For most of this year I’ve been a textbook example of that expression ‘work drags on to fill the time available.’ People have assumed that because none of us were going anywhere, I’d be writing all the faster and getting Dr Dan 4 off the production line in record time. How little they know me.
I’ve turned up for work most days, but progress has been slow. Maybe it’s age. Also isolation. I feed off the conversations I overhear on trains and buses, even though I steal very little of it word for word.’ I’m just an ‘ear’ person, stimulated by what people say and how they say it. Not the radio, though. People rarely speak naturally on radio. Dramas these days are weighed down with clunky signals of wokeness and radio presenters are either shouty or they litter their SENTENCES with strange EMPHASES that really IRRITATE me.
Anyway, they say a change is as good as a rest. I was in London, working at a borrowed desk on a borrowed computer and suddenly a rocket was lit under my spreading fundament. Was it a bird? Was it a plane? No, it was Laurie Graham getting her act together. We had lift off. Which is a long way round of saying that this week I will finish first draft. August will be spent editing, September will be spent formatting and publication day will be October 1st. Result!
And here, to whet your appetite, is the new cover. You’ll notice a certain bleariness around his eyes.