Well, here we are in 2010, or ‘twenty-ten’ as everyone seems to be calling it. It’s the day after my birthday (I got very spoiled) the TV is full of ads for diets and holidays, people have dumped their Christmas trees on the street (it’s not even Epiphany yet!! I thought The Lord was supposed to strike you down if you de-decorate early) and the kids’ rooms are littered with Christmas plastic. I just stood on Buzz Lightyear – it REALLY hurt.
Still, I refuse to be downcast. The UK proofs for The Botticelli Secret arrived in the post and now I’m starting to proofread. This is quite a fiddly process and quite painstaking, and will be impossible to concentrate upon fully til the kids go back to school, as you can’t copy out minute proofreading heiroglyphics while simultaneously trying to referee an argument about who’s got the most mini marshmallows on their hot chocolate. The fun bit is getting to read a book you haven’t read since you wrote it. If you’re lucky you’ll enjoy it and thankfully that’s the case here. I’m actually getting caught up in the story, so that’s a great relief. The plot is very different to my past books as it’s much more of a thriller/treasure hunt as the characters race to decode the meaning of a Botticelli painting. Its actually great to be in the company of my heroine again – Chi-chi, full time prostitute and part-time artist’s model – I love her so much I have a feeling I’ll be featuring her again some day.
One funny thing about a career as a writer is how your books begin to overlap each other. I’ve just been working on my fourth book, set in eighteenth-century Siena at the end of the Medici empire, and now I’m temporarily back in fifteenth-century Florence for Botticelli when the Medicis were at their most powerful. Plus, as The Glassblower of Murano has now just become available on iTunes (check it out if, like me, you find it hard to find actual reading time!) I’ve just been listening to the ‘voice’ of my very first heroine, set in modern day Venice. Confusing. Incidentally, Kate Magowan, who brings Glassblower’s Leonora beautifully to life in the recording, is married to John Simm, who I’ve just seen all over the Christmas TV as the scenery-chewing Master in Dr Who. So not only time periods but universes too are collapsing and colliding!