Happy New Year and New Book News

The world heaved an audible sigh of relief as the year turned, I think, collectively looking forward to better days. 2020 was a year where life itself felt far more fragile than usual, a global reminder of our own mortality.

But we got through it, thanks to friends and neighbours and Zoom pub quizzes and banana   bread and Pilates videos and Netflix and an amazing army of key workers from Nurses to delivery drivers who took risks so that we could stay safe.

And now here we are, a bit battered by the storm and slightly frayed at the edges, looking at a shiny new year with a vaccine on its way. Let’s all hold tight and look forward to the spring and summer when we’ll once again hug our loved ones. I’m planning an enormous party for the summer solstice, full of Pimm’s and carousing and hugging and dancing.

I’m also hoping that this year is better from a creative point of view. Back in March, when lockdown started, I had the idea that I could use the time to write, that I would be amazingly productive and that the ideas in my head would find a more tangible form.

As it happened, that wasn’t the case. My concentration has been poor and I’ve been unable to step out of the world enough to inhabit my characters’ story. Poor Kate and the long-suffering Pete have been waiting for me in Glen Coe for months now and Tessa is furious that I keep kicking her next adventure further down the road. And then there are the other ideas currently stuffed into a box-file of post-its and scribbles…

Nonetheless, I have managed to achieve a few things. The prequel to the Kate Carpenter series of art crime novels, Vanishing Point, is on my website as a free ebook to download, but I’ve also added it to Amazon so it can reach a wider audience. I also sent the first in the series, Don’t Blink, to my proofreader because it was edited and almost ready to go but I’d been faffing about and putting it off. And I knuckled down and finished the second, Trace Evidence. Both those books are out now in book and paperback and gathering a few good reviews from book bloggers and so on which is always gratifying.

All in all then, although I keep seeing 2020 as a failure on the writing front, I did manage to do quite a lot – I now have three novels and a novella published. I do need to do more writing this year, partly because I need to keep up momentum on the publishing front but also because I know that I am happier when I’m writing. The general positivity I’m feeling is helping so my first task is to go back to the third Kate Carpenter book. And because I work better with a deadline, dates for my editor and proofreader are in my diary.

Better get to it then – I’ve got a heroine who’s very annoyed that she’s been left shivering on a Scottish mountain for so long.

Take care and all the best for a peaceful and healthy new year. x

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