Friday, February 29, 2008

Lunches, departing children, Hamlet and the CWA

A little better - only two weeks since the last entry.

In which time, I have been to the Lady Mayoress of Canterbury's Ladies of the District lunch - invitation only, of course! - where the guest of honour was Lady Mountbatten. Very interesting, good food and service in Abode, the former Chaucer Hotel. The following day, to London with daughter Louise, to lunch with Katie Fforde, who wanted to interview Lou about her job, as she has a character in her next book who does the same. We are going to the next of Lou's public gigs in London together for Katie too see how it all works in practice.

This week, daughter Philly has finally moved out, to go and live in Cambridge with fellow band members, and take up a temporary job with the Faculty of Engineering. Hollow laughter. I feel rudderless. All four have now gone, and although I was on my own for a couple of years before, it never felt permanent. This time it does.

Yesterday went to see Nothern Ballet's production of Hamlet which was superb. Very controversial and explicit, sexual and torture scenes depicted with graphic realism. Made me cry at the end, though. Difficult thing for a ballet to do...

Still battling on with the CWA conference. Nearly there as far as bookings go, but now have the ghastly finicky bits to do, as well as paying for my own place. Can't afford it, either, but there you go. Where's my second-in-command? Not heard of in ages.

Murder by the Sea has taken a new turn and I feel somewhat happier with it. It won't bear much relation to the original idea, but you can't have everything...

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Valentine's Day

Must try and be more active on this blog, as it was my publisher who wanted me to start it and I don't think it gets read much... Anyway, it's Valentine's Day, and after the postman had knocked to ask me to sign for a parcel for the daughter, and we had commiserated on our lack of Valentine's Cards - although, as he said, he had an awful lot of red envelopes in his sack this morning - I sat down at the computer ready to work (ha!) and promptly rejoined three online dating agencies. This is truly the triumph of hope over experience, though to my horror I realised that on one, which I had joined some three years ago, my email address hadn't changed, and there were several messages from men with good taste to which I'd never replied, because I hadn't known about them.

I do have a friend coming round this evening to drink a lot of red wine with me and watch a couple of old films. I will, meanwhile, be recording Ashes to Ashes and the wonderful Philip Glenister, who is in my own personal top ten.

Now, I really ought to do some work...

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


In time for Valentine's Day, the RNA - Romantic Novelists' Association - have published a list of heroes. This will probably appear on everybody's blog - everybody who reads mine, anyway!

My new cats seem to have been here for ever. They are entertaining and affectionate and so far, not too destructive.

So, here's that list. Please note, it isn't necessarily my choice!

Johnny Depp and Pierce Brosnan make Romantic Novelists’ hearts throb

Members of the Romantic Novelists’ Association have voted Johnny Depp
as the
Number One Perfect Romantic Hero in a poll to mark Valentine’s Day.
According to these authors, a romantic hero should be gorgeous,
sexy, intensely masculine and have a commanding presence.

‘We should be qualified to judge,’ one writer commented. ‘After
all, we
create these heroes on paper every day.’

The top ten male celebrities voted the Perfect Romantic Hero were:

1. Johnny Depp

2. Daniel Craig

3. Sean Bean

4. Richard Armitage

5. Hugh Jackman

6. Colin Firth

7. Alan Rickman

8. Pierce Brosnan

9. George Clooney

10. David Tennant

A second poll, taken by members of the RNA bravely admitting to being
a certain age’, voted for male celebrities over fifty who’ve
‘still got it’.
Remarkable for his appearance on both polls, Pierce Brosnan took the
for the over fifties by a huge margin.

The top ten Over-Fifty Perfect Romantic Heroes were:

1. Pierce Brosnan

2. Harrison Ford

3. Ranulph Fiennes

4. Bill Nighy

5. Liam Neeson

6. Sam Neill

7. Sean Connery

8. Peter O’Toole

9. Clint Eastwood

10. Omar Sharif

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Books, Pantomime and Cats

Yes, yes, I know, I should have updated this months ago. And my new book covers aren't even up!

Since I last posted, Murder in Midwinter was released, the local press made a big deal of it and my local bookshop held a very successful signing for me. How to Write a Pantomime was released, in a rush, the week before Christmas and I was interviewed by several local radio stations around the country by presenters desperate for a Christmas-related item.

After a quietish Christmas with two of the children suffering with various bugs (Miles couldn't eat any dinner and went to sleep in my bed), we resumed rehearsals for Sleeping Beauty, which finally opened on January 21st for its two week run. We played to packed houses,vocal, nay, vociferous, in their appreciation. One of my favourite moments was my Philly, playing Prince Florizel, and her trusty jester, our friend Martin, doing "I'm Gonna Be(500 Miles)". It raised the roof every night. If I'm lucky, someone will have some pictures and I'll post them on here. I believe there will be some on Facebook in The Playhouse Group:

After a brief flirtation with the idea of moving (comes up every year) I decided to get a cat instead... No, of course it wasn't quite like that. If I had decided to move, I would have waited to get the cat, but as it was; well, along came the RSPCA inspector, who inspected me and the house, I was then invited to the rehoming centre to choose my cat. Make that cats. Well, there they were, 18 month old Lady Godiva and 9 month old Gloria, her daughter, purring, mewing climbing onto the scratching post to dab my cheek...what would you have done?

It is now Thursday, they have been with me for 48 hours and have taken over the house.

Philly is still living with me, although house and cat-sitting for friends this week, but hopes to be moving to Cambridge very soon. Miles and Clare are in New Zealand visiting family, having first been to Oz to do the family thing there, and Leo is still enjoying Manchester. He made my year so far by turning up on the last night of the panto as a surprise for Philly and me. I disgraced myself in the middle of a packed bar and shed a few tears. Our lovely (pregnant) Sleeping Beauty, Gemma, already distraught at the thought of the last night, joined me.

So there we are. I'm now managing to get on with Murder by the Sea, due out in August, and trying to get my head round the upcoming CWA conference, of which I am the extremely reluctant organiser. Very tempted not to go myself and let them get on with it. Sigh. Also, despite saying, as I always do, "I'm never doing panto again", I'm now toying with Jack and the Beanstalk, and wondering whether I could get it written in the next few weeks...