Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear, the blog's hungry, and everything's been scuppered by the struggle to finish fine-toothed-combing the proofs for the US edition of A Secret Alchemy. So I'm going to do what I try not to do too often, and feed it with a series of links, and hope they're nutritious enough to keep it going till I've put the proofs into the hands of that nice man or woman from DHL, and got the bit further with Kindred & Affinity which has been displaced by them, which where displaced by... No, I won't bore you.
Over at Quiller's Place there's a terrific piece about the one thing which really sorts the will-be-published from the wannabe-published: Sally Quilford's clear-eyed and unsentimental, but also inspiring and encouraging. And the ground rules Sally suggests (scroll down a bit) for the online workshop she's running are worth thinking about if you're ever involved in running something like that.
Some of my old muccas (muckers?) from WriteWords have set up a group blog, Strictly Writing. They come at the writing thing from all sorts of angles, which is one of the good things about group blogs, so it should be well worth dropping in on. Another WWer who's a children's writer but at the moment wants to be anonymous is blogging about the culture shock of having given up her job to write full-time at BookChildWorld. They're a busy lot, those WWers: Roger (AKA R.N.) Morris is giving away copies of the paperback of his second Porfiry Petrovitch novel A Vengeful Longing.
After Sally Zigmond's, another really good (in both senses) blog review of A Secret Alchemy popped up in the last few days. Susan Higginbottom is a historical fiction afficionado and scarily well read in the genre, so I'm thrilled that she's approved of it. And I did a Q&A interview about the book on Nik's blog here.
Jane Smith of How Publishing Really Works has set up a new blog Greyling Bay which is a collective collection of micro-fiction about... the world of Greyling Bay. All my fiction-cells are going into Kindred & Affinity at the moment, but it's looking fascinating already.
Finally, one of the things I'm always tangling with, in writing historical fiction, is how reader's perceptions of a particular period fit, or more often don't, with how that period saw itself, and how it 'really' was, inasmuch as we can ever really know the latter. This review on Vulpes Libris meant I put Inventing the Victorians straight onto my post-Christmas list (my birthday's in April, so there'll be plenty for people to choose from by then.) As the review points out, it's not that we didn't know quite a few of these things before, individually, but all together it adds up to something which is very different from the Christmas card cliché. Always worth remembering, when you're starting out on a new novel.
And finally, In Bed With, the anthology of short erotic stories (or erotic short stories) which includes one by me, will be published in the next week or two. I think writing sex well is both difficult and fascinating, so I'm going to be very interested to see how all the others, from Kathy Lette to Ali Smith, shall we say, do it. And if that kind of thing's your cup of tea, enjoy, and let me know if you spot which one I wrote.
Back in a minute...