Book sales have soared as people jump into books to escape the pandemic. Love in the Time of Corona. The Non-Traveler’s Wife. A Tale of Two Metres. Even my Lighthouse Keeper’s Daughter, initially self-isolating in a lighthouse as it happens, has had an increase in fans. But how are writers coping, now we’re figuring out how to Zoom our day job, helping offspring yanked out of uni, dealing with a series of stress-related ailments we thought we’d grown out of, and worrying about loved ones, finances and loo rolls?
Twitter shows a full spectrum, from writers who now can’t write at all, to those who see little difference between this and the usual authorial lockdown as you try to meet a deadline. I’m closer to the latter extreme, probably helped by the fact that my work-in-progress features another protagonist coming from a state of isolation. If that sounds bleak, I should point out that it’s set in a quiet corner of sunny Andalucía, taking me and the protagonist somewhere no flight other than that of imagination can currently go. I’m never in a rush to return.
Today, however, is the second birthday of The Lighthouse Keeper’s Daughter, so I’ll be celebrating with a walk down to the sea, some cake, the instagram of my dry-throated interview at the book launch
and a listen to the novel’s Spotify song playlist,
https://spoti.fi/2JGs34K – starting with Contigo en La Distancia (With You in the Distance)
Keep distant (but friendly) and well!
If you’d like to lockdown with The Lighthouse Keeper’s Daughter, you can get hold of it online https://mybook.to/lighthousekeeper or you could get a copy from matthew@urbanepublications (charging via paypal) or CBS at firstname.lastname@example.org / 44 (0) 1892 837171.
Celebrating my book birthday today by er… making myself watch my book launch video 😬🤪🙈
If you like the sound of The Lighthouse Keeper’s Daughter, you can get it from any good bookshop or online e.g. https://amzn.to/2xQtuXY
The transitional stage of labour has nothing on the final stages of writing a novel. 😫 I’m having my fourth (novel), but it’s no easier – or should I say, I’m no easier. I constantly shush my family; you’d think I was writing straight to Audio book. News of visitors coming is met with screams of horror and finger counting of missed writing hours (including those needed to make the home and myself look non-deranged). At least I haven’t been as bad as during the final days of my first novel, when the family had me committed into the hotel down the road.
So, what’s my problem? It’s taken more than a year to get here; I should be thrilled. But:
- The last five chapters always take five times as long as any others 😤
- I often have a favourite character dying at this point, and I’d rather not be seen crying about people in my invented world! 😥
- It’s scary that I soon won’t be able to keep this baby to myself. 🤰🏼 Not that I completely have: my partner has been dragged on and under piers, round the RNLI College, through a fifties penny arcade and seen all the photos of my paddle steamer trip. He’s also, over time, been told exactly when sherbet fountains, ‘99’ ice creams, answerphones, Sony Walkmans, pocket calculators, trolley bags and heaven knows what else became available (dates below, fyi 🤓).
So, how does one finish a novel considerately? I’ve no idea. But you should probably atone somehow, when it’s all over. Unfortunately, I can’t promise it won’t happen again; most unfeasibly, I’ve already been implanted with an idea for the next novel. 🙄
My previous tantrums produced The Lighthouse Keeper’s Daughter, published by Urbane Publications, and you can get it from good bookshops or online e.g. https://amzn.to/2xQtuXY 💡🌊📘
- Sherbet Fountains – 1925
- ‘99’ ice creams – 1930
- Answerphones – 1960
- Pocket calculators – 1971
- Sony Walkmans – 1979
- Trolley bags – 1991