Since I last wrote, I’ve been to Bath with some friends. Lucky me. Have you been? It is one of those places I’ve always wanted to visit, especially as I am a fan of Ms Jane Austen who, (I’m sure you know), was a fan herself and lived in various parts of the city.
There was an unmissable opportunity to get dressed up in the Jane Austen Centre and stare stupidly at ‘Mr Darcy’ and as you can see, I took the mooning to a whole new level, which has made everyone laugh uncontrollably. I blame the hat. I do look rather ‘away with the fairies’, don’t I? Anyway, I thought I might as well show you too.
I got brownie points during the tour though (not for my dressing up) because I knew the answer to ‘How long was Jane Austen engaged for?’ My hand shot up faster than you could say ‘Northanger Abbey’ (prompting my friend in the next seat to whisper ‘Swot!’). I won’t spoil the surprise if you don’t know but here’s a clue: not long.
It’s five weeks today until my ‘Highland Girls’ novel comes out on Kindle and if you pre-order, for the tiny sum of £2.99 it will appear on your device as if by magic on 4th November.
It’s had some mostly nice reviews on Netgalley, although one person did say they ‘didn’t see the point’ of it (but what’s ‘the point’ of any book, really?!).
And just to give you a heads up, if you don’t already have ‘A Wartime Secret’ on Kindle, I have it on good authority that it will be on special offer – just 99p – in October.
And in the meantime, I am slowly (slowly) making in-roads into novel #3.
I have been taking part in some of the London Writers’ Salon writing sprints that I told you about last time (usually the New Zealand one from 9pm – 10pm our time). I am very antisocial. I keep my camera off and I don’t engage in any of the virtual chat but I do find it useful to have an appointment to write at 9pm. In an ideal world, I’d do more than one a day but at the moment that’s just not possible. Anyone else out there doing the sprints?
Discoveries 2023 – Now Open
Submissions for the Discoveries 2023 writers programme are now open! All the details are here but in a nutshell, you’ve got until 15th January 2023 to submit your work and they will only accept up to 10,000 words, from any genre of adult fiction, from unpublished and un-agented women writers in the UK or Ireland.
The winner will take place in a bespoke writing course, get personalised mentoring, representation by an agent (Curtis Brown) and a £5000 cash prize. And in addition to that, all 16 longlisted authors will receive lots of goodies, so it’s Well Worth Entering, if you have anything that you could send (and I know some of you out there, reading this DO have something to send – or could write up to 10,000 words by January – so DO IT!) You’ve got nothing to lose. The worst that will happen is that you’ll hear nothing.
You are NOT required to have finished the novel. Hurrah for that! And it’s completely free to enter.
Right, that’s the end of my badgering and cajoling.
Have a good weekend everyone. Stay warm and dry!
I think I’m right in thinking she’d changed her mind about the engagement by the next morning. I visited Chawton, her Hampshire home last Friday. No dressing up, but there were various costumes on display from the film ‘Becoming Jane’, the latest ‘Emma’ and Colin Firth’s shirt – the one he was wearing for the dive into the lake.
Yes, you are right, Margaret. That is exactly it. So she was only engaged for one night! I’ve been to Chawton too. It’s fabulous, isn’t it? That little writing desk where she wrote those masterpieces. Amazing.