I'm still in the process of getting accustomed to a life that does not revolve mainly around office work and interminable commutes, but so far, so good. I'm trying to fit in a mix of experiences as well as getting some writing done. The current (seventh) Lake District Mystery is not too far from completion, after various interruptions. I hope to complete the first draft this month, though there will be some revision after that. But it's feeling good at the moment, which isn't always the case at this stage of a new book.
I'm grateful to Christine Poulson for interviewing me on her blog, and I certainly endorse what she says about the convivial nature of people in the crime writing world. On that subject, I enjoyed a barbecue yesterday with a mutual friend of Chrissie and myself, Kate Ellis. The weather was dreadful, but we all had a really good time.
I've rarely tackled the subject of art in my books, but it does fascinate me, and the other day I had a look at the Piet Mondrian exhibition in the Tate, Liverpool, and can recommend it. Various exhibits from the Liverpool Biennial are also on display at the Tate: more of a mixed bag than the Mondrian, perhaps, but certainly interesting. Music is something I enjoy even more than art, and on Saturday evening, I had what may be my last chance to watch Burt Bacharach live in concert, and he was, as ever, superb. This review gives a flavour of a truly memorable evening. Finally, a few days ago, I was thrilled to take part in a memorable event with appeal from both a family and historic perspective. More of this tomorrow.
Apart from these fun activities, I'm also heavily engaged at present on a range of other crime writing projects. More details about these soon. At this stage, I can say that one relates to Dorothy L. Sayers, author of one of the top ten favourite Golden Age books I mentioned the other day. As Daniel's comment on my post indicates, her wriitng can provoke strong reactions, both positive and negative. Overall, though, I'm very much an admirer of her work. She was very self-critical, and it's true that most of her books display flaws, as she realised herself. But she was trying to do something bold and different with the detective story, and I think her influence on the genre remains evident, and positive, to this day.