I have been meaning to blog, but with one thing and another....
Yes, the first draft of The Secret Shopper Affair is done! Hooray - well, half-a-ray, because I printed it off and then put it aside as I know how much work there is to do on it. I think the story starts in the wrong place, and there's too much action, plus there are heaps of topics I need to research, and I need to re-read the first two books (which I never enjoy doing) to be sure of continuity etc, so it's really the end of the beginning rather than the beginning of the end. Still, have been relaxing in the four days since I pressed Print.
Actually, an awful lot of those four days has been taken up by this tome - almost 800 pages, and hyped to be the big hit of the summer:
It's always a slightly bittersweet experience for an author, reading a book they know was bought by their publisher for squillions of times more than they get for their books... but fascinating, too, to see what might have created such passion. And I have to say, The Passage
is brilliant, though also responsible for quite severe wrist strain, the thing's so heavy. And it's only the first part of a trilogy.
I shan't go into plot details - one of the fun bits of reading a book before publication is that you don't have much to go on and I didn't know where it was heading. The answer - pretty much everywhere. It's hard to categorise - it reminded me of I Am Legend but also of my experience inter-railing round Europe and reading It by Stephen King and being so absorbed by the creepy clown that I didn't see much of the scenery. The book is very different - but the level of, well, addiction was similar. And I am not really a big fan of those kinds of books. I have to say that the first third was my favourite part, but that doesn't mean the rest wasn't ace, too. Worth the wrist strain, I'd say. Thanks to Gen at Orion for posting it to me (it would have taken my entire Easyjet hand luggage allocation, and would probably have exceeded the limit on Ryanair...)
Otherwise, it's been mainly cloudy, but when it's been sunny, boy, everyone's making the most of it (not our cat, btw, but a very confident neighbour two storeys up).
And I am in love with spring-food, especially when used in recipes from the brilliant Ottolenghi cookbook. It's definitely my favourite recipe book at the moment.