Big mouth

January 11, 2011

Well, I’ve really gone and done it now. It turns out that the paperback version of my novel isn’t, in fact, coming out until August. I know this because I emailed my publisher to say how much I liked the picture of my very own legs taken by a secret undercover photographer hiding in a bush in downtown Dulwich.

My publisher was glad I liked my legs but pointed out sweetly I’d have to wait a bit before getting my own copy of the new edition. It won’t be out for eight months. I think I got my German in a bit of a tangle over at . Even though you might think that a date is a date and is pretty clear in any language, being, ahem, numbers, it certainly wasn’t to me. I also copied in my lovely agent on my email.

My lovely agent then emailed back and pointed out that it would be very nice if I could show her, and my publisher, the odd page or two of the sequel to Schokoherz, which I have now been working on for, erm, two years. Well, that’s working off and on. More off than on, obviously. I’ve had some good excuses. Divorce, emotional turmoil, blah, blah, erm, the weather. And the cat sits on my keyboard! How on earth can I be expected to write under these conditions?

All right, all right, Lady Antonia Fraser managed to pen several whodunnits and a biography while running off with Harold Pinter, and he himself dashed off a play or two while trying to get divorced and remarried. I know this because I was given a copy of Must You Go?, Fraser’s account of her life with Pinter, for Christmas. I am much reassured by the fact that they had twenty or thirty happy years together after the traumatic bit was over. But obviously they were not made of really sensitive stuff, despite winning great cupboards-full of awards for their literary oeuvres, as they just kept on writing no matter what hoo-has were erupting around them. Or maybe they just didn’t have cats sitting on their keyboards?

Anyway, I accept that the time for prevarication is over. I have to show my publisher 35,000 words by April. I’ve written nearly 60,000 already, but unfortunately they are not in the right order. So I’ve absolutely got to get right down to it. A deadline is a very, very useful thing for concentrating the mind, for making sure that the endless evasion is over. I’m going to get on with revising the first draft straight away.

I’m starting tomorrow.

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  • Knackered Mother January 11, 2011 at 12:26 pm

    Oh, I’ve just finished ‘Must you Go?’ and loved it. I was feeling inadequate what with her dashing off novels, holding soirees and keeping Pinter happy. Amazing what you can do when your children are largely brought up by nannies…am sure they did have a crazy cat, non?

    • Dulwich Divorcee January 11, 2011 at 3:00 pm

      Please don’t tell me they had a mad cat as well!! That would be too much. Though having all the six Fraser children at boarding school/under nanny control must have made things easier …. must dash as I have to sort out the canapes for tonight’s literary salon with Ian McEwan, Sebastian Faulkes and Hilary Mantel (er, not :))

  • Milla January 11, 2011 at 12:35 pm

    loved this. And that great fat cat. And dates aren’t that easy. Think of how the Americans get it wrong – 9/11 and so on.
    Pinter’s stuff was all silences. Easy Peasy.

    • Dulwich Divorcee January 11, 2011 at 2:08 pm

      Thank you lovely Milla, and you’re so right – how hard is it to write a pause? I could easily do 35,000 of them by April. Well, probably. And don’t get me started on American dates. I was saying 7/11 for yearsx

  • Addy January 11, 2011 at 10:17 pm

    Ah, but where are you going to put the cat? Maybe you could get it to proof-read some of the book. Which reminds me of a German novel called Kater Murr – by E T A Hoffmann – all about a tomcat writing a novel on the reverse side of someone else’s draft novel so you get juxtaposed bits of two novels running through the book- google it and you’ll see what it is all about – quite a clever idea. Loved the photo by the way.

    • Dulwich Divorcee January 12, 2011 at 1:00 pm

      Oooh that sounds like a brilliant idea. I’ve been thinking of letting Mme Bovary write a guest post or two (frankly she seems keener to write most days than me!) but that is taking it to a new level. Off to check out google. Not my photo I’m sad to say!

  • family affairs January 12, 2011 at 10:10 am

    Good for you. I’m impressed. 60K words! That seems like loads. My cats sit on the keyboard too. Or more specifically lie across it. No respect. Lx

    • Dulwich Divorcee January 12, 2011 at 12:59 pm

      These blimmin felines! Don’t they realise we are artistes? Ax