Thursday, 26 June 2008

New book. New man. New routine.

I’m so excited about this one. This is the book I’ve been itching to write since January when I was struggling to finish the troublesome Olivier’s story (Taken for Revenge, Bedded for Pleasure) and the idea came to me fully formed, in a flash of clarity and inspiration while putting on mascara. (That part is purely coincidental I should mention. The plot is in no way mascara-related.) I nearly poked my eye out in my haste to grab a pen and get it down before it slipped away.

So, after the excesses of Dublin I’m back in the White Chair of Creativity (as Rachel calls it) with pictures of my new hero pinned up all over the place. I’m liking him lots—and not just because I saw him in the (extremely lovely) flesh last week and he smiled at me, though I’m sure that this can only make the writing flow more easily. I first fell in love with Henry Cavill in Tristan and Isolde, when he looked dark, dangerous and delicious—as well as excitingly dirty...

But now I've seen how he looks when he’s scrubbed up I'm even more smitten...

So far, so gorgeous-- I’m feeling totally positive about the new book and the new man. It’s the new routine I’m less happy about.

I’m not a big fan of change. In fact, it’s pretty true to say that I embrace change with about the same level of enthusiasm with which I’d hug a man-eating shark, but sometimes you just have to take a deep breath and do these things. (Fortunately so far I’ve never been in a situation where physical contact with sharks is necessary... obviously.) My latest deadline nightmare of sixteen hour days (which coincided with the children being off for half term) punctuated by regular heart palpitations and adrenaline rushes and fuelled by a diet of sugar and caffeine convinced me that something has to change in the way I handle this writing life. So, with the summer holidays yawning like a vast chasm between here and the next deadline I’m following the advice of the brilliant (and endlessly kind) Michelle Styles and planning to stick to a slow and steady thousand words a day. I have this dreadful kind of guilt thing that says that because I’m a working writer I have to spend every available moment at my keyboard, and this has turned me into a miserable recluse who dives under the desk whenever the phone rings (If I hear it, that is. Mostly I have music on so loudly that this isn’t an issue.) I’ve come to the conclusion I need to work less, but more efficiently. And also go out for more coffee and boozy lunches with friends, and bake more fairy cakes with the children.

The theory sounds fabulous, doesn’t it? Now, let’s see if it works.

Thursday, 19 June 2008


Amazing city, amazing people, amazing time. And since that's about as articulate as I can manage at the moment, here's a pictoral guide to the last few days...

If you can make sense of any of that, do fill me in. For some reason ( and I can't think why...) it's all a bit hazy, but I do know I had a GREAT time-- thanks Abby!

Sunday, 15 June 2008

Still not here

With the Argentinean finished and accepted (and titled At the Argentinean Billionaire's Bidding, which I'm loving...) I’m taking a few days off to visit Abby Green in Dublin. Will be back at the end of the week with a full report of all the sophisticated, cultural things we’ve been up to.

(falls off chair laughing...)

And then I’m going to update my website.

Tuesday, 10 June 2008

Normal service will be resumed soon...

Sorry to have been so flaky recently in blog terms, but life has been totally crazy. The book is finished and the tweaks minimal, but I’ve also been doing birthday-celebrationy type things, going to London to spend the day with my lovely editor, and living it up at the opening of the Mills & Boon exhibition in Manchester library.

It’s a really cooool exhibition, and we had a great evening with Kate Walker and the BM, Annie Burrows and her lovely husband, a big crowd from the Richmond offices, and two hugely charming Mills & Boon ‘heroes’. (Obviously, being me I was far too busy holding a wine glass to take any photos...) As always, we were the last to leave and had to be virtually thrown out, but I did manage to sweet talk one of the people who was desperately trying to clean up all around us into giving me one of the exhibition posters, pictured above.

I feel a competition coming on....