Newsletter no 210, April 2024

Change is in the air.

So much is happening so quickly, that I’m always trying to catch up. I suppose it’s better to have too much to do, rather than too little, but at times I find myself wondering if I should take a week off. Or wo days off. Or perhaps even an afternoon? Yes, I know it’s a ridiculous situation. I’m ninety and nine months old and still working. True, I’m no longer writing two books a year, but am down to one. (And a bit)

But nothing much else has changed. Take copy-editing and proof-reading, for example. It’s easy enough to spot a mis-typed word. Most of the relevant rules have been part of my memory banks for years . . . such as, using a ‘z’ instead of an ‘s’ for words like realise (realize).           But every now and then the publishing world seems to undergo a volcanic upheaval and insist that, for instance, semi-colons are to be treated in a new way. And my brain refuses to re-educate itself. And don’t get me started on where quotes end up in relation to speech marks!

So, yes. I have done the copy-editing and proof reading of the next Bea Abbot book, called FALSE WITNESS, and it will be published early in July . . .

. . . which means I can get back to work on the next story , FALSE GOLD. Or can I? For here comes a reminder that another short story is due for the Methodist Recorder this Easter. It’s called ‘Don’t be afraid!’ which phrase is one of the most comforting and often repeated in the Bible. Also another short story is needed for the choir concert. That will be about Max, the tiny cat whose missus has an accident, placing them both at the mercy of . . . Well, you can read it here.

Are there any other impediments to my getting on with FALSE GOLD? Yes, Joffe books are bringing out another two Ellie Quicke stories in April, and are sending me the designs for the covers for approval. The dates are as follows: back in March, it was MURDER IN HOUSE on March 21st. In April there will be MURDER BY MISTAKE on the 3rd, and MURDER MY NEIGHBOUR on the 21st.

So, please, miss? May I have an afternoon off? Well, I know that if I do, while I am happily having a chat over a coffee with a friend, my brain will shoot off to work on the next problem in the plot of FALSE GOLD. So, is the dead body found in the amusement park really that of Pete, who was on the security payroll? And what’s happened to his dog? And, does a boy of nine months say more than five words and walk unaided?

If you’re interested in reading how some Christian writers got started in their career, you could have a look at MY FIRST NOVEL . . . details to be found here.

As for the Owlets, the sun came out and they ventured a tiny step outdoors. I’m not at all sure they like! But AWOL is aching to go AWOL. See them here.

A blessing on those who do a bit of shopping for those who can’t get out easily.

Veronica Heley