(Preparatory note: While considering what I was going to write here, I started thinking that it sounded like a ‘this is the end, I’m writing no more’ speech. It isn’t, so put that out of your head and read on with happiness in your heart. Also, I’m cross-posting this to both blogs, because it’s for all of you and I don’t know whether you all read both blogs.)
So… On a whim this afternoon I was clicking through Netflix and I found Stephen Fry’s Planet Word. I hope everyone knows who Stephen Fry is; he’s a British national treasure, but beyond that he’s an eloquent man with a love of language. Planet Word is his tour of how language came about, what it means, who it has changed, how it is written, and the kind of thing he thinks of when it comes to good writing (and there are a few surprises in that list). If it’s available on whatever streaming service you may use, I heartily recommend it.
What it did for me, aside from entertaining me for several hours, was got me thinking. Mr Fry has written books and he tells the story of the arrival of his first ever printed novel and how he felt to see something he had written sitting there, bound into a book. And I know how he felt. The last programme, about literature, made me think of something else; about the pleasure he gets from reading the kinds of works he likes.
Now, I don’t claim to be a Joyce, or an Orwell, or a P.G. Wodehouse, or any of the other authors mentioned in the series. But you lot are out there enjoying my writing. Someone told me recently that one scene in The Other Side of Hell had really cheered her up and I got a little thrill out of that. I don’t care whether you read my stuff because you like strong female characters, or kick-ass heroines, or the sex, or the guns. I assume you like the stories, because you’re here reading this and you keep buying them. Coming up to Christmas, I think it’s a good time to point out that I really appreciate the fact that people out there are enjoying Aneka and Ella, and Ceri and Lily, and all the other characters. Thank you.
PS. I’m not trawling for praise either. If you feel like posting some, save it for the next book and have a damn good Christmas (or whatever form of holiday you may be celebrating).