Nicola Monaghan's news, events and general thoughts about life and writing.

Monday, 18 June 2007

All over but the shouting...

I finished Starfishing today. Well, I say I finished Starfishing, and that is not really true. I finished my latest draft of Starfishing. My editor and then the Chatto copy editor have yet to get their sticky hands on it, so there will be more work to do, no doubt. In fact, even painting it this way is slightly misleading. I've just printed it out and will be reading it one more time tonight and making more changes before I email it to Poppy tomorrow.

Will this madness never end?

And the strangest thing of all happened a couple of days ago. The book appeared on Amazon, available for pre-order. A book available for pre order that isn't even finished yet? What a weird world we live in.

I am looking forward to having a normal life again, to keeping more normal hours, to being able to socialise with friends and watch DVDs with my husband.

Thursday, 14 June 2007

The Authors' Club Best First Novel Award

I promised pictures from this ages ago, but it's taken a while for me to get my act together on this. So, here they are now. I didn't get a picture of the apple crumble, unfortunately. Damn, that was good :)


Andrew O'Hagan announces and presents the prize!

Me speeching. You can't see here just how much my hand was shaking...

I point out to everyone how much my hand is shaking...

Group photo! Me, Andrew, the sponsor and the agent

Impromtu book signing...

Chatting with Poppy and India

The gorgeous Ms Orr

Kit Whitfield

Saturday, 9 June 2007

Blogger rules

So, I've moved my news page over to Blogger. This is for two main reasons. I was going to use MySpace, but they once deleted my whole account and, once bitten and all that. The second is that blogger rocks. It just does. Without wanting to be too disgustingly sycophantic, it's so easy to set up an account and post, and make it look pretty and professional. So here I am.

My second novel is going to be finished by the end of next week. I promised my editor this and, at the time, I did wonder if I was being a little ambitious. I'd had a workshop on the first thirty thousand words last weekend and there were so many points for discussion that I thought my head might explode. I wasn't quite sure how I could revise the novel and make it work.

But this morning, in the bath, I had absolute and divine inspiration. It came from nowhere as I read Come Closer by Sara Gran. I don't think it had anything to do with the book, though it's a great book. Still, it came, and I jumped out of the bath, all wet and inspired and rather archimedian, if that's a word, and wrote it all down. And now I know this book is going be all right.

If you haven't read Come Closer then do. It's the best book I've read for ages and ages. Thanks Maria for the recommendation.

Now I just have to write a story for the Bridport Prize - I've bought a postal order so I have to enter. That and write the long short story for Five Leaves Press. It's going to be called The Okinawa Dragon. I am most excited about being in a series with John Harvey and Stephen Booth, that has gotta be good.

Events this week: Tuesday 12th is very busy. At 3:30pm you'll find me in Waterstone's on New Street in Birmingham, for a NAW masterclass on the art of suspense led by Ken Follett. Then I'm off down to the Canal, to interview Mick Scully about his new book of gritty stories Little Moscow. Another recommend, great tight writing exploring the Brum underworld. Scary stuff, but my kind of thing. If you're anywhere near Birmingham and fancy coming along see the Tindal Street Press website for details. Next month, I'm doing my thing at the the Harrogate Old Peculiar Crime Writing Festival, so advanced warning on that. In fact, the above mentioned brilliant Nottingham crime writers will be fighting for a prize there too. How cool is that?

Right, moff to write them words, innit?