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Many Many Happy Returns

You'll often hear writers talking about how much work goes into a book. 

But you may not so often hear them talking about the amazing, repeating rewards. 

Ok, so it does usually take a minimum of two years to get a novel published. And it can sometimes feel a never ending journey. 

But then comes the giddy-skippy-heady-happy joy of publication day (can you tell how much I enjoyed it?!)

And after that, you have many more delights...

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Like here, the official launch of Justice Mirror - many thanks to everyone who came along for making it such a great night. 

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Kindness, Christmases, and Heart Surgery

You hear plenty in the press about social media and how trolls use it to be unpleasant. 

What you don't hear so much of is how the vast majority of people use it to be kind, warming and uplifting. 

I'll do my bit here to redress the balance a little, by saying how touched I was by everyone who got in touch to congratulate me on the publication of Justice Mirror this week. 

Every single message brought a big smile and a delightful buzz.

All the months of work, the planning, writing and editing were made real, and I felt as though it had all been appreciated. 

So publication day for me was like a series of Christmases.

First the book came out, then I received so many lovely messages of support... it was wonderful. 

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That Moment

So this is how it goes - 

You have the idea. 

You play with the idea. Day in, day out, for a few weeks. Test it, get a feel for it, get to know it. To see if it's the idea.

Then, if it is, you plan. For months. Six or so in my case, usually. The twists and turns, the characters, the subplot, the settings. 

Then you write. In a frenzy of release. About a hundred thousand words, more or less, give or take. In eight to ten weeks on average, for me. 

Then you re-write. And re-re-write. And re-re-re-write. And re-write some more. 

Then you take a deep breath. And send it to agents. And get rejected. And send it to more agents. And get rejected some more. 

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In Touch and Odd

One of the great strengths of this new fangled online internet thing is how it can bring a writer closer to their readers. 

I love getting emails about my books, events and teaching. No matter what the content, they always tell me something. 

And one of the things they tell me loud and clear is that some of my readers are a little on the odd side. 

There's the lady who regularly berates me for how badly Dan can look after his poor dog, Rutherford. Going out at all hours and not giving him the attention he deserves. 

Then there's the man who tells me Claire is absolutely gorgeous, his fantasy woman (I'm rather fond of her myself to be honest) and that Dan should get on with settling down with her. 

But perhaps my favourite of the oddities is the reader who gets in touch every few weeks with another photo...

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Libraries and Legacies

I've always loved libraries, but this week I found even more reasons to treasure them. 

I was asked to open the new library in Bodmin, Cornwall, which I very happily did - 

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And two things happened which made the day extra special - 

A couple I recognised made a point of grabbing me for a chat. They'd made a special effort to be at the opening, and I quickly found out why. 

They'd come along to an event I did about a year and a half ago when I'd spoken to their daughter, Alex. 

She wanted to start writing a book, but didn't know how you could possibly manage to put together a hundred thousand words, ie. one of the normal concerns budding writers struggle with. 

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