I can feel a bit of excitement starting up under my ribs as feedback begins to flow on my first published novel. It's the week of publication for One Apple Tasted , here in the UK, although Amazon started sending my first novel out a couple of weeks ago, and customer reviews opened. Amazon jump the gun, while the bookshops wait for the correct date. But it means people are reading it though -- at least two people have missed their stops on bus or Tube, which is always a good sign.
It has been described as the perfect happy holiday read -- so launching in August seems appropriate.
My publisher has sent me out on a virtual book tour this week, where I get to drop in on other people's blogs and answer their questions, or on bigger sites, such Harper Collins fantastic bookist innovation, www.bookarmy.com, who gave me a formal written interview by email. It has been fun writing obsessively about myself.
They nearly all want to know about my inspiration -- the story kicks off in the 1980s magazine world, where I started my professional life. All first novels have to be rooted in something real to the writer in order to take off, and my characters certainly did that.
Obviously the fun of that period is a great inspiration; all floppy New Romantic shirts, Ultravox wailing on the radio and people smoking indoors. But then I move around through the 20th century, trying to work out how Dora Jerusalem got herself into her romantic tangle by examining earlier generations of women and what they got up to, as well as what they wore.
I have also visited the blog of Stuart Rogerson, from AOL UK days, when I appointed him head of the blogging community while I was looking after the launch of this now scrapped tool.
At the time, many of my journalist contemporaries looked at me very oddly for blogging at all, let alone working on a website, which they regarded as a very low class pursuit. But I was always fascinated by the internet, and started blogging in 2003 -- one of the results of which is that I have ready made fans for my novel. And plenty of blogs to visit over the next few weeks.
Another genial host has been Strictly Writing.
The only thing that has surprised me is how very much women writers out there rely on chocolate for intellectual fuel. I packed chocolates in the Harrods chocolate factory (now gone) for a couple of weeks when I was 18. The result was near total inoculation. Thank goodness.