Tuesday, December 27, 2011

New Year, new contracts

I was gratified to see that several people with whom I exchange Christmas Cards, especially Mary, Marian and Susan (you know who you are) keep up with the family via this blog, so I must try and keep it slightly more up to date.

My big news is that just before Christmas my publishers offered me a new three book deal (that's after Murder By Magic) with all the books going into B format and being re-jacketed! That includes the back list, so we're hoping to see a boost in back list sales, too. So that's good - I can eat and pay the bills for another three years. On the downside, I have to come up with new blurbs for all the back list and (which I'm flattered about) suggestions for the covers. They've all been re-jacketed once already, so I'm a bit stumped on that one.

Phillipa arrived back in the country on December 4th and has been camping out here in between visits to Bristol, Brighton and Saffron Walden. She returns to the Disney Dream on January 7th (I think). Leo has been here since last Friday and returns to Manchester tomorrow (Wednesday). Miles, who lives round the corner, has been here every day, and Lou, Jarrod and the children joined us yesterday. My house is really not big enough! Jarrod's other daughter and his dad joined us in the afternoon, so it was hanging off the rafters time. As it will be tonight, when I hold my annual what-used-to-be-called-Leftovers party. I never quite know who's coming, and one year there were only about eight of us until midnight when the hoards descended after the pub. Note to anyone who might read this who may be coming: please don't do it again!

May I take this opportunity to wish all readers and followers of the blog a very happy and hopefully prosperous new year - and let me know when you've you've read it! (There is a comments box, you know...) See you in 2012.

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Dating Direct

A long time ago I joined Dating Direct to see if there was anyone in the world who might just be a possible soulmate for me. I soon discovered there wasn't. But I wanted to use online dating in the Libby Sarjeant book I'm currently writing, Libby number ten, Murder by Magic.

So I rejoined, under a different onscreen name. Not that anyone would remember the original, it was too long ago! A friend, Danuta Kean talked me through my personal ad and suggested that I'd joined the wrong website, but I couldn't afford to pay for another subscription, so I left a free ad on the slightly more upmarket site - which has produced nothing - and carried on waiting for someone to turn up on Dating Direct. I was as honest about me as could be, as I didn't want to be using the site under false pretences, but I've decided that the men who appear on the site in my preferred age range (OK - elderly!) are completely deluded.

Now, would a young (!) woman of 50 really want to start a relationship with a wrinkled, balding man of 65? If Sean Connery was on the market it would be a different matter, but he isn't. But that's what most of these men want. And there are men who are recently separated, divorced or widowed. No - way too soon! "I lost my wife last year after thirtyfive years and think it's time to start meeting other women." In order to get the shirts washed and the dinners cooked, perhaps?

I have to be honest, the fact that I haven't found anyone I would even share a drink with is matched by the lack of interest in my own profile. Oh, yes, a lot of people view it, but no-one has yet got in touch. (No, I'm still pedant enough not to use "contact" as a verb.) But - this is not for real. And thank goodness. Because do I actually want someone else in my life? To moan about my cavalier attitude to housework, meals and television? Let's face it - no. But I really would like to know what prompts some men to be so unrealistic in their search for that elusive soulmate. Any ideas? I'd really like to know.