Yesterday was a busy day. I like busy days, but it is nice to have normality restored today and be back to writing about killing people with chocolate.
Yesterday the lovely young lady from the Cambridge Edition came to interview me. It’s a weekly newspaper that’s delivered locally and when Mum lived here in the 1920s and 1930s, it was called The Independent. She looked young enough to be my Granddaughter but she knew her stuff. I’d printed off the covers of my books and mounted them on cardboard so they’d stand up. After trying a couple of other, not successful, poses with me fanning the covers out in front, we settled on a shot at the dining room table. I removed all the apples and pears ripening and waiting to be stewed, so we propped up the covers in front of some of the MANY jars of jam and chutney we have in the pantry and I sat between them.
Then we spent 45 minutes talking about writing, ebooks, digital publishing, censorship etc. She chose to kneel on the floor and I felt, vaguely, like royalty receiving my subject. I also felt very old. In a couple of days I shall see what she made of me.
Then I made chutney, again. It is a recipe of my own invention, marrow, tomato, onion, dates, ginger and spices and it’s a dark, rich chutney, like a Branston. Beautiful and full of flavour! Today I have the last batch of apple to stew and I’m thinking of adding something, like roasted rhubarb from the garden. In a month or two our laden fig tree will give up its goodies and we will be making jam or chutney or something. The other day I cooked black-boy peaches and apricots together. The black-boy is a dark skinned peach with a ruby-red flesh inside. I cooked them in a cranberry and pure plum juice syrup, flavoured with cinnamon, clove, ginger and a touch of honey and they are like fruit in a mulled mixture, really divine! We have a separate chest freezer and it is becoming a treasure-house of fruit for the winter.
At half past two Nana T and I set off for Ohaupo School where we picked up a very excited Lucas. I hadn’t seen him since before his brother’s arrival and he had so much to tell me. We took him to his place and met Dyfan (pronounced Dee-VAN) Llewellyn Griffiths who is just gorgeous! Gemma made me laugh when she told me that the midwife was very put out when she was told the baby’s name. She said she doesn’t like all these ‘new fangled names’, you can’t get two more ancient Welsh names than Dyfan and Llewellyn. He is a very beautiful baby and very placid. I played with Lucas and Nana T had a cuddle and then I had a cuddle while Lucas played at my feet. He adores his brother and strokes his head so gently.
Smashwords are running their annual Read an Ebook week promotion. I have discounted “The Secret Keeper” and “In Vino Veritas” and the purchase notifications are coming in. If you want “Vino” in any format, at a very good price, until March 10th, you’ll find it here:
And “The Secret Keeper” is free here until March 10th:
They send out a catalogue to a huge mailing list of authors, publishers and readers with all the books enrolled in the promotion. My other two are free on Smashwords so are automatically enrolled. It’ll be interesting to see how it goes.
Amazon has a much wider reach and beats Smashwords hands down for numbers, but Smashwords gives you access to the affiliates, itunes, Barnes and Noble and Sony etc. They are VERY slow reporting sales figures and you only get a true indication about four times a year. I was astonished to realise that “The Secret Keeper” had sold 1500 copies at Barnes and Noble in January. The royalties are also much higher, 80% of Smashwords sales and 60% from their affiliates. I suspect that once you settle into a pattern it becomes more regular, according the accepted ‘wisdom’ of the writers’ forums it takes around 12-18 months to find your readership and start getting regular streams of royalties. Still, at least 25,000 sales in six months (this Friday) is not a bad start and I am more than happy with progress.
And so, back to the gooey, delicious, fictional world of wine filled chocolates. Happy day.