Monday, May 15, 2006


...I sent the second draft of the next novel off to Hodder & Stoughton today. There comes a point when you just can't switch round one more sentence without going totally gaga. The second draft is 40 pages shorter, has three changes of character names, a couple of extra scenes, one moderately enhanced plotline and several location references double-checked in the nick of time, as were a few details about how motorbikes work (don't ask!). The writing - I hope - is somewhat improved.

Yesterday, book picnic on Richmond Green was a big success as well as lots of fun. 5 local authors including muggins, interviewed by the chairman of Richmond upon Thames Arts Council in the May Fair marquee on Richmond Green (amazingly it didn't rain - apparently it usually does) while an audience of devoted locals dined royally on picnics. Fascinating to meet the others: a marvellous novelist, Lee Langley, whose latest book 'A Conversation on the Quai Voltaire' I can't wait to read; Anne Sebba, a celebrated biographer who is currently chronicling the colourful life of Winston Churchill's mother; Sandra Hempel, a medical journalist whose first book charts the eradication of cholera in Britain; and Ellie Updale, creator of the Montmorency series enjoyed by adults and kids alike ("how do you and JK Rowling manage that?" asked our chairman, Clive Bradley. "I don't know how JK Rowling does it - wish I did!" quipped Ellie.).

I felt very much the new kid on the block, but think I managed not to put my foot in my mouth excessively.