One advantage of getting a new car on the day I published my first novel, is that I’ll always remember when it’s due its MOT. And taking the car for its MOT means I easily remember my book birthday. So what’s happening as my baby turns four? Read on for an interview with one of the minor characters thanks to one of Craig Boyack’s alter egos and an update on revamping the blurb.
I had such fun when Steve, the creepy criminal from my second novel, Underneath, was interviewed by a robot radio show host, I asked if Lisa Burton could do something similar for my debut novel, Sugar and Snails. This time, however, instead of giving the narrator, Diana, another chance to tell her story, I wanted to approach it from a different point of view.
An online poll identified a clear winner, although – surprise, surprise! – not everyone agreed.
Whatever it might mean, my publisher and I are both happy with the revised version, although it won’t appear on the books for a few weeks until the designer returns from his travels! (As it wasn’t finalised when Lisa interviewed Marmaduke, it’s slightly different to the one over there.) I hope you approve!
When Diana escaped her misfit childhood, she thought she’d chosen the easier path. But the past lingers on, etched beneath her skin, and life won’t be worth living if her secret gets out.
As an adult, she’s kept other people at a distance... until Simon sweeps in on a cloud of promise and possibility. But his work is taking him to Cairo, the city that transformed her life. She’ll lose Simon if she doesn’t join him. She’ll lose herself if she does.
Sugar and Snails describes Diana’s unusual journey, revealing the scars from her fight to be true to herself. A triumphant mid-life coming-of-age story about bridging the gap between who we are and who we feel we ought to be.
Earlier this month, I mentioned another online poll, where the cover of Sugar and Snails was pitched against nine others. If you did, thanks for voting for the one you liked best. As you can see – or can you? apologies the image isn’t very sharp – mine came a respectable fourth, but with a miniscule proportion of the votes. Admittedly tastes differ, and it’s not worth worrying whether votes were cast for friendship rather than the design, but I feel I owe you an apology if I’ve wasted your time.
This, and the plethora of links in the first half of this post, reminds me of my gratitude for the friendship, and support for my writing, I’ve found online. A book birthday is an ideal time to say THANKS FOR SHARING THE JOURNEY WITH ME.
Some of my online friends in America have been meeting up for real this week. Norah – who came all the way from Australia to meet me in London (okay, not just me, and not primarily for our meeting) sent a proxy in the form of a koala, thereby catalysing this week’s flash fiction prompt. A koala? Well, if I can ventriloquise a cat from a serious novel, I should manage it …
Reaching the clearing, we unpacked the hamper, while the girls danced their teddies around the fairy ring. In the balmy twilight, it couldn’t have been more magical if we’d staged it. If we’d already popped the champagne.
“The forest looks different.” Bean-pole trees, peeling blue-grey alligator bark.
“It smells different.” Like an antiseptic spray.
“It sounds different.” Like a gargling bull.
“That teddy’s climbing the tree!”
“That one’s eating it!”
“So cute! Can we take one home?”
The girls didn’t know about the diagnosis. We’d come to make memories; finding Koala Kingdom ensured she’d live on in their minds.