Fly Starlight, Fly.

DSC01812.JPGTitus was born with character. He had a LOT of character. And like anyone with a lot of character, he wasn’t an “easy” cat to like. He’d had a traumatic childhood. He’d lost his mother too soon… If you put in a bit of effort you could understand why he was the way he was.
But like a lot of “difficult” characters, once you knew him you loved him, not for anything he pretended to be, because Titus never pretended, but for what he was, a difficult, often grumpy, feisty, but incredibly faithful friend. So, yes, not having a vast vocabulary to communicate with, Titus bit and bit often. It’s why we nicknamed him Typhus. But Titus/Typhus rarely bit hard, and never enough to injure anyone. It was just the only way he had of saying “no”.
He was the most present cat I’ve ever known. At any moment of the day, whether you were eating breakfast, watching TV or going to bed, you could look up and Titus would be there.
The other cats all come and go, depending on what’s going on outside, on what’s out there to kill. But Typhus didn’t care. If you were there he’d sit next to you. He’d prefer you didn’t touch him, but he wanted to be with you. All the time. It’s how he showed his love.
A friend who claims to speak telepathically to cats informed us he wanted to be called Starlight, and so we tried it for a while, just in case it would improve his character. It didn’t, but we still called him Starlight from time to time. I had a vague feeling that he did actually like it.
And now he’s gone. And the sofa’s empty because the other cats are all outside killing things. So we miss him. And we’re sad. And Starlight is wherever cats go when they leave those that love them behind. Perhaps they get reincarnated as other cats. Or perhaps they go into a big pool of soul that gets reused in some other living form. I don’t know. I’m just convinced that all that complexity, and character, and soul, and love, doesn’t just vanish. Perhaps it turns into light beams and goes racing through the stars. It would be a fitting end for a cat called Starlight.
Goodbye Titus/Typhus/Starlight. We miss you already. RIP.

Out now! You Then, Me Now



Exciting news for UK and Aussie readers!

Though officially out on 1st May, my new novel, You Then, Me Now is available NOW for UK and Australian readers as part of Kindle first reads.
All you have to do is sign up for the First Reads newsletter from Amazon once a month (free), and you can start reading You Then, Me Now today for only 99p (or FREE is you’re an Amazon Prime member).
I think it’s a good ‘un so I do hope you like it!
Can’t wait to hear what you think.

Just a small, white car

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It was just a car. A small, white, hatchback car.
I’d been struggling for a few years, borrowing money left right and centre (but mainly from a very special French friend who believed in me even though she couldn’t read what I was writing).
I’d given up living in my own flat so that I could rent it, and moved full time to a mountain cabin (even though it was -15 in winter and I was regularly snowed in.) But I still couldn’t make ends meet, so I was seriously considering selling my flat. That, at least, would provide a few years breathing space so that I could carry on writing. But what then?
And my car, which was oh-so-essential up the Alps, was this awful, unreliable Renault 19 with brakes that failed more often than they worked and tyres that wore down on one-side-only in weeks rather than months. That Renault, how to fix it, how to come up with the money to get it towed, how to get to the food shop which was 30 miles away when it wouldn’t start… was a constant source of real anguish.
And then Amazon Kindle publishing happened, so I self-published The Case of The Missing Boyfriend and within 6 months, that one book had paid off most of my debts. I couldn’t believe it.
By the beginning of 2012 (pictured) I had enough money to go and buy a brand new car, my first ever, cash.
That enough of you out there liked my writing for me to buy something as vast, tangible, and previously unimaginable as a brand new car was a huge milestone for me, and I don’t mind owning up to the fact that I had to pull over and mop up a few tears once I’d driven it off the garage forecourt.
It was just a car, but it was also, somehow, physical proof that the bad years were over, and my new career (something a couple of my friends had been telling me to abandon) was really happening.
And it’s all thanks to you.

The Christmas Tree Ritual

When I was a child, we used to have the same Christmas tree buying ritual almost every year.
My father would drive us out into the country to buy a tree. It always seemed like quite a long drive but it probably wasn’t that far.
Before we left, my mother would say, “Don’t get too big a tree, Chris. Not like last year.”
And my father would say, “No dear. Nothing too big.”
When we got to the tree-sale, he’d select a tree, starting with a

New Yorkers Shop On The Street For Christmas Trees

tiny one, and say, “this one?” and we’d say, “No! Bigger!” and he’d select another one, and say “This one?” and we’d say, “No! Bigger!” and round and round we’d go.
By the time we got home with the tree on the roof rack of our VW Variant, the chosen tree rarely fitted in the room, and the top had to be bent or sometimes even cut off. Mum would complain. Dad would say something like, “The small one’s didn’t look good, did they?” and he’d give us a wink.
I can never buy a small Christmas tree. And I can never buy a big Christmas tree without thinking about my dad.
You left us too soon, Dad. You really did.

Finally! News of the next book!

Hi folks.

Sorry it’s been such a long wait!
As I’ve switched this year from self-publishing to being published by Lake Union it’s thrown my normal timeline of publishing each new novel in Autumn into disarray. Proper publishers work more slowly (but more thoroughly) than we self-publishers, putting the text through many different layers of editing and correction.
But the good news, is that You Then, Me Now is finally finished, and will be published in May. I do hope you’ll enjoy it.

Nick xxx

Three Christmases: A Things We Never Said Christmas bonus.


To thank you all for your enthusiasm over Things We Never Said, here’s a soppy little Christmas bonus for you all.
It will be downloadable for Kindle totally free of charge from the 23rd to the 27th of December, and then for 5 days in every quarter (the maximum Amazon allows.)
And if you really, really, really can’t wait until the next free period, it’s 99p right now. I hope you enjoy it!

A very Merry Christmas to you all.

Click here for: Three Christmases, for Kindle.

Nick xxx