Here is my eerily tidy workstation this morning, April 23. Honestly, I haven’t prinked it up for the picture – it really does look like this, and the reason is that the paperback of THE ILLUSIONISTS is out today and the hardback of DAUGHTER OF THE HOUSE is due on July 30. I finished the last and final work on DAUGHTER a couple of weeks ago and I’m waiting for the book proofs/advance reading copies to come in. So there’s no more writing on either of the two books that have absorbed me for ages, which means I’m cast adrift at the helm of an empty desk. Waiting for the current to sweep me and it into a new project. Or something of the kind – if only it was really so majestic and natural and ozone-rich. Actually it’s more a matter of disjointedly reading, scribbling paragraphs in notebooks that I immediately mislay, yawning, staring out of the window at people on bicycles, feeling slightly seasick as the idea weighs on my diaphragm, and telling myself alternately ‘it’s going to be brilliant and a work of genius’ or ‘it’s FAR too unwieldy, you know nothing about the subject, think of the RESEARCH, no one will read it. Try something noirish instead with GIRL in the title…’ But after so many years of writing and more than a score of novels in print, I know one thing. You can only write what’s in your head and heart. If it isn’t going to be what the market and the marketeers currently swoon for, then nourish the hope that yours will be the book that turns the tide in the latest direction. Believe in it. There is no other way. I LOVE this business. There are days when I hate it and would rather stick my head in the toaster than sit down at the keyboard, but it’s always, always fascinating. PS The Action Man mountaineer on my shelf is my ideal bloke. Craggy, the strong silent type, comes equipped with crampons, axes and an avalanche shovel. Fits conveniently into a pocket or handbag.
Hi there, The picture of Charlie and flora is how I remember them…feels like a whole lifetime ago!
Date: Thu, 23 Apr 2015 07:51:19 +0000 To: firstname.lastname@example.org
Aw, Hayley **lump in throat** and now Flora is a married lady and Charlie has just got engaged, wedding next year! What are your girls up to? xxxxxx
I loved this (probably off the cuff) piece, as I love everything I’ve read of your score of books so far, and I remind myself that there is still time. Enjoyed The Illusionists ebook and eagerly awaiting Daughter. Keep writing 🙂
Thank you so much, Edel. Off the cuff is about it!
Hi Rosie, I love it when my workstation looks bare and uncluttered. I find it exciting and enticing! 🙂 It usually means that I have finished one project and the space is just waiting to be filled with the next one. It is the only time my workroom gets a good clean up too! 🙂 I am SO looking forward to July and ‘Daughter of the House’; it can’t come quick enough for me. Don’t get swamped by seasickness either! Have faith in yourself as we have faith in you. Enjoy the good weather.
Hello Rosemary, glad to hear all’s well with you. Sunshine helps, doesn’t it?
Hi Rosie, I love your description of your ideal bloke, especially that he fits into your handbag, now that’s a good sense of humour.
Thanks for the real insights to being a writer, it really is an esoteric form of creativity. A friend sent me a letter in December and along with it was four pages of a story that she had begun, my challenge from her was to continue the story. I became amazed that the more involved I got in the story the more it created itself, it was rather exciting and delightful as it was a story about a wombat and a chicken. I haven`t completed my section yet but you inspire me to keep going and let my mind teach me what it knows, it knows so much more than I give it credit for, interesting things our minds.
Look forward to continuing the story with you.
Love the update, thanks for the advice and think we all need a ‘Craggy”
Hi Rosie, I’ve read several of your books and particularly enjoyed The Kashmir Shawl as I am very interested in India for family reasons. I’ve just been fortunate enough to read Daughter of the House for Love Reading and am about to post a glowing review. Keep it up, pleeeeeeease. Lynne (Hants)
Hi Lynne – thank you thank you! I’m proud of the new book and I think Nancy is one of my best strong women with a vulnerable heart. A good Love Reading review will give Daughter of the House a great boost in the run up to publication.Thank you again for this cheering message on a rainy day.
Hello Rosie, I loved the Kashmir Shawl. the characters are so loveable, and I learned so much.about history, geography and craft. however, I am left with many burning questions. What animals were treated with diclofenac, how and why? I have visions of vets climbing mountains armed with syringes. A harsh lesson in what happens when we muck about with the natural food chain. A dedicated crafter – Joan
Hello Joan, I am so pleased you enjoyed The Kashmir Shawl. As you say, there are unanticipated penalties when we mess about with the natural cycle. As I understood it when I was researching the book, diclofenac was routinely given to farmed/domesticated beasts as a broad-spectrum disease preventative. In earlier times when animals ranging in the remote highland areas of northern India, Ladakh etc, died either from disease or predation, the corpses would have been cleaned by vultures. Diclofenac in the dead flesh, however, slowly poisoned the vulture populations – which meant that more carrion was available to support growing numbers of wild dogs. And more dogs meant more rabies, and inevitably human suffering and deaths, as the novel reflects. In the village I stayed in in Zanskar, the local doctor pointed out of his clinic window. ‘Do you see any dogs?’ No, I answered, and asked naively if the villagers shot them. ‘Do you think we have guns? No. But we have stones’, he said.
It’s a wonderful part of the world, nevertheless. You would have loved investigating the intricacies of the shawl trade: the pieces are exquisite, and the craftsmanship extraordinary.
Best wishes to you, and enjoy all your reading and crafting.