Newsletter no.136 April 2019

So here comes April 1st, and I am not writing to you on a Fool’s errand but because I like to keep in touch with you. I love receiving your emails and try to reply to each one within a couple of days of receiving them. Cards, too. Not many people send postcards nowadays and you can’t blame them, because the cost of postage is so high. However, I do like to keep the latest ones around for a while before they go for re-cycling at church. Re-using the cards means we can sell them for a really low price and this helps offset the cost of the stamp. Last year Margaret at our church made one thousand Christmas cards and sold the lot!

The next short story is called ‘Chocolate Soup’ and is due to go out in the Easter edition. In this episode, Sally finds herself lumbered with a difficult task by a man in a wheelchair. Her subsequent adventures leave her limp and bruised, but she completes her mission in a way which I think will please most people. If you can’t get hold of a copy and would like to read the story, then let me know and I will email you one, free, AFTER Easter.

MURDER FOR GOOD, the 20th Ellie Quicke, was accepted by Severn House as soon as I sent it in and now I await, with some trepidation, all the queries from the copy editor who will want me to clarify this and correct that. He/she will point out typos here and there. He/she will red pencil my occasional misuses of grammar . . . misuses which are intentional on my part because people don’t always speak grammatically. And so on. Depending on whether or not I get a sympathetically inclined editor, it will take me anything from four days to two weeks to make the corrections. Also, being of a certain age, I use words and sayings which I’ve heard from childhood which are appropriate to the person concerned. Some younger editors don’t know these and think I’m writing nonsense but older people still use these phrases in speech, so I hope to go on using them myself.

Severn House and I have already agreed the blurb, and are talking about what might go on the cover. Now, I don’t get too excited about this, because the author has no rights in this matter; only the publisher can decide what they will use. But now and then they ask my opinion, and of course I’m full of ideas. This time it’s definitely a Domestic Drama so I’m going for something in the cookery line. I’ll let you know what happens next.

Meanwhile Harlequin Book Club has released the first of the Bea Abbot titles they’ve taken. This one is FALSE ALARM. Will this new readership like it? I do hope so, because there’s another title scheduled to come out with them later this year. More news: there’s now a large print version available in hardback of MURDER FOR NOTHING.

I’ve started to write the next Bea Abbot, which is called FALSE CONCLUSION. I’m enjoying this one. Young Bernice, Bea’s ward, is growing up ‘sassy’ and stubborn, but showing signs of having a heart . . . somewhere . . . but not on view!

May the longer days bring sunshine and hope to you, wherever you are.

Veronica Heley