Conversation between me and my agent. I make no comment at all.
The phone rang this morning. My agent is suggesting I write a blog.
‘But I don’t have anything to write about,’ I protest, feebly.
‘Darling – you’ve been ill. Fighting for your life.’
‘I don’t remember that.’
‘Well, that kind of makes my point, doesn’t it?’
‘But what shall I say?’
‘Anything you like, darling. Just don’t mention the mucus. That was quite unpleasant. No one wants to hear about the mucus.’
‘Or the hacking cough. That’s not the sort of thing people want to know either,’
‘Or the bit about you sneezing yourself out of bed. I mean, yes, quite funny, darling, but not, you know, terribly tasteful.’
A slight hiss as a minion opens another bottle of prosecco.
‘Or pebble dashing your laptop. Or wandering around talking to a table lamp. That sort of thing worries people, you know.’
‘Is there anything I can say?’
‘Lots, darling. Lots and lots.’
‘Tell them you’re better. Tell them you’ve stopped barking like a dog. Tell them how spectacular the cover for Doing Time is. Remind them When Did You Last See Your Father is out in September. Oh – and don’t forget Long Story Short is out later this month.’
‘I’m not sure you’ve left me much to say.’
‘Nonsense. Tell them about signing ten times your own bodyweight in books in Didcot last week.’
‘And that you were so stupefied that not only did you spell your own name wrong – twice – but that you signed one book “John.”’
‘Why did you do it?’
‘No – why would I tell anyone that?’
‘Human interest darling. Makes you sound like a real person rather than a snot-clogged, anti-social obsessive who can’t bear to be separated from her laptop. Oh – and don’t, whatever you do, tell anyone you coughed all over the books – so negative. Tell them about drinking wine in the sun afterwards. That’s the sort of thing a normal person would do. Good for your image. You know, more normal – less voices in your head style of thing.’
‘I don’t remember any of that.’
‘Well, you were a bit out of it at the time, darling. It was quite funny but I don’t think anyone noticed.
‘You wouldn’t like to write the blog for me, would you?’
‘Sorry darling. Prosecco to drink and royalties to gloat over. That’s my royalties – not yours. And off-shore accounts don’t manage themselves, you know. Did I tell you I’m getting a helicopter?’
‘I’m flying to Derby for the Edge Lit thing on the 13th?’
‘Don’t be silly, darling. Toodle-pip.’
I used to go down to the coffee shop and write letters (now I just email….no one writes back on paper!) and almost always, I would tell the write that I didn’t really have much to say, and I would spend the next three pages telling about how much I didn’t have to say. It was pretty much the standard. Probably one or two pages of nothing much, and the next theee pages what I was doing, what the flowers, birds, people around me, were doing. What I’d cooked for dinner….on and on. And on another note, I want to say I’m feeling very neglected over here on the other side of the water. (Washington state, USA… the other side of any water you can name) where authors from England never seem to make it….at least not the ones I would really, really like to see. Howsomeever, looking at the fantastic fiction site, I see your books are now coming out in paperback!!!! Maybe hardcover too, but I like to keep the series similar. So now I need to make it to the bookstore and demand they get me the latest books. Thank you so much for that. (I refuse to go electronic for reading. I like paper too much!) And of course, with new books, I will need to read all the old books again. (I do tend to get hung up at the race across the lake. Giggles abound, and I can’t read thru the tears!)
On the grounds of repeating myself … please publish your blogs in diary form, I am still laughing.
On the other hand, do NOT kill yourself just for us. I know we await a new post/blog/book avidly but, your health is paramount.
Seeing as you seem to have been dragged round the country on lecture/signing tours, will we see you in York again soon?
Take more Gin with it and take care.
You went to a Didcot and didn’t tell us??? I live 10 mins down the road and could have popped over with sustenance…..tea and biscuits…..or wine and nibbles….😂😂😊❤️
They work you too hard, you should spend more time relaxing and drinking wine……….ah, hang on, that won’t get us any new books to read. As you were. Very glad you’re feeling better though.
I’m so glad you’re better and just as funny as ever!! Stay well!
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