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I want to introduce you to Sarah. Decades ago at university, we moved in the same circles but didn't become direct friends. The last time we met, we were both in our early 20s, not fitting with the usual graduate jobs, not sure where we should be instead.
Fast forward a [discreet] number of years and we cross paths on Facebook. Gosh, is this you? Is this what you're doing now? We suddenly have so much in common, especially the fact that we have inched into artistic lives. Me: wordperson. Sarah: Sarah Ross-Thompson: artist and printmaker. Here's some of her work, reproduced with permission.
We met last week in London, where she was on a gallery tour. Along with much nostalging (her word), we talked about how we felt in those days, full of misfit energy but not knowing where to put it.
It turns out we were not alone. Other people from our orbit have also quietly found their calling. Let me introduce you to another of our contemporaries, Robert Ramsay, of the band Tinyfish. This track, Open Up A Hole from his solo album, may not be for everyone, but I like its fidgety brooding urgency.

Here's to people who found their sense of direction. Tell me about the ones you know. Especially if it's you.
Work in progress...
This ring is becoming a meme of its own! I might keep it in the newsletter once Ever Rest is out of the door... (what the ring means). Here's what I've been doing.
Noveling ... This month I've prioritised other editing projects, but have still clung tightly to Ever Rest. There have been more tiny but vital breakthroughs, so I'm ready for a fresh push when I get clear of...
Editing and mentoring ...  A developmental edit is teaching me a lot about Mongolia. I've also arranged to work in autumn with a very exciting author, though I have to stay close-lipped at the moment because it's confidential. But he is exciting. Cosmically so. 
Seeking... I'm often asked about Not Quite Lost on audio. I considered selfpublishing on ACX, but I'd prefer to get publisher investment - especially in marketing. So I'm pitching to imprints.
I've had one enthusiastic rejection - 'we love the book but it doesn't fit our list'.
Another publisher has asked if I'd like to narrate it myself. In a dream world I would be superb at it, but my daytime head is more sensible. I can natter on the radio, but that doesn't mean I can narrate a book. I've sent a short audition, so may soon have the distinction of being rejected as the voice of my own memoir.
I'm continuing to pitch other audiobook publishers, so do say if you can recommend any. And definitely tell me if you know any I should avoid.
Phew! It went well!
You may remember that last month I was rereading My Memories of a Future Life for the Novel Harvest book club evening at Denbies Vineyard in Surrey, hosted by my bookseller friend Peter Snell.
You may also remember that, at the eleventh hour, we discovered some of the publicity had been printed with the wrong date.

I woke on 5 July in a cloud of doom. No one would come. Or the few attenders would be people I knew, and they would be embarrassed for me. Through the day I practised an insouciant patter to apologise for all the empty seats.

So it was an immense relief to arrive and find eight valiant people had managed to book. Eight was a respectable size for a discussion.

Except the room we were assigned was an annexe of the restaurant, and a big table was gathering for an uproarious birthday party. 'We're here to talk about books,' I wailed to the manager.

'Sorry, can't hear you,' she said.

A brief hiccup, but they found us a much better place. The cellars.
The cellars were fantastic - a blissfully cool brick undercroft with chandeliers and rustic wooden furniture.
There were wine barrels made from trees that had grown on the estate - an estate that features in Lifeform Three, which thrilled me in several metafictional, multifactorial ways.

There was even a chilled cave of bottles, lit with blue. It looked like the bridge of a starship; a little nod for my science fictional proclivities. A graceful and atmospheric space for talking about books.
Essential preparations included...
... the right shoes.
I couldn't have asked for a nicer gathering. Some of the audience had read the novel or were racing to finish it. They gasped in realisation when another reader mentioned a connection they hadn’t thought of. They made me gasp too, with meanings I hadn’t known were there. They developed an on-the-page lust for one of the main characters - no prizes for guessing who that might be. It is very strange, when you’ve spent so long inventing characters and a story, to spend time with people who have experienced it all just as strongly.

And such fun to do an event again with Peter. It's been a while since our radio days. (Our radio days? More here.)

We're a bit blurred in these pictures. Must be the wine.
And speaking of My Memories of a Future Life, I've had a lovely review on the Independent Literary Fiction Blog - 'intriguing, unusual, shrewd, compelling....' Thank you, Tom Carlisle.
Blogging and other online adventures
On the blog this month I wrote a post about seeking publicity - Feel the fear and put yourself out there anyway. I also wrote about the worrying trend to accept and even condone unauthorised ebook copying - ie piracy. Elsewhere, I gave a talk on plot via Facebook Live for the Inkslingers Den group. You can play it here.
A horse!
Last month I was extremely worried about my giant quadruped (if you missed it, the full story is here). Something magical has happened between the drugs, his constitution, the weather, perhaps the blood moon, perhaps the non-religious prayers of his dotty owner. He's now busting with energy and dragging me about for walks. Though you wouldn't know from these pictures.
He's in here...
...having a snooze.
Til next time
R xxx
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Copyright © 2018 Roz Morris, All rights reserved.

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