Yesterday was a BIG day, the one when I seriously got stuck back into novel 3, tentatively called The Seduction Committee. This is very important to me, as it now turns out that - for mostly good and wholly understandable reasons - Tell Me Everything won't come out in the UK bookshops until Spring 2007. This feels even more strange considering I've seen the cover and edited the page-proofs, making the book very real to me, at least - a ghost baby, as it were. I'm also conscious of people giving me little sideways looks when they ask me about it, as if they're wondering whether I really have written the book or not. So just to prove it, here's a preview of a final draft of the cover blurb.
Tell Me Everything
She didn’t mean to tell the story, or have it end that way. She just got a little . . . carried away.
It has been several years since she confided in her teacher, and Molly Drayton is still feeling the aftershocks. But when a chance meeting with a stranger leads to an offer of a room in exchange for telling stories, Molly jumps at the chance. Slowly she builds a new eccentric family: Tim, her secretive boyfriend, who just might be a spy; Miranda, the lovelorn hair stylist; Liz, the lusty librarian; Mr. Roberts, landlord and listener; and his wife, Mrs. Roberts, who is that very wonderful thing, French.
Much to Molly’s surprise, she finds the stories she tells now are her key to creating a completely different life. Suddenly her future is full of possibilities. The trouble is, Molly’s not the only one telling tales.
Sarah Salway’s witty, finely-tuned, and poignant novel is an utterly entrancing chronicle of an unique coming-of-age, one that captures the imagination as it explores what we reveal to others, how honest we are with ourselves, and the consequences of trying to bridge fact and fiction.
I'd recommend all writers write a short blurb about their story or novel in progress. It's good to have to concentrate on what the main points are. When Tell Me Everything was just in draft stages, I read with Mil Millington in Newcastle and we were asked what our next books were about. Mil gave a concise and funny description that immediately made me want to read his, while I blurted and burbled on about someone telling dirty stories up a ladder to a man who may, or may not, be a pervert, and in the meantime there's this guy she meets in the park who may, or may not, be a spy. When I came to a standstill, both Mil and Clare (the Chair of the session) were staring at me bewildered, as were half of the audience. 'Never mind,' said Mil, 'I'm sure it will be very good.' Luckily, we all laughed then, otherwise I might have cried.
The time difference between writing and publishing books gives another problem apart from the limbo waiting period, and that's how you have to talk about books you finished literally years ago. Human nature being what it is, however, what you want to talk about is the one you're writing now. Hurrah for the internet then - I've just heard that a horror story that I finished just a week ago will be published in an ezine next month. More details later, for now I've hardly time to breathe.
It's my first horror - and thanks are due to M E Ellis who encouraged me through her own disturbed and worrying writing to go ahead and JUST DO IT! Shell's a great writer - has her first novel coming out as an e-book soon, and as I've never managed to read an email of hers without either laughing out loud, or crying, I can't wait to read the novel. She has a talent for picking words that cause a response in the reader - yep, making you feel sick is one of her responses too.
And my prompt comes from one that Shell gave me - which is to use the word Perchance in your text. Harder than I thought it would be!