Tuesday, 15 September 2009

NEWS FLASH

The largest UK supermarket, TESCO is taking a substantial number of Legacy for their shelves. YIPEEEEEEEE!

Autumn Leaves

Well, here I am sitting at my desk again after a few weeks in Cornwall. It wasn't exactly a rest as such, the garden was over-grown, him indoors insisted upon adding to the already enormous decking, the weather was rubbish and my cats got beaten up - which cost me an arm and a leg in vet's bills on my return home. Oh, the joys of family life - or not, as they turned out to be. Adding to the misery of this 'summer' break, was the fact we fell out with the neighbours as well. There are just some people who won't ..... I'd better not go there, they might be reading this, and things have calmed down somewhat.
On to the writing career. Yippee, finished Ocean Child, now I must keep everything crossed that my publishers like it as much as I do. It's a little different from my other Australian novels, in that it's set in Tasmania - no joking around now, it's where I was born, and no, I don't have two heads! Ocean Child is a mystery story of the gift of a yearling to a young English woman, Lulu Pearson. It's what she discovers on her return to Tasmania that begins to put the pieces of her life together, but who is the mysterious Mr Carmichael - and why has there been someone watching her for the last eighteen years?
You'll have to read the book, I'm not telling.
It was a hard book to write, because some of it is autobiographical, but having said that, the experiences that Lulu goes through were some of my own - like returning to my birthplace, seeing the old house again - remembering not only the good times, but the sad ones as well. Readers who know my stories will recognise the beach as being a part of the memories - and it is so in Ocean Child, for this is where Lulu and I spent our formative years in dreaming, playing and hiding - now of course I sit on beaches and sunbake - which is bad for me, but therapeutic anyway, but the love of the sea remains.
I live in the heart of the South Downs in England, and this is where Lulu lives, though not in my village, but one a few miles away. It's a beautiful part of the world, and I'm privileged to live there and look out of my office every day to the fields, the horses, sheep and cattle and a long line of trees which are beginning to turn to autumn colours.
The Ocean Child took a long time to write because I wanted it to be as perfect as possible, and now it's done, I feel quite sad. But I have an idea for another book based on the legend of Lasseter's Reef. I like legends, they offer so much room to explore and let the mind go to places it might not go otherwise.
I've also decided to turn over a new leaf and go back to the gym. My back is better even if the hips and shoulder are a bit wonky, and after one session I feel better already. It's always a good thing to get out and have some excercise when one is stuck behind a desk all day, apart from the fact winter is coming and I need to be able to get into my little black dress for the party season that's fast approaching. Vanity, vanity, all is vanity.
Farewell for now! Tamara

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

camels, tombs, temples and bakshish

Hi there to you all on this glorious English day. It's sunny - yes, the sun does appear in England - and we have just experienced almost a whole week of summer with temperatures reaching the high eighties - or for you younger ones, that's about thrity something. Never did get the hang of it, and it sounds so much more impressive if it's eighty rather than thirty, don't you think?
I digress. Him indoors took me to Egypt where it really is hot - in the hundreds by breakfast time and rising as fast as they can pour rum and cokes over ice. I'm very brown, now frantically trying to keep the tan with buckets of body creams. We went up the Nile - or is that down, from Luxor to Aswan and back again. Hot, hot, hot - but unfortunately the belly dancer who performed for us in cabaret was only luke warm. She was more interested in the bar manager and spent most of her time flirting with him or talking to her musicians. Tepid round of applause followed and she stomped off in high dudgeon.
PAUL AND CHRIS, have lost the bit of paper with your address and phone number on. REPLY TO THIS!
The temples were beautiful and quite what I expected them to be - but I didn't bargain on the ubiquitous arab appearing from behind every pillar and post wanting to show me something. The wink and nod and the leer was warning enough, so I steered clear. Him indoors is far too polite and ended up on numerous occasions having to hand out backshish (I think that's how you spell it) for the honour of having a 'lucky eye' pointed out, or some engraving from 1904. Anyway, most of it was lovely - it was too hot really, and I must have drunk gallons of water - which was a shame, because when it came to alcohol it was really too hot and one got very tiddly after just three or four. Quite ruined my reputation!
I digress - again. My Brissie friend, how are you? Hope all is well and that you're enjoying reading Legacy. Yes, it does follow on - but don't reveal the plot on here PLEASE!
To the ladies from Holland and France - my books are now translated in both languages - more in Dutch, admitedly, but we're getting there.
PAUL AND CHRIS LET ME HAVE YOUR PHONE NUMBER.
My daugher is in Australia at the moment. She upped sticks, rented out her flat and set off to visit her brother in Thailand before descending on her other brother in Buderim. Now she's in Brisbane, the Redhill area, and has started work at Strathpine Hospital. She has lots of interviews to go to and is looking forward to at last being able to enjoy being in Australia now all the paperwork is completed. I miss her, but at least, unlike her brother Wayne, she does keep in touch. HINT TO WAYNE. WRITE TO YOUR MOTHER. I COULD HAVE BEEN KIDNAPPED IN EGYPT AND SOLD OFF TO THE SLAVE TRADE!
I jest. I'm not worth enough camels.
Tombs are creepy, aren't they? Did you like that change of topic? Slick, eh? We went to Abu simbel (I think that's right, forgive my ignorance) and I had a very creepy moment in one of the side bits. It was deep, narrow and low-ceilinged, and I could hear chanting, or humming, and the hairs on the back of my neck stood up. I was out of there like greased lighting. Him indoors wasn't impressed. He heard nothing, felt nothing and just wanted to sit down.
WAYNE - WRITE TO YOUR MOTHER
PAUL AND CHRIS, EMAIL ME
NINA, KEEP IN TOUCH
BRETT, LOVE YOU.
Thanks for all your blog replies. Keep them coming. I'm working really hard at the moment on the book, in the hope I won't have to work through the summer - if we get one. Stay safe, keep smiling, and don't let the b******s get you down. Tamara

Monday, 30 March 2009

In reply to comments

More comments please, love getting them!
To anonymous in Bris vegas, hope the party went well, teenagers can be tricky - I know, I was one, and then had three of them! Thankfully they grow up eventually, leave home, come back, leave again - and it's strange, but they get more expensive the older they are!
To the dog lover - I wasn't quite sure what you meant. But at least with cats I don't have to walk them, they just get on with it!
Have a happy and fulfilled week, I'm starting my working/writing day. Cheers, Tamara

Friday, 27 March 2009

The Book

I've just read the blog I wrote back in January, and sit here shamefaced as I realise just how long ago that was. I haven't got very far with this latest book, in fact, I have to confess I've been dithering a lot - until yesterday.
The biggest problem for an author is where to start. The story is there, the characters rounded out and so real I can almost see them. I have a beginning, a middle and an end - but where do I begin? At the beginning? At the end? In the middle? Years before, or after? It's a conundrum that authors down the ages have battled with.
So I started the book. I wrote four chapters, didn't like them and scrapped them. I wrote three more and felt better about those, but I still wasn't happy with the prologue - which actually wasn't a prologue, but something set several years after the beginning - come on, keep up there at the back. I know what I mean!
Anyway, until yesterday I have had to deal with my daughter leaving England for Thailand and Australia with plans to find work in Oz and perhaps stay there. I've had a broken hearted carpenter telling me his woes, and his girlfriend telling me hers. I'm thinking of having a new career as an Agony Aunt - it seems all my friends are either broke, unhappy, unwell or splitting up from their other halves - or worse, all four things at once! The recession has a great deal to answer to if you ask me - and I do wish people wouldn't ask me anything - not now, not when I'm wrestling with this book.
Ho, hum, I hear you say - boring, boring. Just get on and right the darn thing. What can be so difficult? Okay, you could be right, but if the book isn't right, then I'm not happy, and will remain in that state until I've figured out what to do.
Books are like giant jigsaw puzzles, spread over an enormous table. All the pieces are there, the author just has to put them in the correct place. I find talking helps. Talking is one of the things I do most, so it has to have something good about it. To talk over the problem, to air my fears, my doubts and the strands of each story is an enormous help - and the more I talk, the closer to a solution I come.
EUREKA!!!!!!!!!!!! I finally talked myself into the solution, and HEY PRESTO, I'm writing like the wind. The pages are filling up, the story is flowing, and THANK GOODNESS, I can stop getting in a panic.
Wish me luck - I'll be busy for a few weeks now - happily writing.

Cats in a Flap

Bluey has decided he's a star and this all began when a cheque came in the post from a German publisher for an anthology which includes my story entitled, A Cat Called Blue. The persona on this feline star is one of disdain for the brand of cat food he's eaten since a kitten, dried food and anything human - and definitely anything female or feline, which means me, and our other cat Tilly.
Tilly, as you know was an orphan abandoned in the storm by a neighbour who will remain nameless as she isn't worthy. Bluey is jealous, there's no two ways about it. He stalks into the sitting room, eyes her with disgust and tries to chase her about the house. Tilly, of course had a somewhat slapdash upbringing, and her language would make a docker blush, so she lets Bluey know in no uncertain terms that she is not to be tampered with. They have declared an armistice for the nights though - but only because then they get to share out bed and keep us awake by purring!
Anyway, getting back to this stardom bit, it has all come to a head after 'im indoors went out and bought a new cat flap. It's very smart, shuts properly so there isn't a howling gale blowing through it, and refuses entry to the other cats in the neighbourhood which had taken it upon themselves to visit, wee and eat all the food lying about.
For this flap to work both cats had to have a chip implanted. Tilly swore and Bluey eyed 'im indoors with such loathing he almost cried - he's that way inclined actually, the old man - cries at the soppiest things, and yet he's all man I can guarantee that!
Getting back to the cats. With the flap installed it was now time to teach them how to use it. Stuffing their head in the hole so the mechanism could read the chip was only the beginning. Tilly refused point blank to go anywhere near it, and Blue sat for hours trying to stare it into submission.
'im indoors didn't help. One pathetic miaow from Blue, or a pair of sad green eyes from Tilly and he acted as doorman! Well, that couldn't go on. I'm damned if I'll get up in the middle of the night to play concierge to two cats!
I stuffed both cats unceremoniously through the flap at every opportunity. They only had to look as if they'd got their legs crossed and out they went.
Now we have a real problem.
Blue will go out the flap and refuses to come in through it.
Tilly will happily charge in, but refuses to go out.
'im indoors is still acting as doorman, and I've given up. I've warned him, one 'accident' on the carpet and he cleans it up, I've got more important things to worry about - like writing this blog.

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Builders and Plumbers

Neither of the above are conducive to writing. So I sit in my office staring out of the window, listening to the sounds of whistling, out of tune singing, hammering, sawing and the heavy tread of feet up and down the stairs. My supply of coffee and tea and sugar have reached famine proportions, the cats are threatening to leave home, and the house is in a tip. In fact it looks as if a bomb has exploded, and it will be months before the dust is cleared!
None of this is helped by the fact him indoors has managed to lose my car keys. He tells me they must be in a pocket somewhere, but as the spare bedroom looks like an explosion in a clothes factory at the moment, this isn't much help. Mind you, he really knows how to blot his copybook properly - he's down in Cornwall, the keys are lost, and he'd left the boot of the car up for over five days! There's a light in the boot - well, there was - and there was juice in the battery too - now there is neither. I'm stuck here in the middle of the countryside, and all I've got in the cupboard is a packet of Jaffa cakes. Actually, life isn't all bad if you have a packet of Jaffa cakes, at least I'll get a chocolate fix. I just wish..... Oh well. He'll be back tomorrow - then he'll discover just how deeply he's in trouble.

Monday, 5 January 2009

A new year and another book

I'm sitting here in my warm office watching the two shetland ponies attempting to nibble the frozen grass that is only just visible above the snow. Yes, it's a beautiful world out there, but cold, well below freezing, and as I'm a woman who hates the cold, I thank goodness I don't have to be out in it!
The next book is waiting to be written. Where to start? What is the first sentence, the first paragraph? These are the joys awaiting me once I've stopped messing about and putting it off. It's all to easy to find something else to do, isn't it? But I know I must get on, so will keep this short. I have the plot, the characters, the period it's set in and the place, so what's stopping me? I'll just go and make another cup of coffee and settle down to it. No excuses. Start today - it's Monday, a new year, a new week. Okay, I'm off. Wish me luck!

Happy New Year

We woke up this morning to a white world. Trees frosted, the lawn a white blanket - the cats very reluctant to go outside! The temperature has plummetted to six below zero, and I'm snug in my office in jumper, t-shirt, cardigan, trousers and boots. Reminds me of the old days when I used to write all hours, had no money for heating and used to dress in every warm thing I could find. Those days are gone, thank goodness, but it's good to be reminded now and again that life was once very hard, and to appreciate all I have now. 'im indoors is tramping about swearing and getting cold as he tries to sort out the broken fence, the dying tree and the shed roof which has blown off. I won't be helping him with roofs or anything else this year - not now that my slipped disc seems to have healed itself. Ain't life a miracle? Have a wonderful year.