Newsletter no.119 November 2017

What’s your favourite way of dealing with unsolicited phone calls? Sometimes I pretend to be very ancient and keep saying, ‘Who did you say you are?’ I get them to repeat it several times, and even to spell it . . . and then they ring off. I’m thinking of replying in future with, ‘Can you wait till I find my hearing aids?’

More good news! I have signed a contract for the next Ellie Quicke, which is to be delivered at the end of the year and will be published mid-summer. I had called it ‘MURDER BY JOKE’ but the Powers That Be decided that this was too frivolous and wanted something else. So now it’s titled ‘MURDER BY SUGGESTION.’ It’s going to be a bit of a rush to deliver by the end of the year but with a bit of luck, it will be all right.

I find it hard to believe, but the next Bea Abbot story – FALSE PRIDE – which comes out at the end of the year, is going to be my eightieth to be published in the traditional way! I’ve just finished the copy editing and proof reading and have seen a pull of the projected cover, so my part in the production is done and dusted.

I have a little book in which I write down the editions of each book as they come out, but can’t be absolutely sure that I record everything that happens. For example, the first out is a hardback book, to be followed fairly quickly by an e-book. Then, perhaps a year later, there is a paperback and fairly often, a large print version. And somewhere in there an audiobook barrels its way through. So yes, that’s five versions of one story. I am told that you can also download most of these tales through something called Audible onto your phone or i-pad, but I’m not clued up enough to do that.

Recently, I’ve been informed that a trade paperback of FALSE DIAMOND will be out at the end of October and that the ebook of MURDER FOR NOTHING will appear on November lst (today!). False Diamond – pb 978 12 84751 798 2 and Murder for Nothing ebook 978 1 78010 903 9. Also, my webmaster has embedded codes into my website which allow you to listen to an extract from recent books at will. How clever is that!

Next on my To Do list is a Christmas story for the Methodist Recorder, which I will have to deliver some time in November. I thought of calling it ‘What is a gift?’ Do we really think of what the recipient would like when we buy a gift for someone, or do we arrange to get something we want ourselves? Do we spend too much to prove that we care about someone? How much should it cost? Do we remember how the business of gifts started? I suppose there are many answers to these questions. But what will the four friends in my story decide to do?

And finally, a blessing; In the dark days of winter, may your bright smile warm the hearts of people wherever you go.

Veronica Heley.