Winchester Writers’ Society Summer Book Fair

Is it ‘a wonderful story of true love’ as the poster suggests?  Not my choice of wording, but the phrase suggested by the marketing people  who designed it, making use of a review comment, and I suppose they should know what attracts …but so many people look at that and ask me, ‘so do you write romance?’

And, of course, I don’t.  But it’s back to the category problem of people seemingly wanting a definition  – although reading the blurb on the back of the novel or the first page or two would surely clarify this.  Yes, I write about love – but then a great many novels concern relationships, affections and the complexities of family life and wouldn’t be termed ‘romance.’

I am already looking ahead to THE LEGACY OF MR JARVIS – my next novel that comes out in six months or so – and wondering how to define that when people ask, ‘so is it romance?’  No, it certainly isn’t.  But yes, it concerns relationships and families and inherent secrets and clandestine arrangements – and love is undeniably, inevitably,  there in the mix.  How could it not be?  Unless a novel has characters – robots, possibly – entirely without emotions, love or its absence is surely going to surface somewhere.

Yesterday, reading Saturday’s paper, I came across a phrase describing a writer’s work and it immediately had appeal:  The darkness found in everyday lives. I think I might well adopt that as it seems pertinent to the subjects and areas I enjoy writing about.  The extraordinary in the ordinary – the unexpected things the most seemingly predictable and prosaic people do and say.

Back to the Winchester Writers’ Society Summer Book Fair.

It was good to meet with other writers on a cold, bleak June evening that felt it had more in common with the WWS’ Winter Book Fair (apart from the plentiful strawberries) as far as temperatures were concerned.  And the talk by the crime writer, Simon Hall, was very entertaining and constructive.

The next couple of months are going to be very busy with  approving press release sheets, front cover images, back cover blurb, edits and proof reads etc etc – and also, of course, coming up with something a little more relevant and precise for any marketing poster for THE LEGACY OF MR JARVIS.

One thing’s for sure:  ‘A wonderful story of true love’ would be entirely inappropriate!


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