This is my act of kindness for today. If you're a UK author and you haven't updated or registered your book details with the Public Lending Right gods then go, now and do it ... the deadline is midnight on Friday, 30th June.
If you are a UK author and you just *sniffed* at me and are still sitting here reading this, then I don't think you quite understand what you are entitled to.
If you have published a book within the UK, and its available/connected to the UK library system then you are given a tiny 'thank you' payment each time a lovely library-users borrows your publication. Be it a paperback, ebook or audio format. The tiny little payment can be as small as 9 pence for each borrow or last year, it was a whooping 32 pence per borrow. You receive the annual payment in the middle of February, very nice just after Christmas! Now I don't usually talk money, but in year one of being a published author I received a small payment for my first book, which was a surprise but big enough to pay for a couple of weeks of food shopping. Obviously, I didn't buy food, I treated myself, but you get my drift. Each year it has increased, quite considerably, much to my delight in book writing, (currently having ten published books). Over recent years my PLR payment has actually paid for all my writers' retreat jollies. Seriously, and you know how much I love a writers' retreat jolly! In 2021, I attended five retreats - though I didn't attend any last year due to ill health.
Still sitting here, UK author? Please don't ... go and register for your Public Lending Rights - you can thank me in February!
I promised to take it slowly, ease myself back into work and there's no better way than with copy edits for my Christmas book. I can sit in an armchair, or at a desk, and slowly read through my manuscript whilst noting and acting on the suggestions from my copy editor. A stress-free task, no physical movement required, that can occupy my little grey cells whilst allowing me the chance to fall back in love with my Christmas story. I tend to dislike my own stories by the time I reach the structural edits stage only to rediscover their beauty after an absence.
A humorous book given that its about a blended-family at Christmas, so that's keeping me entertained too. Though I doubt an author is supposed to laugh at her own jokes! Basically, the plot is about a man who's about to enter into his fifth marriage, having maintained amicable relationships with all his ex-wives and co-parented their four off-spring - they all arrive for a festive Christmas break in a rental cottage! A guarenteed cooking pot of conflict, underhand behaviour and off-the-scale female jealousies! What could possibly go wrong?
Lowry - is the adult daughter of bride-to-be number five, Diane - so she needs to get her head around the family dynamics.
Helen - is the self-styled matriarch of this family brood and his first ex-wife.
Martha - is the long suffering cook/housekeeper who's witnessed the last thirty years of this unique family.
As always with my stories, the three main women each have their own focussed story but interact and connect with the other two. I like to show women supporting women, though there are plenty of other females in this plot that 'bitch and pitch' behind other wives' backs. It goes without saying, it's not an easy Christmas!
I gained inspiration from Emily and Branwell Bronte, who as children would disappear onto the Yorkshire moors to spy on the inhabitants of a local farm where a brother and sister lived alone. The Bronte children were fascinated by the 'unusual' relationship between the two adults and their growing brood of children! If you've read Emily Bronte's 'Wuthering Heights' you'll appreciate how she worked 'usual' social relationships into her plot line creating a dangerous web. I've literally borrowed her premise, twisting family bonds and relationships as much as I can - together with a hefty dollop of Christmas stress!
Available to pre-order: here
Update: I took my time, paced myself and completed/returned my copy-edits on 2nd July 2023.