I’ve just taken a look at my calendar for next week and closed the diary rather quickly! There are things happening very nearly every day and I feel weak at the knees just contemplating them, although I know that the water will be lovely once I’ve jumped in.
The long week will actually start this Friday morning, when my sister comes down to visit for the weekend and there will be family gatherings.
But then Monday starts my working week with a bang and an ice cream, because that’s when I’m taking my two newly published books into Pinks Parlour in Waterloo Square between 10.30am and 12pm, where I hope to sell and sign some of them. And I’ve never done a signing in an ice cream parlous before! Quite a lot of friends say they will come and it will be lovely to see them and the local press are sending a photographer, so I shall need to brush my hair! And that day is going to spin me into the rest of the week.
Tuesday is going to be a lot of fun, because I’m going into a local primary school in Bersted to take questions from a class of eight year olds, I’m looking forward to this a lot because eight year olds are such fun! I wonder what questions they’ll ask.
Then on Wednesday evening, I’m going to the Swan in Arundel to give a talk in support of the local CHINDI group and to help launch their book of Christmas short stories and that will be fun too, because I shall be among friends.
Thursday I shall collapse exhausted on my sofa and then Friday will rush upon me with two things happening almost simultaneously. I have an appointment at the eye clinic in Chichester, where my chicken pox ridden left eye will be examined and I shall have drops put in my eyes that will give me, shall we say, rather clouded vision. Which is a pity because immediately afterwards I’m going to a tea party to celebrate the 75th birthday of an old friend of mine and I’d rather like to see him and his guests very clearly, but I shall squint at them and love them very dearly anyway!
After that I shall collapse on the sofa again. Oh if only I could be eighteen instead of eighty-eight!
This book of short stories is published today, neatly in time for Christmas. Edited by local CHINDI writers Julia Macfarlane, Rosemary Noble, Patricia Feinberg Stoner andAngela Petch and contains stories by Angela Petch, Carol Thomas and other exciting local writers and me!
Sad to report that the gremlins are back in my house in force, grinning in the corners with their little pointy ears twitching, plotting nasty tricks. I think someone had tipped them the wink that I can’t see quite as well as I used to or hear for that matter, so they are free to snatch things away from under my nose and to plot without fear of being found out. Consequently the house is falling apart.
This morning I came out of the shower and tried to hang my towel on the towel ring and the entire thing, towel and all, fell on the floor. I didn’t have my hearing aids in so I couldn’t hear the sniggering. But sniggers there undoubtedly were. I’m a student of gremlin behaviour and of course the sneaky tricks have been going on for ages.
Tomato soup that I was entirely sure I was pouring into the soup dishes, fell on to the tablecloth. A glass of wine being raised to my lips, was nudged on to my trousers. I went down to the compost heap with an elderly colander full of peelings and the Garotta mixture I also add to the compost from time to time ended up on my yellow jersey. Very decorative, but not quite what I wanted.
A pair of socks I searched for in my bedroom, turned up on the windowsill in the conservatory, this time I could hear the cackles.
Dixie wishes it to be known that all this is nothing whatever to do with him, he has quite enough to do catching all the birds, mice and frogs that are thumbing their noses at him in the garden.
If any of you know of any competent ‘anti-gremlin’ devices, I would love to hear from you!
My latest publisher Agora has now put up my first two books. Kisses and Ha’pennies, which is out today, is the sequel to Hearts and Farthings which was originally published in 1985 – I should be so old!
I promised my friends and fans in Tooting that I’d let you know when they were both in print and on Kindle and here they are. Tooting as it was at the turn of the 19th and 20th century.
But I think there may be other friends and fans who follow this blog who would like them too, although I offer them with some apology, because I seem to have been publicizing my books ad nauseum and I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if you were getting a bit sick of it.
I’ve had a lot of reviews of my thirty books over the years and they’ve varied a great deal but last Saturday I had a review for Citizen Armies that was so extraordinarily good I wanted to sit down and cry. I didn’t of course because I had a coffee morning planned for Macmillan Cancer Support and there was a lot to do before my guests arrived, but I felt as though I was flying.
I have to say I’ve had some very peculiar reviews in the past. One started off by saying she didn’t like a book written in the first person and that that had put her off this particular book, which struck me as a little odd because the thing was written in the third person in the old fashioned way. It wasn’t until I went back to the book and started reading a bit of it that I understood what had happened. It was written in the third person but I had written a preamble on the first page by way of introduction and that was in the first person. My reviewer had read the first page and given up on it. Hmmm.
Another one took exception to my hero because he wasn’t macho and she preferred macho heroes. The whole point of this hero was that he was gentle. But she gave me a three even so.
Others of course enjoyed the book and said so, but no-one until Mary Anne Yarde has understood what I was endeavoring to do with the book and approved of the way I had done it. She’s a treasure and it doesn’t surprise me that she has such a good reputation and is thought so highly of by the trade. Respec’
As well as an excellent review and a five star grading, she gave me ‘The Coffee Pot Book Club’ book award. Well wow!
“Kingston demonstrates what life was like for an ambulance driver during World War II in great detail — from the long gruelling shifts to the horrors that they witnessed on a daily basis. As the war progresses, Rosie struggles with her mental health. The end of the war seems so far away, and Rosie feels trapped in a nightmare which won’t end. However, with help Rosie continues to help others, and like Britain, Rosie would not surrender. It did strike me, though, through the course of this novel, how the bombing became almost a normal part of everyday life, much like the weather. There is almost a desensitising of what was going on — Kingston demonstrated this beautifully with Rosie, who after her shift would fall into an exhausted sleep in the shelter, regardless of the bombs dropping on her city.”
“There is nothing in this book that is not to be liked — a real treat for lovers of quality historical fiction.”
I have to say this is making me giggle, because I have never signed books in an ice cream parlour before! In book stores, supermarkets and a whole variety of halls some very big and some very small, but never an ice cream parlour! But there’s always a first. I think I should explain how this came about..
When my new book Citizen Armies first came out I approached the only bookstore left in Bognor to see if the owner would be prepared to host a signing, he would and told me so, but then when he started looking at the size of the shop and how very packed it was, it became clear that there wouldn’t be room in it for a lot of people. So as he knew that the owners of Pinks Ice Cream Parlour had been hosting various literary events, he suggested that they might like to consider mine, which they did because they were already fans, so it looks like being a happy event, if a rather unusual one!
If you are local, do put the date in your calendar. It will be on Monday the 4th of November at 10.30am to 12pm and the address is Pinks Ice Cream Parlour, 18 Waterloo Square, Bognor Regis, PO21 1SU.
Two firsts for me this week and this is the first first if you know what I mean! I’m opening the house tomorrow morning for friends and neighbours to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support.
To be serious for once, I am well aware that people with cancer need all the support they can get. It’s extremely tough to have to face the fact that you have cancer. So anything I can do is worth doing.
My family and neighbours are already invited and involved, but I would welcome any of you if you’re in the area, it’s a good cause.