...And you’re already a cracker!
2015 began with Mister and I watching fireworks in the skies above Palma de Majorca. It was a pretty spectacular way to see out the old year and see in a new one. And it felt right to mark that dividing line properly. 2014 was a fair old shake-up for me. It was the year I packed in my English teaching job and began an MA course in American fiction; the year I said hello to a fab new literary agent [same agency] and a fab new publisher [still Coolio Iglesias with the old one] and also the first year in quite a few that I haven’t had a new book out – not counting four very lovely new editions. So at times it felt a bit...um... discombobulating.
But really it was just the year that I quietly got on with things and did what felt right.
In 2014 I may not have had new books to promote but I was busy. Very busy. I wrote my first non-fiction book and also the crucial 49th and 50th drafts – or thereabouts - of my next novel.
And I’m so massively excited about both books. ‘Being a Girl’ is out in June. It’s the sister volume to James Dawson’s stupendous ‘Being a Boy’ and has fantastic little drawings throughout by that brilliant pug-loving doodler Gemma Correll. I’ve recently been working on the final drafts/proofs/page-layouts [I’m not very good with technical jargon – but I’m talking about last orders stuff] and I’m so chuffed with how it’s all looking. IMHO, the words aren’t bad at all but Gemma’s gorgeous drawings turn the book into something else. I think she’s given it a degree of added Specialocity.
And then in September, ‘Sophie Someone’ my next novel comes out. It may seem like a slightly different direction from my other novels but it’s not such a drastic departure that it won’t seem like me. I mean, it’s not ’Fifty Shades of Sex’ or 'American Psycho' or anything like that. It’s still my sort of teen fiction. There’s a first person narrator. She’s a girl. Um... a lot of pigeons are involved. There are a few maniacs.... one or two bozos... an old wombat who lives in Norfolk.... I can’t say too much more than that at the moment. But I promise you that I put my heater and soul into the writing of it and I’m massively chuffed that it’s arriving in bookshops this year.
And my immediate priority is to bash some new words out. I made a (very) small start on a new novel just before Christmas. Now I need to barge onwards. I’m not someone who enjoys the muse and lets the words just flow from me in a state of creative ecstasy. I find first drafts really hard. But I’ve got an idea. And that’s the start. The next step is to writewritewritewriteandfillupthepagesandIGNOREANYDOUBTS.
Follow your heart. Ignore your head.
This is the way I write anyway.
Hope you’re all having a good new year.
PS That box of books went to Gateshead Library.PPS The picture is of me at the Majorcan home of the writer and war poet, Robert Graves. It was taken on the second day of this year and I’ve chosen it as my blog picture because that man’s home was BEAUTIFICAL AND UTTERLY UTTERLY LUSH. His domestic arrangements were something else though. Graves lived there with his wife, their children and whatever girlfriend was inspiring him to write. [INSERT RAISED EYEBROWS.]