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Well, almost. Maybe with a little less drama?

That said, at present the only words I seem to be dealing in are answers to questions. (Great questions & both they & my answers coming soon to an interview blog near you.) It’s part of the ‘author’ thing & I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t enjoying the fact of being asked. Of course I am. And it’s lovely getting to know my sister writers at Honno.

I was invited to my first Author Group lunch last week & made to feel like one of the family. There is a lot to be said for small independent publishing houses. Everyone knows everyone. I appreciate it more than I can say. What a great group of women writers: talented, generous & encouraging. What with one thing & another, this is an amazing experience which I am determined to embrace & enjoy. The days are flying by & I am flying with them.

It is also true to say I’m keen to get on with my next book.

Even when I know what I’m going to call a new story, I still give it a working title. The current manuscript is nicknamed RiverBook. When I set it aside – to bask in the momentary ‘glory’ of Getting a Book Deal – it stood at 79k. There have been days recently when I’ve wondered if I’ll ever find time to get on with it & make it to 90k which is roughly my goal. Fortunately these moments are rare & I take heart from other writers who assure me, if you have another draft in progress, at this point in the publishing process it’s normal for the wordcount to suffer.

The infamous ‘they’ say a second book is the hardest. There are expectations. Because I began writing RiverBook with no solid anticipation of a publishing deal for Ghostbird, I felt no pressure. I’ve been enjoying the writing for its own sake, pulling together the randomness that is this new story. (I use the word ‘random’ deliberately. I am an irregular writer by which I mean my story construction isn’t linear. I write the story as it comes & a great deal of it comes in no particular order.)

I need to crack on though. See if I can do it. And however RiverBook looks when I do get back to it, it’s good to know I have an almost complete first draft to focus on. It’s a mess, but it’s my mess & I can’t wait to dive in again.

Unlike Mrs Woolf, I’m not remotely concerned about ‘darkness’ or the lack of regular writing. I think I understand what she meant though. When I’m not writing regularly there is a sense of something missing. I definitely need to conjure some smoke.

Virginia Woolf