First of all, a million apologies that I have no photographs to accompany this newsletter. The fact is that I have been so busy that I simply haven't had time to take any. Please forgive me.
I returned from the cruise and within two days held auditions for a play to be produced at The Stables Theatre, Hastings. It was called Can't Stand Up for Falling Down and was written by Richard Cameron, who is described as "the poet of the post-industrial working class". It is a one-act piece but is powerful and disturbing, telling the story of three women and the effect that one particularly unpleasant man has on all their lives. Eventually they get their revenge on him in a highly dramatic way. I won't tell you how, because if the play is ever put on down your way I would enjoin you all to go and see it. Or, if any of you are members of a drama club, you might think of producing it yourselves.
Anyway, my production met with great success and on several occasions the audience cheered it at the end. I had three wonderful actresses, namely Zola Thomas, Jackie Eichler and Camilla Whitehill, all of whom gave of their absolute best. Martin Wimbush, the well-known actor, came one night and was very impressed with it.
In the midst of all this I gave a talk at Tonbridge Library which went well. A very friendly group of librarians was in charge and I had about two dozen in the audience, all of whom seemed appreciative, including one fan who had collected all my books in hardback. That done, I went straight up to London for the Diamond Dagger award to John Harvey, which was the usual glittering occasion. My friend John Elnaugh accompanied me, and afterwards we went out for a meal at Salieri's in The Strand, our favourite eating place.
In between times I saw two excellent productions: Sweeney Todd and Thoroughly Modern Millie, both of which contained some brilliant singers. Then on to a Literary Lunch in Rye given by the Martello Bookshop, which is run by my absolute favourite couple Wendy and Terry Harvey. Their shop is packed with goodies and is really worth a visit if you should happen to be visiting that charming and ancient town. Another speaker was Simon Brett, whom I have known for some years, and it was at that lunch that I met Martin Wimbush, who was there with his partner, Marie. So, as you can imagine, a good time was had by one and all.
As soon as the run of the show was over I went to Spain for a few days, staying with friends. Then I returned to learn that the paperback of Death and the Cornish Fiddler will be published in November, and the hardback of Death in Hellfire in December. Get your orders in early, folks!
Now it's nose to the grindstone time because I have to produce a book by mid-November by order of my agent, Vanessa Holt, who is actually a sweetheart. Once again let me apologise for the lack of pictures. I promise that the next newsletter will be loaded with them.
Meanwhile, take care of yourselves,