The Ups and the Downs of a Writer's Life

This is proving a weird week, with lots of ups and downs. Sunday saw the end of ‘il gran caldo’, with thunderstorms and 36 hours of much needed torrential rain. The landscape looks greener and the air is cooler, particularly at night.

On the work front, life seems to go according to this graph borrowed from Karen Ball on A.B.B.A.   After a really difficult period, suddenly everyone wants me! I’ve had two approaches with exciting non-fiction projects I can’t say much about yet, and an offer has been made to my agent for a Japanese edition of Katherine Mansfield. I googled her name in Japanese and this is what appeared.

Neil and I have also, after a lot of effort, internet bother and swearing in two different languages (Italian expletives now quite fluent) published a small collection of short stories on Amazon Kindle as a Kindle Single. THREE is a collection of 3 stories, one rather longer story (called Three) previously unpublished and two other stories published in anthologies and read on BBC Radio 4.

The hardest part of the exercise was getting it onto, which makes E-books available to Sony e-readers, i-pads, Nooks, phone apps and several other formats. Their submission criteria and formatting are very tricky indeed, despite the downloadable handbook. Just one code or character in the wrong place and the whole thing goes crazy. But we managed to put Three up there and my other e-title A Passionate Sisterhood.

I’ve been blogging about the sheer hell of it over on what used to be the Kindle authors blog site. This has been forced, by Amazon, to change its name as an infringement of their copyright. You’d think they would welcome the publicity, but no. In addition their legal department has requested us to remove all mention of kindling or kindled in our past web posts for the same reason.  The Link will only work until Friday, and we have only a few days to decide how to rename ourselves.

Apparently no one, anywhere (not even in the paragraph above) can talk about kindling or being kindled except with reference to flames or small sticks of wood, without a writ appearing through the mail box. Despite both words being in the English dictionary and some powerful precedents - googled, googling -hoovered - hoovering - Have amazon never heard of the phrase ‘household name’? But, since they’re the only e-retailer offering 70% royalties on books, they have us by the proverbial short and curlies!


  1. Great to be in demand! I have just downloaded Three - look forward to reading the stories. I sympathise with the technical stuff and I am still only working on the Kindle app.

  2. What a nightmare!
    Having megacorporations issuing demands sounds very intimidating


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