Have had a relapse - goodness me, how Victorian - and was up all night apart from one glorious hour at 5am when I managed to get some sleep. So no London course or indeed anything for me today. I must be the biggest cold/pain relief pills customer ever this week. Attempted - foolishly - to get a doctor's appointment, but hey no chance. Our new - and ridiculous - NHS system means we can't book ahead, and instead have to ring up on the day first thing, amongst the countless others, and hustle for spaces. A recipe for disaster. Thought I might try again tomorrow, but Lord H's car is playing up so I will be car-free, as he sorts the garage out. What with our upcoming hols & my university conference, my next chance is Maundy Thursday. Ah well. Will have to try then or hope for a miracle. Possibly both.
Have spent a large part of the morning dealing with publication & publicity issues with Flame Books (http://www.flamebooks.com) for "A Dangerous Man". Goodness me, I appear to have an editor. How like a real professional. Also corresponded with the You Write On site (http://www.youwriteon.com) concerning the official review of the opening chapters of "ADM" and publicity for that. Maybe, at last, Michael's (my main character) time has come and I feel surprisingly vulnerable about it - he's been my favourite character (or one of my favourites) for so long; this process must be something like sending your first child out to school. Sorry - that's pretentious, but it's how it feels. I am glad he'll be "out there", and I do hope people don't misjudge him.
Have also sent to Flame a draft version of the absolutely wonderful possible "ADM" front cover which my artist/writer friend, Nell Grey (aka Penelope Cline, http://www.nellgrey.co.uk), has done for me. It's the first time I've seen this today, as I didn't realise she even had it. I have to say when I looked at it, my toes tingled and I felt like crying. I think it's absolutely perfect and is exactly how I see Michael - dark, dubious, erotic and vulnerable. I do hope Flame like it. If they don't, I'm definitely commissioning Nell for the poster.
Some great news on the Goldenford Publishers front (http://www.goldenford.co.uk) - one of Jennifer's estate agency contacts wants a job lot of Jacquelynn Luben's "A Bottle of Plonk" to put in welcome packs for their clients, and Ottakar's in Godalming would like to do a display of Goldenford Books. Joy for us all indeed.
Have finished Julia Glass's "Three Junes" - which got me through most of the night, to be honest. It's wonderful, particularly the long middle section about Fenno, the gay bookshop owner in the US. I loved the relationships between people and the way they misfire, and how families can be. Gripping and easily readable stuff - the perfect combination. Will definitely be on the look-out for her next.
Tonight, it's part 2 of "Dalziel and Pascoe" and then I shall be praying - very, very hard - for a decent night's sleep, no nausea and no ear trouble, please God.