The Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery in Birmingham, West Midlands, UK has just launched a new website showcasing its world famous Pre-Raphaelite collection. Pre-Raphaelites.org is now the largest online collection of Pre-Raphaelite art in the world.
I could be lost in this site for days. You may have to send the dogs to find me!
And the best kind of news. My book The Second Duchess has been sold to Ellen Edwards at Penguin/NAL, with the publication date to be determined.
If you could see me now (and thank goodness you can’t) you’d see me running up and down the hall laughing and crying and jumping up and down. The dogs, needless to say, are amazed, and hopeful of getting lots of treats. The Broadcasting Legend™ is working, of course, but I’m sure he’ll be amazed and thrilled in his turn.
I’m so grateful to so many people. My nonpareil agent Diana Fox, who has kept me sane and even reasonably productive through the whole process. My many writer friends, and particularly my wonderful and irreplaceable critique group the Lurkers. (Don’t ask me why we’re called that. Because come to think of it, I actually don’t know.) The people all over the world who’ve responded so kindly (and in three languages) to my many research questions. And of course the Broadcasting Legend™ himself, who has encouraged and supported me through many highs and lows.
Now. Virtual champagne for everyone! Or come to think of it, perhaps virtual Roditis. And saganaki. Opa!
Starting a new book is kind of like meeting an interesting new person. You make small talk. You find out about each other. Maybe you go out for coffee, then to a movie, then to dinner at a special restaurant. You like that person more and more. Then all of a sudden you turn around and KAPOW! You’re in love.
I’m in love with The Silver Casket. It has everything—a wonderful heroine, a compelling cast of good and evil and funny and sad and mysterious and bright and dark characters, fabulous and bleak and beautiful historical settings in sixteenth-century Scotland, heaps of opulent intrigue, murder and courage, and a romance that both breaks my heart and fills me with passionate delight. How will I ever get it all out of my head and onto paper?
One word at a time. One word at a time.
A beautiful dawn this morning. I was up unusually early because Cressie decided to bark and bark and bark—she was bored and wanted someone to play with. So we went out into the back yard together. The sky was just lightening, slate blue shading to gray, with feathery brushstrokes of pink-gold clouds. High over the treetops swam the waning, almost-new moon, the thinnest of silver-gold crescents, with bright Venus glimmering beside it.
Cressie quartered the yard, inspected the fence and garden, sniffed all the delicious early-morning smells and stopped by every few minutes to touch her little muzzle to my leg—“Just checking in, Mama.” I watched the sun come up, and the moon and Venus fade into the light. There is an unsettling combination of delight and sorrow in my life right now, and looking out into the sky helps me keep it all in balance.
That delicate touch of a beagle girl’s muzzle against my leg doesn’t hurt, either.
Huge congratulations to my friend and crit-group partner Lisa Brackmann (sometimes known as Other Lisa), who today announced the sale of her first novel, Rock Paper Tiger, to Soho Press, for release spring/summer 2010. Lisa’s agent is Nathan Bransford of Curtis Brown.
Rock Paper Tiger is an unique and evocative novel of existential suspense (Lisa admits she just made up that category, but I think it sounds edgy and cool and having read the book, I can vouch for every existential and suspenseful moment) set in modern-day China. And when it comes to China, Lisa knows whereof she speaks. In fact, she just returned from Beijing and learned her book deal was signed, sealed and delivered as she was getting off the plane. How cool is that?