My news is that I'm NOT writing!
I sent off my new Molly Murphy book a couple of weeks ago, before I went to Europe. I'm now in the early gathering information stages of my next Lady Georgie book. So this trip is part business, part pleasure.
My first days in London were all business. One of them was spent at Kensington Palace, where a lot of my new book will take place. It was frustrating as several of the rooms I wanted to see were in the private part of the palace. I know, I should have written to Will and Kate for permission! I especially wanted to see the old clock tower as I had heard it was haunted and wanted to see for myself.
I asked one of the security guys there if he had ever seen a ghost. He named several ghosts who were reputed to haunt the palace but he hadn't seen one. But he told me he had seen a ghost in his own home. He lives in a very old house and one night he was watching TV alone. He got up to turn the TV off, turned around and a woman was standing right behind him. She was dressed entirely in black and she smelled of damp earth. She said to him "Once I was blind. Now I can see."
He said he got out of there and ran up the stairs. His father was staying with him and he asked his father to go down and turn the TV off. His father got halfway down the stairs, then came up again and said, "I'm not going down there until morning."
You get such great stories when you chat with ordinary people and some of these wind up in books. I think this stage of a book for me is just being open and receptive and getting a feel where the story might go. I want Kensington Palace. I want a ghost and a royal scandal. Delicious, huh? So I'll let ideas simmer as I travel around Europe and hopefully I'll have a story by the time I have to start writing.
Right now I'm in Poland and appeared at the Warsaw Book Fair. It was huge--in the football stadium and my books were displayed as huge blow ups above the booth. And my signing was followed by three interviews in the press room. It was strange doing interviews with a translator. I was like a yoyo, looking from one side to the other. Loads of people gathered to take my photograph as I signed. I felt like a celebrity! I gather Poland has more bookstores per capita than any country. The fair was certainly packed, and they had to pay an entrance fee.
Tomorrow on to Rome. Now what could Lady Georgie get up to in Rome, I wonder????