Friday, 9 May 2014

Apple Blossom Time*

(*In other words, a mighty long time since I last posted)

I love this time of year. I would say it's my favourite, except that I suspect I've probably declared in previous Septembers, Novembers and Junes that Autumn, Winter and Summer are the seasons I like best (ie. whichever shiny new season is just unfolding.) But I really love Easter, and daffodils and forget-me-nots, and I love those few weeks when the evenings lengthen and are indigo blue rather than sullen grey, and when the blossom is out and it glows against the gathering dark, and when our garden actually manages to look almost nice for about five minutes.

This year the season has been all the more special because amazing things have been happening in book world, and from now on I know I'll always associate pink trees and the scent of wisteria with the excitement, fear and amazement of selling my first longer-length, single title novel. In the two weeks leading up to easter my incredible agent (Becky Ritchie of Curtis Brown) was emailing daily to keep me updated on developments as offers came in, and the whole thing took on the aura of a pink-petalled dream. Finally, two days before Good Friday, a deadline was set and a decision made, and I can now announce with enormous pride and excitement, that Letters to the Lost will be published next Spring (also at apple blossom time) by Simon and Schuster under my new writing name of Iona Grey. 

I haven't blogged much (at all?) about the book, which I wrote quite quickly last year. This was a bit because I didn't really want to admit that I'd set aside the one I'd been writing for such ages (which I did four days after writing this post!) and a bit because, following my failure to make that one work, I was far from confident I'd be able to do better with the next one, even though it felt like a joy to write. I'm looking forward to massively boring everyone about it when publication time approaches, but in the meantime I'll leave you with a little synopsis, and the link to my Pinterest board. (How modern!)

Letters to the Lost is the story of how love can stand the test of time and death. 1943: In the ruins of Blitzed London American airman Dan Rosinski encounters vicar's wife Stella Thorne. It is the beginning of a reluctant, impossible, unstoppable love affair in which all the odds are stacked against them. In a time when everything is uncertain, their letters help them to hold onto the one thing of which they can be sure: their love for each other. 2011: Tia Moran stumbles on an empty house in her moment of need and it seems like a miracle. But then a letter drops through the door and she is drawn into the story of a love that has endured for over half a century, and the search for the elusive Stella Thorne. Can piecing together fragments of old lives give Tia a better understanding of her own? And can uncovering the story of a past love give birth to a new one?

In other news, we've got a new kettle. An electric one, which is quite something as for the last four years or so we've been using a camping one on the gas hob (it's a long story...) And, with GCSEs starting on Monday, today is daughter #2's last proper day at High School (although I'm not sure 'proper' is the right word, given that it will mostly involve water fights and drawing on each other's school uniform). How can this be? Wasn't it only the other week that she left primary school?