Just come back from sub tropical London where I was trying to be well behaved at a very posh party where we menial little writer types had to act grown up in front of publishers and ... err lots of other folk with job titles that give very little clue to what they actually do.
I was hiding in a corner, in a lovely garden with N J Cooper who was telling us about her own garden produce, the stream that runs through her garden, the cherry orchard, the homemade wine. Chris Simms was waxing lyrical about his perpetual spinach, Laura Wilson was chatting about the contents of her window box, I was moaning that I'd had to scrape my car that morning to get to the airport .... how Scotland still has it's winter moments .... the waitress came up offering white wine, red wine and mineral water ... we all took the mineral water and plumped for the vegetarian canapes ... As Ian Rankin once asked ... what has happened to all the rock n roll crime writers. Edgar Allen Poe was an alcoholic by the age of 9.
Had an interesting discussion on one of my favourite topics ... the cultural differences between us as we write and why we write what we write. The Icelandic author whose name I can pronounce (she gave me lessons) but I will not attempt to spell, said that Scotland and Iceland share the same landscape, the countryside around Inverness could be the view out her kitchen window. She thinks, as I do, that the cold and the bitter wind (the bitter, bitter wind ...) shapes our writing. We looked around the lovely English garden we were sitting in, full of sunlight and colour, our host offering her guests factor 15 sunblock, my companion and I sitting in the sun waiting for our skin to turn from blue to pink ...
Our French colleagues were telling us that in "England" (it was always England), books about dogs sell well. In France books about cats sell very well. And golf ... and anything to do with Hitler. From the bizarre conversation that followed, it was just as well we were sober! Golfing with cats ... instead of clubs one presumes.
I'm getting on with book five while the builders are absent with permission. Also thinking about running a marathon ... starting training today. I recovered from that quicker than I recovered from being charged £6.50 for a coffee, two slices of toast and a fried egg at Standsted airport!