Where it all begins …

This has been a week of highs and lows.

The high was definitely Wednesday. It started with a big cappuccino (the size of a soup bowl, honestly) and a croissant in a cafe in Soho, talking about the launch of the new book next year. There were four of us round the table: me, Rachel, Mary and Tina, who are three of my most favourite people to work with. As business breakfasts go, you couldn’t get much better. They gave me lots of homework to do for the launch and I’m looking forward to all of it. Already, Rachel has turned my story into a very beautiful artifact that I can’t wait to share with everyone. The teamwork involved in publishing a book is one of my favourite things about it.

As it happened, we were just around the corner from where I set the opening scene of The Look, which is Carnaby Street. So afterwards, I took a picture to celebrate:

I used to work a street away from here, in my last job before I sat down to write Threads, and they were busy, happy times. It always gives me a bit of a thrill to come back. And it was extra lovely to do it with Tina, who’s the marketing lady for Chicken House and who, we then discovered, looks VERY GOOD INDEED in the posh new silk hairbands they’re selling in Liberty at the moment. I made her try several of them on, and they were all gorgeous. I really hope she gets one for Christmas.

Then it was on to lunch with my lovely publisher, Barry, and Elinor, who sells the foreign rights all over the world (Threads has lately gone to Spain, I discovered, and will be out in Japan quite soon – yay!). They were meeting two Dutch publishers and very kindly invited me along. As someone who writes about fashion, I was deeply impressed by the Chinese top and palazzo pants worn by the very elegant Heleen. We talked books for a couple of hours, and it was bliss.

So Wednesday was one of those pretty ideal days that don’t happen to a writer very often, and have to be tucked away and treasured so they can be appreciated later, when it’s all a lot more difficult and complicated.

Which is what the rest of the week has been like.

That lovely new story I was so looking forward to writing has hit a brick wall. It. Will. Not. Come. And now I’m thinking about another one, which originally occurred to me as a radio play, but might work as a book. But that’s no picnic either. I think I’m just going to have to read, and think, and wait until something clicks and a voice emerges and I can start again.

I love my job, but it’s not always easy. Actually, it’s not ever easy. If you’re reading this because you can’t decide what to write, I sympathise!