Newsletter no 209, March 2024

It was an interesting experience to look back over the years in which I’d been writing. I remember how uncertain I felt for some years, if I declared myself to be an author.

                                              Life gets complicated . . . .

When I was first accepted for publication, writers got just one hardback book for library use. Over the years publishers added a paperback, a large print, and e-book and also an audiobook to their lists. Some of my historical romances were brought out under the pseudonym of Victoria Thorne but the suspense stories continued under my own name. Eventually almost all of these titles were sold on to a different publisher who brought them out with new covers . . . and then they got a second or third life in Print on Demand and e-books. Then the first of these publishers were bought out by yet another publisher . . . and this is why the Abbot Agency and Ellie Quicke books are now being bought out by Joffe for Amazon . . . Yes, it’s complicated! But you don’t have to remember who did what to whom and in what order. And I’ve forgotten!

. . . which reminds me to tell you that MURDER IN THE HOUSE| is being brought out by Joffe on March 21st. I haven’t seen the cover yet but I’m told they are going to be bringing out the rest of that series as we go through the year. (Caution: I titled this book MURDER IN HOUSE, but it may be coming out now with a ‘THE’ in the title.)

The children’s books I wrote had good storylines but are now pretty well out of date; so much has changed over the last 50 years in the way children are brought up; they now have phones and much more pocket money; they dress differently and have different expectations. Some of my readers plan to look up some of these the early stories. I am most interested to hear what they will make of them nowadays.

Nowadays it’s a case of deciding whether I write another Bea Abbot or an Ellie Quicke. Actually, it’s not as easy as that, because I seem to be getting more ideas for Bea than for Ellie. It continually amazes me that ideas do seem to pop up when I need them. It’s doubly amazing that in my 90th year I am writing what will be my ninetieth book.

As for the short stories I’ve written over the year, they were written for three or four occasions every year. Now I’m recycling them every month in the newsletters, so I’m actually going to run out soon . . . or perhaps restart them from the beginning all over again? Anyway, this month’s story is about Simnel cake. WHO ARE THE APOSTLES? Find it here.

I’m told that the book some of us Christian writers put together has been published and has been selling well. Called MY FIRST NOVEL, details can be found here.

The Owlets are considering a dive into the Great Outside – the garden. I tell them they’ll get lost in the undergrowth but AWOL at least thinks that will be fun. See them here.

A blessing on those who smile and say Hello if they pass someone they don’t know in the street.      

Veronica Heley