And She's Off!



All of a sudden I’m back in business. My publisher offered me another contract and it’s all systems go. The world looks like getting two more Laurie Graham novels, like it or lump it.

I can’t tell you how energising it is to be told you’re still wanted. Well actually I can. It’s like someone just brought in a Dyson Animal and declagged my brain. All the ideas, all the plans that have been on hold now have a possible future. Or not.  In the green glow of the Go light some projects don’t make the final cut.

Here’s what happens next. I don’t start writing. Probably not for a couple of months. I have to do a lot of reading and thinking first. However this doesn’t delay one of my early rituals when I’m getting to work on a new book: choosing a font. I find changing fonts dilutes the boredom factor. A Humble Companion, for instance, was written in Georgia 12 point, which means, attractive as it is, I don’t want to see that typeface again for a very long time. At the moment it’s a toss up between Century Gothic and Lucida Sans. Don’t know why. Pure whimsy.

The other preparatory act is setting up  new research shelves on the bookcase in my office and I here I must confess I’ve been a bit sloppy of late.   Instead of having a good clear out when a book has been put to bed I’ve just squeezed new stuff into any gap I could find. This morning, in a fit of ruthless thoroughness, I’ve removed reference books that go back into the primeval mists of my writing career. Tsk, tsk. Our local charity shop may expect a big delivery of books on Liberace, the Kennedys and the Windsors any day soon.

So that’s my weekend. The housekeeping side of writing. Remember the start of a school year when you brought your pristine books home and covered them with brown paper? And then maybe copied out your new timetable with a 10-colour biro? You get the picture.

Good thing I got a head start on those origami Easter bunnies.




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