Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Tag

Word count: dunno today

I still haven't done any work on the book for ages but I need to start editing soon to get it into shape.

Feeling odd at the moment: on the cusp of all sorts of changes in my life. Maybe moving house, maybe moving jobs or making a go of being a writer full-time, then that strange unsettled feeling before going on holiday. Yesterday was my last day on the magazine - they gave me a really sweet send off, considering I was only there for 3 months. I hope I can work with them again. Then back to work at the BBC, which itself is in the middle of all sorts of turmoil. I've also made a decision about my writing, which I don't want to blog, but also creates mixed feelings...

But I am excited about the future so will stop being such a misery. I've also been tagged for the first time by Kate Allan...

Total number of books I own: maybe 600 (would be many more but I keep pruning)

Last book I bought: Low-carb Vegetarian Cooking by Celia Brooks Brown. This low-carb eating has really worked for me, but by being veggie, it's less unhealthy too!

Last book I read: a proof of the Little Lady Agency by Hester Browne, a debut author. Really witty and light, great beach read.

5 books which mean a lot to me:
This needs some proper thought and I will have to come back to it. Varies day by day!!!

I will tag the Fessing Author, Amanda Mann. I don't quite know if that's the way I'm meant to do it, actually. That's how green I am.

Oh and talking of green, my crocus.co.uk flowers still aren't here. Hmmm. And you can't seem to ring their customer services helpline as it defaults to a call centre. Not good.

Lovely Link of the Day:
As I'm in a rushy, have you joined my Between the Lines club for writers and readers of commercial fiction? I've just set it up and sent out the first newsletter last night, have had some very positive comments already. No ads, no spam, just free advice, interviews (this month with Louise Voss) and reviews...

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Me and the cat on best behaviour

Word count: Oh I don't know, same as before

What a busy week. At the weekend, with the help of boyf's friend, we rebuilt part of the garden wall, did lots of painting, more gardening and all sorts of niggly odd jobs. Then yesterday I had some cleaners in. This is a first for me, but blimey, it could be addictive. I really felt for them, having to attack my acculumated grime, but they've done a tremendous job. My oven is transformed (though the foam they used was like something from an industrial accident).

Now me and the cat are on our best behaviour while people are viewing the flat... tough for me, as I am quite untidy. But it's lovely coming home to an immaculate place. Having said that, I have waited 90 mins tonight for a viewer who never showed. Wish they'd be on best behaviour too.

In other news, I've had a look at the possible cover for Book 3, Brown Owl's Guide to Life, and I LOVE it. It's very clever indeed. My only slight worry is it's VERY girly, and like everything I write, the new book is quite dry and sharp in places. But I think half the battle with a book is to make something people want to pick up in shops.

Now all I have to do is finish the edits. I had a great chat with my editor about where the story is going and have lots of new ideas. Just hope the ideas seem as logical when I sit down to write them!

Oh, and I'm waiting for my plants still... will my flat sell without them?

Lovely link of the day:
Via Karin Gillespie's brilliant hype hag blog, I clicked on the I'm not really a waitress blog. Interesting and funny.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

In glorious Technicolor

Word count: still O but soon I'll be doing rewrites

Another week gone by and I am in spring-cleaning, redecorating mode. I'm looking at maybe moving house so have gone into tidying mode. All the niggly things that you don't notice when you're used to a home, but see very clearly through a buyer's eyes... tiny jobs, really, but they all stack up. So this weekend will be a frenzy of DIYing.

Am also going to sort out the garden properly, though I need some stuff delivered and have no idea when it will get there. I have high hopes for Crocus, which has a gorgeous selection of plants and products, but let's see... they're meant to deliver lots of plum slate chippings and also some 'carpet stones.' Am a bit suspicious of mail order, so fingers crossed.

My Meet the Author interview went up online this week and I barely look hungover at all! What do you think? There's one for my first novel, Old School Ties as well - it's a bit more off the cuff as I wasn't expecting to do it, so less word perfect! I also had a great review on a whole group of linked newspaper sites, one on the Good Book Guide, and even a positive one from Kirkus Reviews, the notoriously picky American publication. I'm realistic about publication in the USA: I really am the smallest minnow in that enormous and enormously talented pond, but it would be lovely if I can sell a few copies.

I'm also putting the final touches to my newsletter which will feature news, reviews and other information... sign up for it here.

Lovely link of the day:

Keris left a little message for me and I had a look at her blog: it's excellent, and multi-faceted. Puts me and my 'twice weekly if lucky' blog to shame. Must try harder!

Bye for now
Kate xx

Friday, May 06, 2005

Sunshine and no showers

Word Count: 0 (well, am currently not working on anything, am I?)

Busy few days - when are they not, eh? Election day yesterday, I really didn't know who I wanted to vote for till I went into the polling booth and even once I did, it was a 'least worst option' choice...

Have been updating my website, writing an article at work about beach huts, plus one at home based on my Boot Camp for the Broken Hearted for the Express, clearing the garden, coping with my ludicrously clingy cat (down, Ozzie! There's not room for you AND my laptop on top of my lap), and FINALLY managing to get my laptop to go wireless again with Wanadoo's ludicrous Broadband system. This has taken 12 hours on phone to a helpline, three separate attempts chasing up a tiny bit of equipment that each time they swore had been sent, only to admit it hadn't. It's now working pretty well but I will NEVER touch Wanadoo again once I am free of my contract.

Enough whinging. Had some possible cover art for the paperback of The Starter Marriage sent through today - two different designs, both very appealing. I'd been very unsure about their previous ideas which involved dead flowers, so it's a relief to see them! And I also had an email from my editor who has been looking at some of Brown Owl and she said she's enjoying it... I know there is definitely work to be done there, but it's good that she hasn't emailed saying 'hmmm are you sure you sent me the right version?' or anything.

Weekend plans involve more DIY, some socialising, some research on a feature I want to do and some reading! Hurrah!

Lovely Link of the Day:
The other day I did a video interview for Meet the Author, which is a website system showing short clips of writers talking about their books. Mine is also meant to be going into a new system for Sainsbury's stores where you can watch clips in the aisles... interesting concept. Luckily my interview isn't up yet but you can see all sorts of famous types, from Marian Keyes to Alexander McCall Smith on there - perfect if you want to see the face behind the book!

Monday, May 02, 2005

I name this ship…

Word Count: 131,492

The Good Ship Starter Marriage is now well and truly launched. I had the most wonderful party on Thursday night and it’s taken me until now to come down to earth. Naughty, I know, not to blog before then, but I have also been:

  • Trying to correct all the things that are wrong with Brown Owl;
  • Digging up the garden (correction, watching boyfriend dig up garden and supplying tea and sweeping up a lot);
  • Spending time with my sister – looking after her world trip photographs, and listening to some Aussie and New Zealand singers she discovered out there;
  • Going to my friend Adele’s for a yummy dinner;
  • Wondering why Homebase is such an awful experience: no trolleys, no staff on the shopfloor, no logic to the layout and a checkout nightmare;
  • Recovering from my first ever awful review – can’t even bring myself to say more about it, but it’s a lousy feeling when you’ve written the best book you can, that lots of people really like, then someone is really horrible about it. That’s life, I guess, but it’s horrid the first time. I’ve had about a dozen nice ones for the book, and one bad one. So how come it’s that one I remember?
  • Writing a feature.

Going back to Thursday, my party was brill – I hope to post some digital photos up on my website soon. I had all these wonderful people around me and my editor gave a lovely speech, and they gave me beautiful flowers and a fab Starter Marriage poster in a frame. They even spread little wedding confetti all over the tables. A girl could get used to this…
Slight irritation that a few friends were turned away by the bar, which is a shame as I liked it otherwise. So many thank yous, but especially to Geri for my ‘signing pen’ and especially to Emma for organising it all.
Back to earth with a bump this week. MoT on my car, more weeding in an attempt to spring clean my flat, and work. Next thing to look forward to is booking a holiday!
Have a great week

Kate x