Monday, 22 November 2010

Why Blogging isn't Remotely Like Riding a Bike

It’s funny, but when you don’t blog for a while you kind of forget how to. Lying in bed this morning, mentally running over the things I had to do today (buy hay for guinea pigs to insulate them against forecasted arctic weather, buy Galaxy Cookie Crumble chocolate for me for same purpose, work on outline for next book, hunt down missing mugs in daughters bedrooms) I realized with a tiny jolt of shock that I hadn’t blogged for ages - so long I'd kind of forgotten how to.

Usually the silence in the aftermath of a deadline means my brain has left the building along with the book and I've done nothing interesting enough to report to my own husband, never mind the blogosphere at large. However, on this occasion I don't even have that excuse, since last week I went down to London and spent a lovely afternoon drinking tea with my editor and talking books, projects, possibilities and Kiera Knightley (not sure how we got onto that subject) before going to gorgeous RNA Winter Party. Abby Green had found us a gem of a hotel in the shadow of Big Ben, a stone's throw away from the luscious library of the Institute of Mechanical Engineers where the party was held and Heidi Rice joined us for a drink and a plate of fish and chips (literally - one plate, 3 forks. Classy girls, us.) in the bar downstairs before we sashayed round there. Met up with Natalie Rivers, Fiona Harper, Sharon Kendrick as well as a handful of lovely M&B editors and numerous fantastically cool people (Hello Rachael! Hello Jude!) I had a long-awaited chance to catch up with Margaret James, whose delicious book The Silver Locket was responsible for making me so unsociable on holiday at half term. All in all it was a really good evening. (I'm choosing to blank out the painful five minutes when naughty Abby and I were completely incapacitated with giggles over some of the titles on the library shelves. Honestly. I'm 40 not 14. She is a Very Bad Influence. I'm going to get my mum to write a note saying I'm not allowed to be her partner again.)

Moving swiftly on (and assuming a serious, professional expression) I also have book news. Tristan and Lily’s story – Spanish Aristocrat, Forced Bride is coming out in the US in January 2011 under the far nicer title The Society Wife, and the other day the UPS man brought me a big box of author copies. So, if you’re in a part of the world where Tristan and Lily haven’t previously ventured drop me a line (including your postal address) via the website sometime this week and I’ll put your name into a draw for one of five books.

I should also mention that Her Last Night Of Innocence, which is a December release, is now available in the UK. You might recognize this as the work formerly known as The Book That Would Not Die, and if you’re a regular reader of this blog (or as regular as you can be when I only update it once every Preston Guild) you might remember how much fun I had writing it (clue: a bit less than being tied to a chair and forced to watch wall-to-wall Hollyoaks for seven months) By the time it was finished I’d lost all perspective on it and thought I might just quietly ignore its release date. However, I’m not sure that’s either very mature or, as a professional strategy, very impressive, so – heartened by the fact that it’s been in the no 1. Spot on the M&B website for the last couple of weeks I’m going to crack open the box of copies that’s lurking under the sofa in my office and a send few of those out too. Email me with your address if you’d like one.
(*Warning: Please don't be fooled by the cover. At no point do Cristiano and Kate while away the evening with a hand of cards, nor is Cristiano in the fourth form at school, despite appearing in his uniform on the front. )

My final piece of exciting news is that I have finally summoned the confidence to end a miserable two-year relationship with my last vacuum cleaner, and yesterday, after prolonged lobbying from the daughters, replaced it with one of these.

The theory was that even they might be moved to take an interest in dust-removal with a machine that’s pink and has eyelashes, but actually it’s so lovely I want to play with it all by myself. The guinea pigs will just have to shiver a while longer. I’m off to hoover under my bed.


Sharon said...

This is such a sad question that I'm almost afraid to write it, but:

Joanna St. James said...

that is a pretty hoover

India said...

Oh yes - pretty, but EFFICIENT too!! (In fact, Hetty is my new idol.)If I can just talk boring housework geekery for a moment, I'm usually an upright girl but Hetty has made me appreciate the increased manoeverability of the cylinder cleaner... Oh. Sorry. That was way more information than anyone needed. See - told you I'd forgotten how to blog.

Ahem. Anyway - on a more businesslike note, I'm having horrible problems with my webmail service. Am still receiving mails (thanks to everyone who's already left names and addresses for books) but every time I try to send anything it comes back with a Mail Delivery Error message. This says that there's a high volume of unsolicited mail being sent from my address so it's been blocked for spam. How very dare they! Clearly (I hope) a mistake, but am not sure how to sort it out. While I try, sincere apologies to Rachael, Kristy and Marilyn. I'll keep trying to reply to your mails!

Nicolette said...

We've got Henry, one of many of Hetty's 'brothers'. Very good if you don't have large sections of carpet to hoover each day, which I do. (Through-lounge, in estate agent speak.)
Hetty is much prettier, though. Daughter has a small one to plug into her USB point and she can vacuum her keyboard. Cute!

Catherine J said...

Liking Hetty. If she's as clever as she is beautiful she'll have a setting for excavating through the surface layer of shoes, handbags, clothes, makeup, books and assorted clutter discarded by teenage daughters.

Yay on being No.1 on Mills and Boon's Top Ten List!

Abby Green said...

A-HEM!!! So like you Ms Grey to divert all blame to me for the 'giggling incident'. It was very funny though...but those titles were pure provocation. How could they expect us with our gutter level humour to react any other way?!

India said...

Have to confess, Nicolette, that dh came home with Henry originally. However, the daughters were most insistent that Hetty was the way to go, so the poor man had to go back to Comet and endure the humiliation of buying a pink household appliance...

Catherine, I don't think she has that function, just a handy little tool that sucks the whole lot up and neatly gets rid of the problem. Let's see if they notice, shall we?

I know, Abby. It was an accident waiting to happen, putting that particular section right by where we were standing. I'll look at mechanical engineers in a whole new light from now on...

Trenda said...

Hetty is precious! Why don't we have cute vacuums here??? *pouts*

So glad to see you're back to blogging. I've missed you!