Today I welcome back fellow Crooked Cat author Ailsa Abraham. Ailsa’s books (and mine) are currently available in the Crooked Cat summer sale for 99p/99c till Sunday. What have you got to tell us, Ailsa?
Series of Accidents
Hello and thanks for inviting me onto your blog. I wonder if any of your readers know any other walking accidents? Real-life disaster areas lurching from one place to another, looking for somewhere to happen?
I ask because that’s me. Lying in bed just now I wondered what to write for your invitation and I thought “Not another excuse for why my series has hit a ‘halt in production’! I’m sure everyone is sick of those.” Yes, I was lying in bed when I remembered I owed you this and picked up my laptop to note all this…that’s what it’s like being a disaster. I have all the tool kit to complete tasks but when I turn around, my tool-box has vanished. It’s rather like that feeling of walking into a room and wondering…why? What did I come in here for?
I long since stopped being surprised because I’ve been like it my whole life. All my time on this earth, which is getting close to sixty years, everything has been one big accident. I don’t seem to have taken any part in the decisions, just surfed along on it, having fun. Even coming to live in France, normally a life-changing thing about which a couple would have long and serious discussions over a long period, happened by chance. Having made the “flip a coin” choice of selling my old family home to buy a boat to live aboard, it took very little time to be offered a job in Egypt which sounded like fun and there was nothing stopping us getting there. We lived on a boat for Pete’s sake. We could sail there. So off we went with nothing more in the way of preparation than our animals vaccinated, jobs on offer and an Arabic phrase book from which I was mugging up on a language I used to speak when small.
The first Gulf War put paid to those plans when we hit France and heard on the radio that Westerners were no longer very welcome. No matter. We got jobs for the winter and thought we’d sit it out and see what happened. Come Spring we had fallen out of love with each other but in love with France. I was also enjoying my job so staying seemed more sensible as by that time I was much more fluent in French than in Arabic.
Writing? Oh yes that was an accident too. All my life I’ve written for the amusement of my friends but eventually they ganged up on me and bullied me into submitting one of my works to a publisher who grabbed it on the promise that they could have another and longer work very soon. Ooops! Didn’t see that coming and it was in a genre in which I hadn’t banked on spending my literary life.
Undeterred, I wrote another novel in a completely different style but much closer to my heart and again it was accepted by the first publishers to whom I submitted. Only then did I realise, as reviews came in, that I had made a boo-boo and written Book 2 of a series first. I had to go back and write Book 1 as a prequel. Silly me, I should have known that there would be a demand for Book 3 or even 4 as well. I didn’t. The publishers of the other genre were still expecting more work from me and I had to let something go. It was my pen name that bit the dust.
I was doing pretty well until a real accident put paid to my writing for two years. I had a spectacular motorbike smash which you may say that at my age I should have known better but I didn’t so shut up! You think I haven’t told myself, already that double somersaults over the handlebars, exploding the spleen and landing in a three week coma are unbecoming to an OAP? Well I have. So there!
Finally I’m coming out of the after-effects of the coma and am getting ready to hit my series again but unfortunately, other books are now crowding into the edge of my consciousness. They are like a queue of patients in a doctor’s waiting room, lined up behind the chair in my study, wanting my attention. Sometimes I feel like rounding on them and shouting “I didn’t plan to be a writer, y’know!” but that’s silly. I never really planned to be anything – so whatever comes out of it is a bonus, isn’t it? Normal writing process will obviously be resumed eventually and probably by accident. Expect two out in one year.
You can find out more about Ailsa and her books via these links: