I’m thrilled to have received my first blurb today. It’s a gorgeous quote from Paul Torday, author of the charming ‘Salmon Fishing in the Yemen.’ Paul’s writing really resonates with me, he conjures fables about middle-aged men and women, who dream of better things. I read and adored ‘Salmon Fishing’ some time ago, and having Paul say such generous things about ‘Mr R’, gave me quite a tingle.
You should check out his latest book ‘The Girl on the Landing’ – a deliciously creepy tale set in the Scottish highlands. My review is on amazon.co.uk under the dodgy pseudonym ‘Willie Collins’…
Today was slightly odd, as I had to oscillate between Fred and the final edits for ‘Mr R’. I’ve been naughtily tardy with the proofs, and today Jocasta forced me to focus. I’d scurry outside to the summer house and scribble a bit of Fred, and then dash in, check my e-mail and answer J’s questions. The errors become smaller and smaller – a stray comma, the odd typo and one savvy reader noticed that the ‘Jewish Chronicle’ arrived on the wrong day.
‘Mr R’ is set in a village called ‘Pursebury Ash’, which is really a fictional version of my parents’ and grandparents’ village at the bottom of Bulbarrow. There are a few notable changes, such as the river Stour running through Pursebury, and Hambledon Hill being visible from the pub. Sceptre has had printed a number of early reading proofs, which have been passed around the village. I’m delighted that some of Jack’s phrases have already been adopted. On my ride with Sue, she informed me cheerfully as we approached some seemingly impassable brambles ‘we’ll just have to sausage through!’ Although some locals have been slightly irritated by my moving the river Stour, ‘Ah well, I suppose all writers lie…’