2018 was certainly all about books! The House at Ladywell had been published about six weeks before the New Year began so I was busily promoting the book and getting excited by the lovely reviews it was getting, (and still is, I’m glad to say!)
At the start of the new year I joined a writers’ collective, Ocelot Press, composed of fellow Crooked Cat authors, most of us writing historical novels. I haven’t yet published via Ocelot Press but certainly plan to do so in the future. Meanwhile I’m learning a lot about publishing! https://ocelotpress.wordpress.com Still in its infancy – and sorry, but we’re not accepting outside submissions
Early in January I retrieved my rights in all five of my books for Robert Hale as they had ceased trading and the publisher that took them over mostly produces non-fiction. I then signed with Williams & Whiting, a Sussex-based company with a penchant for crime (though not exclusively) so my three Charlotte Richmond Victorian mysteries were soon reissued with handsome new covers. They were followed shortly by the first two Harriet Quigley contemporary mysteries – all five books now being available in ebook form and – at last! – paperback.
While this was going on I heard from Endeavour Media, publishers in 2016, of my third Harriet Quigley mystery, The Art of Murder, asking if I had anything else in my back list. Only Scuba Dancing, I said, and sent it to them after a bit of a tweak and tidy-up. I was delighted when they responded favourably and it’s due to be republished in February 2019. When first published by Transita Ltd in 2005, ebooks hadn’t taken off and although I self-published it as an ebook in 2013, I’m hoping this new edition will find new readers out there.
As if all this bookish activity wasn’t enough to be going on with, Crooked Cat Books accepted my gently cosy mystery, The Convalescent Corpse, a story of family, rationing and inconvenient corpses, set in 1918. This book came out in November and is beginning to garner some great reviews from readers who say they’ve laughed and cried and been charmed by the characters. I’m so glad people are loving this book..
The House at Ladywell has proved very popular with readers and has won some prizes, which is great. Discovered Diamond of the Month, book cover of the month for Vintage Treasures,
shortlisted for the Chatelaine award for historical and romantic fiction and now – a few days ago – the news that it’s a semi-finalist in this US-based award! The winner will be announced at the end of April at a convention in Bellingham, near Seattle, a place we haven’t visited, so the Resident Engineer and I are thinking it would be fun to go to that part of Washington state, taking in a day or two at Bellingham for the posh gala dinner! It’s a long way but we’re seasoned travellers so it would be fun.
The plan for 2019 is to take it more slowly, stop getting stressed about it all, and write the sequel to The Convalescent Corpse. I’ve written 15,000 words so far, though they don’t necessarily make sense and I doubt if they’re in the right order. I’m also hoping to write a short story or possibly a novella about Christmas at Ladywell, also in the very early stages so far. But who knows…
Also planned for this year are a couple of speaking engagements, one in June and the other in September, when I’ll be talking about one of my lifelong passions, books for girls and young women, ranging from Victorian to post WW2, and how they have influenced my own reading and writing. Being invited to speak on this topic is a bit like getting an Oscar, for me! The Deadly Dames will ride again at Portsmouth, in the spring, though sadly without one of our members, Eileen Robertson, who died suddenly before Christmas, and I’ll be on a panel at another bookish day in Portsmouth, this time talking about writing romantic novels.
And finally, here’s another of my passions – blue and white china, in this case it’s invalid feeders, mostly from Bohemia, now the Czech Republic, and dating from around 1900.
Blue & white invalid feeders, aka pap boats. I collect far too many things, most of them blue & white…
Here’s the link to my Amazon UK page – tell your friends! https://amzn.to/2ovRSKQ Find me (occasionally) on Twitter @nicolasladeuk and take a look at Pinterest https://www.pinterest.co.uk/nicola8703/ I’ve got boards for each of my books, with photos of people and places that inspired me