Hope you’ve had a great summer. This is a quick post to say that the Sofa is back in business after the break (although if you missed Charlie Fletcher’s wonderful Writers on Location piece on the Outer Hebrides which magically appeared last week, do check it out) and an update on what I’ve been doing.
It was the right decision for me to unplug completely for 6 weeks, not blog, not do Twitter – I really needed it after the intense push to finish my new novel. For the second year running, I decided to step away from book world news and new releases – I really recommend this to anyone who finds that being too close/feeling you have to read or review can detract from the pleasure of reading. We don’t want that!
Both my summer travels and my alternative reading will provide material for the first few posts of the autumn. Next week I’ll be bringing you a travel post on our family trip to the Canadian Rockies and Glacier National Park in northwestern Montana, USA. It’ll be worth it for the photos alone – I’ve seen a lot of stunning scenery, but wow, this was up there with the best. Then on 18 September there will be a post dedicated to my month of reading exclusively Canadian fiction – I mostly have my Twitter followers to thank for the superb discoveries I made.
(If you’re wondering why I would choose to write about the stuff I read for fun after what I said above, that just shows how much I love talking about good books!)
On 25 September, flash fiction will be making its first appearance on the blog with a guest post by Ken (K M) Elkes, whose collection All that is between us from Ad Hoc Fiction really bowled me over. It also made me realise that I want to dedicate some time to writing shorter fiction. In fact, I have several new projects coming up which aren’t novels, and despite the horrific mess the country is in, which concerns me greatly, there are things to be optimistic about and to enjoy, and we can’t afford to lose sight of those.
I am now back to devouring new releases and can already promise that my Autumn Sofa Spotlight sometime in October will be a cracker.
But first, tomorrow I’m heading to the Jericho Writers Festival of Writing in York, where I’ll be running a new 2 hour Book Lab on Writing in the First Person. I’ve really enjoyed preparing the workshop and look forward to sharing my experience and enthusiasm for first person – and to a great weekend all round. FoW is a sociable inclusive event which has played a big part in so many writers’ journeys, including my own. If you’re there, do come and say hello!