Sunday, February 20, 2011
On the Road Again
In North Wales tonight, in a slightly chilly waterfront hotel, poring over the latest revisions to my novel. The deadline is next Monday, and I'm almost there with the book.
Plenty of fiddly little things to attend to though before I hand over the final draft to be copy-edited. Assuming my editor doesn't ask for further changes once she's seen how I've handled her original requests, that is.
Yesterday, I gave a lively workshop on novel-writing and took ten pitches for Embrace Books at the annual Get Writing Conference at the University of Hertfordshire. Some of the pitchers went away disgruntled, having been informed that their novels were neither romance nor historical women's fiction, and therefore wouldn't fit our lines. I was later described as 'the Simon Cowell of romance writing'. Some people are so touchy ...
Met some marvellous people at Get Writing 2011 - readers, writers, editors, agents, buyers - including John Jarrold, Scott Pack, Matt Bates, the inimitable Raymond Tallis, and of course our own Jonathan Pinnock, soon to be launching 'Mrs Darcy Versus the Aliens' with Proxima Books (Salt).
Tomorrow, I am giving an interview at Bangor University, followed by a poetry reading in the evening, in connection with their Creative Writing courses. I shall read from my latest book of poetry Camper Van Blues, plus one or two poems from earlier books if there's time.
The rest of this half-term week will be spent between the Midlands and the deepest, darkest reaches of rural Cornwall, where relatives will be visited and children entertained.
Then I've arranged a two-night stay at a hotel near where I live, in order to polish off the last revisions, read through the whole manuscript, and prepare my Author's Note and Acknowledgements. There may be some head-beating against the wall involved if I don't manage to tidy up my revisions before that weekend. Because Monday will be too late to change my mind about them.
Roll on, the ides of March. By then, I plan to have started my next novel.