Newsletter no.131 November 2018

Do you know how to break down a door? I don’t! Ellie Quicke doesn’t know how to do it, either, but it’s become necessary for her to try in the story I‘m currently roughing out. I imagined her taking a hammer and chisel to it, so checked with my friend the builder if this was feasible. He told me how he’d open a locked door, himself. It seemed to take a long time but he said that neither the door nor the frame was damaged if he did it his way, and everything could be put back together again. I explained that Ellie has neither the time nor the expertise to do it like that, and had another think. I know that in books men are always breaking through doors with a well-placed kick. In my story Ellie looked at her open-toed sandals and decided that wasn’t going to work for her. I’m not sure how she’ll manage to get through the door in the end, but rest assured that she will. Somehow.

The proof reading of the next Bea Abbot, FALSE ACCOUNT, has duly been laid o rest and the book is due to come out at the end of the year. They have given me a good cover showing a model train and yes, of course, a black cat looking down on it. I really do like this cover. It brings back fond memories of playing with a model train set when my daughter was young. She preferred trains to dolls.

The short story duly came out in the Methodist Recorder. It’s called ‘It’s Not My Problem!’ Bruce, who’s still suffering from the effects of being mugged by a group of youths, is asked to counsel a lad who’s bent on revenging himself for a similar encounter. When Jimson turns up, he’s hooked into his music and apparently not listening to anything Bruce says. Then he produces a wicked-looking knife . . . and who is going to listen to advice from whom? If you’d like a copy and can’t get it in the ordinary way, let me know, and I’ll email it to you for free.

Do you remember FALSE FIRE? One of my favourite Bea Abbot stories. There is now a paperback out, and also a large print version. Also, the audiobook of MURDER FOR NOTHING has now appeared on my doorstep. The courier produced some sort of gadget on which I was supposed to inscribe my signature, but alas, I didn’t press hard enough and the result was unacceptable. However, we agreed that as he’d actually delivered the package into my hand, he didn’t need a signature as well. I will never catch up on all this technology!

A blessing; may you find pleasure in even the smallest of things; a good cup of tea, the smile of a friend met in the street, a card or phone call from someone you haven’t seen in a while.

Veronica Heley