Thursday, 10 July 2008


Today sees the publication of Unspoken in hardback. I can't believe July has come round so quickly. It doesn't seem a minute ago that I was tweaking the manuscript, fretting over various scenes, making last minute changes.

Writing a novel is a constant drill-down. Broad, comprehensive first drafts, followed by uncountable revisions, discussions, more revisions, agreements, disagreements, light-bulb moments, and constant thought whether in front of the computer or not. Until it's done, it fills your life. Everything relates to the novel. Sometimes - perhaps an overheard conversation, perhaps a snippet on TV or in another book, perhaps just a random flash of inspiration at 2AM (haha!) - can answer a burning question, solve a dilemma, close the gap. Then, just when you're not looking, it's publication day. The book is out there for people to buy. And it doesn't just happen. I don't think I know half of what goes on behind the scenes, although I have a pretty good idea, having worked with Headline for several years now. These folk know their stuff.

So I went to London yesterday and had a very tasty lunch with my agent and editor here. Hodder have published an Acorn House cook book, which I might just have to get. Their ethos is to use locally grown, fresh ingredients and encourage less waste. It has tips on shopping wisely as well as running an eco-kitchen. Apparently 15% of Britain's food ends up in the bin. I don't think that takes into account my kitchen in the summer holidays with three kids at home. Not even the packaging makes it into the bin here. I swear my son eats it. Before it's even put away. Then he moans there's no food.

Anyway, we had a delicious lunch, toasted the launch of Unspoken as it sails off into the world, plus we discussed my new novel in great depth. Yes, Headline have very kindly decided they would love to publish it, and the one after that, so we toasted the new deal too. And talking of new deals, I have also just signed up two more books with my German publishers Ullstein. Suddenly I feel very busy.

After lunch, which was actually nearly dinner time, I met with hubby and the kids, who had been lost in Harrods for the entire afternoon. A very dangerous thing when older She-Devil and her father are near expensive things. Mainly expensive clothes. One bat of the eyelashes and she has him. But, amazingly, they only came out with one green bag. Guitar Hero. I'm still not sure what it is but apparently I have to have a go on it. We rounded the day off with pot-luck last minute tickets to We Will Rock You. It was pretty damned good. And pretty late by the time we got the last train home, but it gave me a chance to write up my notes and thoughts and all the brainstorming we'd done at lunch.
Finally, I got back to some interesting mail. I received the Slovak copies of Blood Ties. It's a hardback edition, quite a dinky format (paperback size), and with the same UK cover. There's only one problem. They seem to have got my name wrong.

If you read the hardback of Unspoken, do let me know what you think. I love this book and hope you will too. The paperback's out in the UK in February 09 and for readers in Australia and New Zealand, you'll be able to buy it from September.
Sam xx