‘My next book’ – all three of them

Question: which of these statements is true?

Answer: they all are.

How can that be? Because what constitutes ‘my next book’ depends upon the context of the conversation.

  • Just for the Holidays – ‘is my next book to be published’. (18 May 2017 in ebook, paperback and audio, if you’re interested. And you can order it here.) This is also the next book to be promoted, which will involve me in writing blog posts, social media, radio interviews etc.
  • Give Me Till Christmas – ‘I’ve just sent my next book to my editor’. (9 October 2017 in ebook, 2 November paperback, audio tba. I was a little shocked to be told last week that you can order this, too.) This will be the next book to be edited. Structural edits first (ironing out all the plot lines that aren’t quite working etc.); next come line edits (minutiae and punctuation etc.); finally the proofreading.
  • The Summer of Finding Out – ‘I’m just about to begin researching and planning my next book.’ (Scheduled for Summer 2018) This will be the next book to be written, in between the promo of Just for the Holidays and the editing of Give Me Till Christmas.

In case you’re wondering, I am no special case. Many novelists work in this way. Personally, I love it. I choose to see it not as a pressure but as an affirmation that I’m a commercially published author. I don’t groan when I’m asked to do promo because whoever has asked me is helping me to sell my books. I don’t go into a huff when I receive my editorial notes, line edits or proofreading because we’re all working to produce the best book I can. (That sentence is grammatically incorrect on purpose – a team works to produce my book. How cool is that?)

Lest you think I’m polishing my halo, there are things I don’t react well to – spurious interruptions, people wasting my time unnecessarily, unreasonable people etc. etc. Here’s a recent example:

Phone rings. I answer. It’s the bank, asking to speak to another member of my household, one who is out of the house during the working day. This is the fifth time in two days that they’ve called with the same request. The first four times, I pointed out politely that the person is not here because he doesn’t work here but I do. Please, could the bank stop these calls? They’re interrupting me. On the fifth occasion, I’m half way through a difficult scene and my temper snaps along with the thread of what I’m trying to write. I find myself rising vertically from my chair. ‘Look! I keep telling you that he doesn’t work here! I DO! Look in your records for his daytime number and RING HIM THERE! It’s DAYTIME! I’ve told you and told you and told you this and you persist in interrupting me! I’m self-employed and I’m TRYING TO DO MY JOB! Why don’t you GO AWAY AND DO YOURS? And if you’re stupid enough to ring here again with the same request I’m going to take all my money out of your bank and put it somewhere else. Plus, I’m going to speak to your supervisor and tell him or her that you’re stupid! Right?’

And, you know what, she didn’t ring back and I was able to get on with my next book.

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7 thoughts on “‘My next book’ – all three of them

  1. Complicated, Sue. Hope you can remember what they’re all about! And well done for speaking your mind to the bank. One of my pet hates is someone asking to speak to MR Harper when I’m the person who has done all the booking/arrangements etc and he knows nothing about it – and I’ve made this clear!

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    • On this occasion it was about an account solely in his name, Jenny, so they had no excuse not to look at his daytime contact detail! But I agree, what you mention has happened to me, too.

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  2. Love the sound of all three of your books and I admire your drive and passion. Go Sue. I am so with you on the interruptions. I am self employed and work from home and have just had a call that started ‘I know you are working, but………’ the words that dammed up against my lips are unprintable. Hugs Xx

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  3. Oh we feel your pain Sue. My daughter gave our number to some survey and they are always calling. My landline is always somewhere I can’t find it and I run up and down the stairs looking for it, only for it to be a sales call. Aaah. Despite having booked our number of telephone preferred service or whatever it’s called. Love the sound of your next three books. Lots of work but lots of fun. (As long as you don’t get interrupted). 🙂

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    • Oh, did I mention I’m not good at interruptions? 🙂

      I think you need a phone that blocks numbers if you tell it to immediately after they’ve rung. Then it doesn’t matter that the number’s withheld (I think).

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