I'm tired, sore fingered, and very, very smug because there are now early drafts of two new Amy Hammond stories ready for autumn and Christmas to look forward to after the last current one is published in April.
And it occurred to me that you might be interested to know how they’re coming so fast…
Once upon a time I was an aspiring writer who sold to magazines and did a bit of journalism and dreamed of being a 'proper' writer. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a lot of luck with publishers. In fact, after the fourth one went bust or pulled out of the UK market, I started thinking that I was jinxing them. And then life got in the way, as it so often does and I didn’t have the headspace to go through the publication process or the courage, if I’m honest, to go through it all again and get nothing.
Yet now I’m an indie publisher, publishing books under two names (The other one is Eleanor Neville, and it's only fair to warn you that she’s naughtier than Tia and more bloodthirsty, just as she was back when I wrote twist ending stories as Vicky Taylor and bumped people off left right and centre.)
It started because I promised myself that I’d stop dreaming about being a proper writer and make a real effort to get my books out where people could read them and see if they liked them. I swore that I’d put everything I’d got into it, so I found a brilliant cover designer. (Thanks to Oliviaprodesign on Fiver who knows what I want even when I can’t quite describe it.) And on February 8th my fiftieth book will be published, which sounds amazing, until you think of what I can’t quite call the lost years because they were good more often than not even if they weren't what I'd planned them to be.
There were fifteen of them when writing was my happy place no matter what life was throwing at me so it means more than I can ever say when people read and enjoy my books and escape from the world for a little while. I wrote at night, when it was too scary to sleep, and when I couldn't go places anywhere except in my imagination.
So to all you marvellous readers, thanks. Lots of people say ‘Living the dream, babe,’ but I started to do exactly that in May last year and I still can’t quite believe it’s happening! So this picture is one I'm thinking about using as a book cover. Let me know if you like it...