07 December, 2012 / News
Thanks for dropping in on this, my first newsletter. Lately I’ve been feeling as if real life is something that happens to other people, out there through my workroom window. I’ve been lashed to the computer with a looming January deadline for my next book – even though it’s not due for publication until Jan 2008 (it takes around a year for a finished manuscript to finally make it into the bookstores).
More immediately, though, I’m really excited about the launch of Lucky Girl, my third novel. I think it’s very different from the previous two, Babyface and Wonderboy. It’s the story of Stella Moon, daughter of a once-famous TV chef, whose gloopy, artery-busting cooking went out of style towards the end of the ‘70s, leaving him washed up and desperately trying to cling on to his celebrity status. The inspiration came from one of my husband Jimmy’s many forays into the charity shops of Peebles and Lanark. You know those dusty old ’70s cookbooks that look so dated and unappetising? The photography’s so garish, and everything looks as if it’s been garnished with a dollop of hair conditioner… yum.
Along with armfuls of vinyl, Jimmy started bringing these books home (why?!), which sparked off the idea for my character, Frankie Moon. I loved writing the book, and it really took over my life for a while. There are lots of flashbacks to Stella’s chaotic ‘70s childhood as she tries to make sense of her past (the daughter of a celebrity chef was raised on Findus Crispy Pancakes). Official publication date is December 28 2006, although it seems to be available on Amazon.co.uk from Dec 15, so perhaps some early copies will be out there. I’m really chuffed with the cover. Hopefully it looks retro enough without over-egging the whole ‘70s thing. If you buy it, thanks, and let me know what you think! I hope you enjoy Stella and Frankie’s world.
Work aside, our twin boys Sam and Dexter were cajoled into appearing in a feature I wrote for Stella (Sunday Telegraph magazine). It was their third shoot in a week, poor lads, which is really unusual – I don’t tend to parade them in such a merciless manner. By the time the Stella photographer arrived, they required serious bribery to cooperate in the form of a tenner each. Erin, my six year-old daughter, was so miffed that she wasn’t in the shot. Sadly, I couldn’t afford her.
I’m looking forward to Christmas now, and a short break from the PC before I contract RSI of the entire body. Jimmy kindly treated me to a fantastic new sax – a Yamaha 62 – which in the absence of any more pattering feet (phew) is definitely my new baby. My old sax ‘just broke’, or so said my children when I discovered it in pieces in its case. Highly suspicious. Everyone stood around looking hugely guilty until Erin piped up, ‘Oh well. It was only an old one.’
Have a brilliant Christmas,
06 December, 2012 / News
I am – it’s the subject of my column in the new (January) issue of Sainsbury’s magazine. List-making can be hugely helpful but also rather binding – especially when you never manage to cross everything off. Giving up obsessive list making is my resolution for 2013…
06 December, 2012 / News
I’ve just started writing my next book – allI can say at the moment is that it has a sugary theme and there’s lots about the joys and frustrations of living with teenagers. Early days yet, though – I don’t even know how it ends yet. But then, I never do, until I get there!
06 December, 2012 / News
I’m so happy to report that my next book, Pedigree Mum, is finished – it took me running away from home, and hiding in a hotel for three days, to finally crack it. But it’s all done now, with a fab, jaunty cover – will post a preview soon. It has a canine theme and is coming your way on Feb 28.
07 November, 2012 / News
Spring at last! I love living in Scotland but the winters tend to drudge on a bit. Now the sun’s shining, there’s no excuse not to haul myself out for a run or cycle… activities which actually go very well with writing, being an antidote to sitting hunched over the screen, turning a pale, sun-starved, mushroomy colour. I’ve finally realised, at the grand old age of, um… mumble-mumble… that the writing day flows so much better if I’ve been out in the ‘real’ world first thing.
I’m chuffed to tell you that my new novel, Mummy Said the F-word, has been selling well – it’s reached the top ten Scottish hardback fiction and Independent newspaper charts. So gratifying to see my book on those lists, among biggie authors! (See below.) Mummy Said has also been reviewed – positively, I’m glad to say – in Red, Marie Claire, In Style, OK, Sainsbury’s magazine and, gasp, the Financial Times (my first review in a posh paper). We had two book launches – one in Waterstone’s in Glasgow, and the other in a local hotel, organised by our lovely neighbourhood indie bookshop, Atkinson Pryce (www.atkinson-pryce.co.uk).
I’m now in the thick of writing a new novel which I hope to have finished by summer (which sounds pleasingly vague, doesn’t it?). It’s similar in style to Mummy Said – featuring a crazy mother, unruly twins and a dilapidated castle. I want to make it a real page turner with lots of laughs. That’s the plan anyway!
In the meantime, huge thanks if you’ve bought Mummy Said the F-word and helped to nudge it into those charts…