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Exclusive news about a new book! Hurrah! And I need your help.
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Hello!
Last month I teased you with a book I hadn't intended to write, and wasn't going to tell you much about. Now I can tell you a bit more.
It started like this.  I have a travel diary. Here it is, above. It's an old visitors book, regifted to Dave's mother by somene who didn't want it, and, as she never kept a diary in her life, she gave it to me. Every time we've been away, I've taken it with me. It's the notebook I write in when I'm a visitor.

At other times, it lives in the loft in the suitcase, until it's time to travel again.
 
So Dave and I went away for a week in December, and on the first night we poured some wine and opened the book.

Past adventures were there, waiting. The time in Lincolnshire when the car window got stuck open on the coldest day of the year and we had twenty miles to drive to get it fixed. The time when we got stranded in Craven Arms and couldn't find the town's sole taxi. The tour guide in Glastonbury who told us he could read minds and had fallen in love with a reincarnation of Nimue. 
Dave said:'You should put those in a book.'

Me: 'Yeah, they'll be useful in a story, someday.'

'No, publish them as a travel diary. '
 
'Oh sure. Ha ha ha. Here's the time we were suckered into visiting the craft fair that sold vintage Weetabix.'

'I'm serious,'  said Dave. 'People like that kind of thing. Like David Sedaris, David Rakoff. Bill Bryson.'

'I haven't worked as Santa's elf.' (Remembering Santaland Diaries.)

'You worked as a dancer in a mobile phone commercial.'

Yes I did. 'You think I should include that?'
 


 
Well if I'm honest, I thought  it was the most self-indulgent idea anyone could possibly imagine. These pieces were just jamming, really. I'd written them for myself; they were things I wanted to keep because they were curious, or amusing, or alarming, or annoying or bizarre or wonderful. But by the time we returned home, I'd begun to like the idea.

So I did my best to find people to talk me out of it. Author friends who could be relied on to speak bluntly. 'Yes, do it,' they said. My bookseller friend Peter Snell: 'yes, when's it ready?'. The editor of the magazine where I regularly freelance: 'Yes.'

Nobody's said no, or at least they haven't dared to.

 
I'm editing it now. As the pieces were written looking inwards, or for a tiny audience of friends, a certain amount of work is necessary. I'm enjoying it hugely.

I'm also wondering how I have the temerity because there are no characters to hide behind and I am not used to writing about myself.

 

So is it a memoir? I suppose it is, a bit. A collection of essays? Too pompous. A voyage? A set of true short stories?

It's certainly not the kind of book I imagined I'd write, but with hindsight I realise I needed to. I don't know anyone who didn't feel battered by the time 2016 ended. This is my amuse-bouche, a confection to restore joie de vivre before getting back to work. It's a je ne sais quoi - and that's just fine.

 

 
I'll be telling you more in the next few newsletters. And if you're not thinking 'why didn't anybody stop her', I'd like to ask for your help.

Where can I spread the word? Do you know of any websites whose readers might like this kind of book? Do you know any reviewers who'd be worth contacting? Are you a reviewer, or a close buddy of a reviewer who could be bribed, er persuaded? Any other suggestions? I'm all ears - drop me an email - rozmorriswriter@gmail.com - or hit 'reply' to this newsletter. 
Other news! Out and about
7 May 2017 - PowWow Festival of Writing, Birmingham - no booking details yet, but I'll keep you posted. I’ve now got details of the other speakers - Joanne Harris; Stewart Home, Sam Mills and Elizabeth-Burnett discussing 'Whatever happened to the avant garde?'; Alex Wheatle talking about his Guardian Children's Fiction prize; Arifa Akbar from Wasafiri talking about Wasafiri; and Jennifer Hewson from RCW on the role of an agent. And me!


Further ahead, I'm in talks about a series of workshops ... can't tell you any details yet but meetings are afoot. More details as I get them.
In my last newsletter, Byron seemed rather fragile. I'm thrilled to report that a low dose of steroids has done him the world of good. He's perked right up, enjoys short walks again, and we're keeping a diary of his heart rate. So far, his heart rate is entirely normal and healthy, despite the presence of a scary stethoscope. And he is, of course, far too big to fit in a selfie. His alter ego in Lifeform Three continues to find new fans - this week I spotted a lovely review from Jayden Robyn.
One more time - I'd love to hear about any websites, blogs, reviewers and anyone else at all who might be game for my amuse-bouche. Keywords, if we're being technical, would be humour, essays, travel, England, Britain, diary, journals, letters. Hit 'reply' to this newsletter. 

I'll have more to tell you next time. Until then
R xxx
Copyright © 2017 Roz Morris, All rights reserved.


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