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.
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
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.
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.
To celebrate the Lake Union re-edition of Things We Never Said ( in the top 10 as I write this! ) the covers of my most recent novels have all been updated. I hope you like the result as much as I do! Let me know in the comments section below.
And if you’re looking for the fabulous new Lake Union edition, it’s here.
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.
••• THE TOP 10 EBOOK BESTSELLER •••
“I laughed and cried.”
“I literally couldn’t put it down.”
“The best thing I have read in years.”
“I couldn’t stop thinking about this even once I’d finished it.”
“From the author of the The French House, The Photographer’s Wife and The Other Son, Nick Alexander’s new novel is an epic tale of the secrets we hide from each other, the things we never say.”
“One day, we’ll be dead, and we still won’t have known each other. Not properly. Because no one ever does.”
When Catherine learns that she is dying, she remembers the words her husband once jokingly uttered and decides to leave him the ultimate, posthumous gift: a time capsule containing photographs of their life together along with tape recordings in which she recounts every secret she ever kept, every unspoken thought whether loving or treacherous; the things they never said.
Catherine’s recordings shake up many of Sean’s beliefs, sometimes enraging him and other times soothing with memories of the many joys that make up a life together.
But even as the tapes provide an emotional roller coaster of surprises, Sean prays that they’ll confirm the one thing he always secretly believed but never dared say out loud: that destiny exists; that their life together was not the result of mere chance.
The consensus was that 2016 had been a rotten year.
Nick’s compatriots has voted to leave the European Union, and all the signs were that whether it ended up being a “soft” Brexit or a “hard” Brexit it would certainly turn out to be a “rotten” Brexit.
The Americans had elected an idiot as president, an idiot who was right now surrounding himself with fellow billionaires ready to run the country (quite possibly into the ground) in 2017.
Tens of thousands had died in Aleppo while tens of thousands more had landed or washed up on Greek beaches to a worse than lacklustre welcome, and while no one seemed to have any fresh ideas how to make any of this stop, terrorists apparently had no trouble coming up with fresh ways to maim and kill people. Continue reading