Busy in the back room

It’s ages since I posted anything. I’ve been busy moving house and cities, and working on two new books.

I live in Dunedin now. My study has a view of the Pacific Ocean. Most days there’s a long flat horizon where sea meets sky. Sometimes there’s a huge roll of bumpy cloud far out there at the edge of a mirror-sea. Some days it’s all cloud or mist, and the white chimney of the house over the road seems to float in it like an unmoored castle.

Soon it will time to change the name of this blog. And The Tales of Fontania Facebook page will be ‘Barbara Else Author page’ or something. I still have to figure that out.

I am working on a new children’s novel, not part of the Fontania series. There’s still a layer to put in this new one. Writing a novel is rather like baking a cake. A famous editor once said that writers are like good cooks – they always know what to add, and when. But I think we’ll make that ‘writers hope eventually they’ll figure out what to put in the mixture.’

The recipe for this book is taking while to sort out, and the cake’s a sort of upside-down layer cake. There is a great deal of cake actually in the book too.

Before that novel comes out, I’ll have published a totally new kind of book for me. It’s been incredibly exciting to work on it, with a hugely talented lot of people. I’m waiting for the publisher to say – spread the news! So I’m not even telling you the name yet. But the page proofs have been checked and checked again and the whole thing is off to the printer. arrived this week, so I’m very excited.  The real-life-rejoicing cake to celebrate this book just has to wait a few more months.

In the meantime, here’s a picture on my study wall. It’s the clock tower of Otago University in Dunedin. It’s actually a piece of needlework done my grandmother, Alice Lucy Jane Groves, maybe eighty years ago or even more.  If anyone can explain why it insists on sitting sideways on this blog post, I’ll be very grateful.


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