Sunday, 6 June 2010

So why blog? A friend asked over the weekend. I'm not quite sure either. All I know is that I want to keep my project simmering, and that having an imagined audience makes me commit more efficiently to the awful, endless revising currently going on. I'd like to introduce Marilyn, my English protagonist (the novel is called The Divorced Lady's Companion to Living in Italy and can one imagine what it is about?) who has relocated to Milan. Give her some back-up. Give myself some fuel.

Where on earth did Marilyn come from? Especially as I have published literary short stories for an age, but never succeeded in publishing an entire book of my own. Well I wrote another book (and another and another) which was a heavy-duty West African thing, whose characters I still look back upon with untethered fondness (I haven't finished there), which I gave to a friend to read. Emily said Hey, why don't you lighten up, write something local? I'd also just had my agent's pooh-poohing of an excerpt (ok, I should have edited harder and given more context) so that summer Marilyn came about in my head on the long drive back from Treviso, and I hacked away all winter.

It's been done a while now, it's about 280pp and more than a laugh. I am just pulling it into line in spurts. It's on and so far the reviews are encouraging.

Oh dear this almost-divorcée must water the vegetable garden.

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