Oh my goodness... I have left the blog neglected and dusty for a whole MONTH! How rubbish am I? I have been kind of busy though, honest, not just lazy. In fact, in February, I went to Norwich, Cornwall, London, Coventry AND Leicestershire for various trips, all of which were work-related, so that's my excuse. I'm back in sunny, nearly-spring-like Bath and am not going anywhere for a while. Phew.
So... what's the goss? I suppose I'd better tell you mine first. The new novel is coming along, slowly but surely. Part of the reason I was in Cornwall was for a research trip - the whole family were there at first and we investigated various places I want to write about (she said cryptically), and then they all buggered off home, leaving me in a cottage, writing furiously for three days. It is amazing how much work you can get done when you don't have the distractions of children, housework, Facebook etc. I wrote 18,000 words in three days! So that was a bit of a result. I felt so LONELY by the end of it though, I was desperate to see my kids and husband, absolutely aching to see them, if that doesn't sound too melodramatic. We had a lovely reunion on the platform at Bath train station though, children flinging themselves at me from all angles, awwww... Five minutes later, I was telling them off about something, but you know, it was nice while it lasted!
I went to London last week for two meetings - one with two children's book editors, for whom I'm writing a new series (did you like that 'for whom', by the way? Just call me Victorian Gentlewoman) which was fantastic - we were brainstorming plot ideas for the last three books in the series, and I came away feeling v inspired and like a proper creative person. Then I met my children's books agent for lunch and a catch-up, which was also extremely nice and I found myself rashly promising her a full synopsis for a new children's novel by the end of the month. Eek. Better think up an idea fast.
Afterwards, I'd planned to go to the Van Gogh exhibition at the Royal Academy, but when I got there it was absolutely heaving, with a massive queue. So I went to Fortnum and Mason instead, as it was raining and I was curious. WOW. Have you ever been there? I never had before but I think it is my new favourite shop. The Easter Egg displays were just amaaaaazing (do NOT take a child in there unless you are prepared to say "No, you can't have it" at least 700 times) and ooh, everything, actually, was just beautiful. I went up to the 3rd floor to the 'Gentlemen's Gifts' section as my husband's birthday is coming up, to find tables of solid silver compasses, snazzy cufflinks, silk ties, bowler hats (I'm not joking) and a sales assistant wearing a full-on suit. Unless he was one of the customers, of course. Fabulous. Obviously I bought nothing, but all the same: fabulous.
Reading-wise, I was lucky enough to be sent a proof of Tess Stimson's new one - What's Yours Is Mine. I started it last night and it is so, so good - brilliantly written, great characters, lots of clever bits that make you think twice. It's out in April so look out for it, I'm sure it will be another whopping hit for her.
Right, better go, 2,000 jobs to do before school kicks out in half an hour, and it's the dreaded swimming lessons to be a taxi service for too. More soon. Well, sooner than a whole month, anyway, I hope... x
4 hours ago