Newsletter no. 190, August 2022

Congratulate me! I have been to Bruges and back! I was so worried about the journey that I booked myself some Assistance and that made all the difference. It was very hot, but lovely to see old friends and hear their stories about what they did in the Bad Times of Lockdown. Nearly all my favourite shops are still there, I bought some clothes and came home very tired and very happy.

The proofs for Murder for Profit have now been read and amendments made. There wasn’t very much to correct, although some nit-picking (do you hear me grinding my teeth?) proof-reader brought up one or two points that I had to deal with. She thought I meant X when I meant Y. Yes, it happens. The great thing is not to make this an invitation to pistols at dawn. Take a deep breath, deal with it and get on with life.

(You can skip the following if forms made you feel dizzy.) You probably know that books borrowed from libraries can earn the writer so much per lending out. It is a not inconsiderable part of our income. I made a mess of trying to register an audiobook at the British Library (Public Lending Right department|), so got on the phone and a delightful woman took my details, agreed that yes, I’d been getting published a long time . . . and then told me I had Sixty-three (63) titles which had not been registered! We whittled this down to 61, but still!

What seems to have happened is that I have missed notification of publication for some e-books and audiobooks, which means I won’t get any PLR money for them. When I first started writers got one hardback book per title and that was that. Now we can get hardback, paperback, large print, e-book and audiobook. And each one of these has a 13-digit registration number. And I’ve missed this sixty-one times!

So, I’m appealing to all of you who write, or who know someone who writes, to check their details to make sure they are not missing out. I’ve been talking to my publishers about this. It looks as if the system could do with being given a tweak or two, to keep up with the technology.

The garden continues to occupy some of my leisure time. It’s so dry! The ants have, I think, been defeated, but the black fly!!! On the other hand, I have had some pickings of runner beans, grown in big pots on my patio. The first flush of roses is over but I’m dead-heading like mad to see if I can get a second crop.

The next short story is: another about Max the Cat.

I had to write a short story for our summer concert for the choir, and this is what Max has been up to lately. Spoiler alert; he’s been catnapped! You can access the tale here.

 Parsley & Posy

are posing with some tansy and a fake ‘poppy’ that someone dropped into my garden and which seems to have taken root there. See them here.

A blessing on all those who manage to be appreciative of other people’s holiday photos!    

Veronica Heley