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.
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 Other Son has been released in French, Italian and Spanish, in both Kindle and paperback formats.
So if you have any friends who speak any of those languages and you think they’d like it, please help spread the word.
Just in time for Xmas! 😉
As Penny joins the others in the lounge, Victoria is saying, “Apparently, they all come over here for the benefits, and that’s what’s really got to change if we don’t want them all coming over. Either that, or we need to get the control of our borders back.”
“Um,” Martin says, in a non-committal manner.
Despite Sander catching her eye and vaguely shaking his head, Penny asks, “So, who’s this then?” Continue reading
Almost half a mile behind them, Penny, Sander and Marge have had to pause to rest on a wooden bench. “You’re not really going on this silly holiday, are you?” Marge, who doesn’t like to be left out, asks.
“Unless there’s some kind of miracle or we win the lottery we won’t be going anywhere,” Penny says. Continue reading
They are walking along the seafront, restricted to a gentle amble by Marge’s presence. It’s a bracing October day, sunny and bright, but with icy gusts of wind that bring tears to their eyes. Because Penny is so behind schedule, and because Martin and Victoria are concerned about inconveniencing everyone with their visit, Martin has insisted on taking everyone out for lunch. Continue reading
The next morning, Penny has barely stepped out of the shower when she hears Sander call out, “They’re here! They’ve arrived.”
She gasps – she’s way behind schedule – then wraps a towel around her middle, and runs up the three stairs that separate their bedroom from the main bathroom. As she passes Sander’s studio, she ducks in and joins him as he looks out of the window. Below them, Martin’s BMW is shuffling back and forth into a seemingly impossible parking space.
“Kiss?” Sander asks, turning to face her. Continue reading
Inexplicably, from Penny’s point of view at least, it takes Sander a full eight days to move the twenty-two boxes of random junk and clothing back from the spare room to the walk-in wardrobe of their bedroom. Eight days, at – she works it out on her iPhone – two point seven five boxes per day. Continue reading
The sun is setting as Penny swings into Wave Crest, the sky lit up like one of Sander’s colour charts. She has rarely, if ever, seen such a spectacular eruption of colour and once she has parked and turned the engine off she sits and stares and allows herself a couple of minutes, a brief, magical pause in what so far has been a horrendous day.
When the rapidly falling temperature within the car makes her shiver, she reaches for her bag from the passenger seat and climbs out.
Indoors, the house is dark and unusually silent. Even the cat, who generally keeps watch, ever hopeful for extra food, is absent. Continue reading