Sunday, 28 January 2007

Glossing over

I have finished Our Mutual Friend. HOORAH!!! I was worried I wouldn't be able to finish it by the end of the month (my N.Y. resolution was to read a new classic every month) but I was babysitting for a friend last night and the TV was so dire I read the last hundred or so pages. What a brilliant book. I loved it. So funny, such insightful social commentary, such fabulous characters and a great plot. What more could you ask for in a novel? Feb's classic: Under the Greenwood Tree. Because it's short...ahem...because I've heard it's fab.

Have had a weekend of baton-passing parenting, you know, where you do single-handed childcare shifts inbetween Things You Actually Want to Get on With. No we-are-fammerly time but never mind. I'm dead chuffed though, having done the windows in our room at last. When we moved here, our bedroom was purple everywhere - it was disgusting, frankly, a really vile sludgy dirty purple colour, oh and hideous textured wallpaper too into the bargain. We stripped that lot off and painted the rest of the room about three years or so ago but never quite got around to finishing know how it is. So we've lived all this time with purple windowframes which has always make the room look a bit crap. Except after a while you stop noticing these things. But the purple is no more! I have sanded and scraped, I have primed and glossed. And they're sash windows too, ie a right bugger to paint. I've already had to scrape a screwdriver between the edges where the primer glued the window shut. What's the betting that, if we do move, the people who move in will promptly rip out all the lovely sashes and stick in UPVC everywhere?

Right. Off to Google some nice houses now.


Jane Henry said...

OMF is one of my favourite Dickens' novels as I studied it for A level. I love Eugene Wrayburn's cynicism, and Bella's spoilt petulance. Sadly neither of them are nearly as much fun when they become good. And as for Lizzie Hexam - does she win the prize for wettest heroine in the world or what? But I agree, it is a wonderful book and very compelling.
UTGT is good too - and unusually for Hardy, not that gloomy! My favourite Hardy novel is Far From the Madding Crowd though - so evocative of sunny days and harvest time...

Btw - did I see somewhere you write children's books too? With my other hat on, I edit them.

love Janex

Lucy Diamond said...

Hi Jane,

Yes, you read correctly - I write children's books for Usborne and Orchard under my real name (Sue Mongredien) as well as lots of things for Working Partners, including some of the Daisy Meadows' Rainbow Magic series.
Who do you work for? I used to be an editor too, years ago, for Random House, Transworld, OUP and a little stint at HarperCollins. It's such a small world, children's books - I bet our paths have crossed somewhere or other!

Sue x

PS Agree with everything you say about Eugene, esp wet dishcloth Lizzie. Still loved it, though!

Jane Henry said...

Sue/Lucy You write Rainbow Fairies????? My six year old will love you forever. Actually I love you forever, my eight year old discovered reading through Rainbow Fairies.

Ok... so I used to work at Scholastic with Anne Finnis (who freelances a lot for Usborne) and David Fickling who now has his own imprint at Random, as well as Helen Greathead who was the Horrible Histories ed. Designers I knew were Tracy Hearst who went to Transworld and Alison Gadsby who also went to Random and has just gone freelance. Oh and Working Partners turned me down for a job. For some reason they thought I might get pregnant...

It is indeed a small world!

Haven't been able to persuade Megan Larkin to take any of my obviously brilliant children's novels!!! But Evans are publishing a short story soon.

love Jane, aka Julia Moffatt (I used to edit Point Horror)

Lucy Diamond said...

Ooh - Ali Evans still there? We had a brief crossover working at Random House together back in...eek...1992, I think. I know of Anne Finnis and David Fickling but haven't worked with them at all.
It must have been fun editing the Point Horror series - I was working at Red Fox when they came out and we were all very jealous of the massive success!

I haven't had much to do with Scholastic, other than writing the Royal Ballet School Diaries series (as Alexandra Moss) but that was another Working Partners thing so I didn't have any contact with the editors there. They did a fab job on the covers though, they look gorgeous.

Glad your girls are Rainbow Magic fans!

Jane Henry said...

HI Lucy - maybe we should carry on this conversation by email! you can email me at:

Anyway, Ali left Scholastic a couple of years after me. Have lost touch but her eldest must be nine this year, and the second one I'm guessing is six. Last I heard she'd given up publishing which is a shame and moved to Bath.

Yeah Point Horror days were fab. I used to get regularly interviewed in the PN and occasionally on the radio. Made me feel very self important. except they weren't really my success, Anne had originally bought them in. I can lay claim to all the spinoffs though. My eldest has just started reading them, which is a really great feeling.

Told the kids today I had "met" one of the Rainbow Fairy authors and my six year old said in awe, Thank you for telling me!!!

Kids, don'tcha just love em????

love Jane/Juliax aka Ms Schizophrenic.

Anonymous said...

Hello. Just wanted to pop in, and ask a question for my 11 year old daughter. Do you have any plans to continue the Royal Ballet School Diaries series?? She adores these books, and is hoping that the series will continue to follow the girls through their school years.

Lucy Diamond said...

Hello anonymous,
Very glad to hear your daughter likes the Royal Ballet School Diaries... but I'm afraid I'm not writing them any more. There are another two titles published in the States - New Girl (book 7) and Boyfriend or Ballet (book 8) which you may not have, although I don't know if you can buy them over here.
If you have trouble getting hold of them, you can always contact me through my website ( and if you let me know your address, I've got lots of spare copies here so could send a couple your way.
All the best!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for replying. My daughter will be terribly disappointed. Actually, we are in the States, so we have all eight titles.

Doing a bit of research online showed two titles in the UK, which were different... I'm guessing that they are the same stories under different titles? Naomi's New Step & Belle's Best Move...

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