Then there was a nasty little message which came and went, saying that my USB thing was malfunctioning. And everything would freeze for a second or two, and I would try not to panic . . . and pull things out and push them in . . . and eventually, after having put me in a state of collapse, the netbook would agree to continue as before.

Do you get nightmares about computers wanting you to do this and that, and you haven’t even the terminology to understand what they’re talking about? I am only grateful that some people’s minds work in different ways to mine, and that they can understand what the computer wants and can attend to its needs.

As I say, I had to deal with the copy-editing of Murder for Nothing. I have a new copy editor who hadn’t met my work before, and as with all new relationships there were times when we both had to grit our teeth and be very restrained in our language. I must say, I do respect copy editors; they take our work and check it for spelling, grammar, and delusions of grandeur; for typos, and run ons; for errors and omissions. They know the rules and do their best to see that we writers follow them. Then someone like me wanders into their orbit and says things like, ‘Rules are meant to be broken. Language is always on the move, so live dangerously!’ Mostly, they laugh and agree. Only now I’m not laughing because I have to do the proof-reading instantly! Now! This minute!

You remember that I sometimes have a difference of opinion with my publishers on the subject of covers? You will be amused to hear that, as I suggested, the cover for Murder for Nothing really is going to show some cell-phones, with the top one being pink and sparkly! Hurray!

The Methodist Recorder brought out the short story ‘Remember me!’ on Good Friday. This is about the strange things grief can make you do and also an Easter reminder that death is not the end, but the beginning. If you’d like to receive a copy of this story, email me, and I’ll send it to you, free. Meanwhile, I had to write another short story for the Recorder, which will come out at Pentecost and it’s due in today! Oh, dear. Everything happens at once.

I haven’t got very far with revamping the website as I couldn’t access my picture gallery on the netbook, and now I can’t seem to scan anything, either. But I have managed to find out that False Wall will be released as an audiobook on 1st June, and Murder in Style in 1st August. And this last month, Severn House released Murder with Mercy in paperback, and Murder in Style in large print.

And finally, a blessing; may the kindness of friends and the beauty of the trees as they come into leaf, keep you in mind of the love of God.

Veronica Heley.