Now after many years I discovered the secret of having a little time to do stuff you want. It's comparatively simple. Cultivate the air of enthusiastic incompetence. Suddenly your name is no longer the one that occurs to people when they need a job doing. Not only that but if you volunteer, they look nervous and think up excuses why it's probably not your cup of tea.
The problem is I think it's rubbing off on me as well.
I'd better explain. You see I came up with a cunning plan. When you publish a book you get a bit of publicity and not only do you sell some of the new book, you sell a few of your previous books as well. So with my fantasy novels, when I published a new one, the others also got a little jump in sales.
But this happens once or twice a year; I could do with it happening more often.
Then I had the brain wave, I'd take Benor, hero of a couple of my books, and base six novellas round his actions. OK six novellas are a book and a half at least but I've never really been good with numbers. Not only that, they're not a series, in that you have to read them in order, they're a collection, a bit like the Sherlock Holmes tales, where you can read them in any order.
So I wrote them. Each has at its core a crime or mystery to be solved, and each was edited and proof-read and placed in the queue for publishing.
The system started to roll and a month before each new story came out, I would crank up the old promo machinery and get the news out there.
But as well as being enthusiastically incompetent, I'm a writer, and writers write. I got dragged into a new book and at 75,000 words didn't want to let go. Then I glanced at the calendar and discovered that I had the next novella coming out on the 1st July. At which point I didn't panic. In reality I should have, but being a writer I procrastinated. Finally, when I'd got the book I was working on to a place I felt I could lay it down for a while, then I panicked.
So now I'm trying to do some promotion.
It's as simple as this. On the 1st of July, Woman in Love is published.
To quote from the blurb "Asked to look for a missing husband, Benor finds that the female of the species is indeed more deadly than the male."
And here's a bit from the story
Benor thought back to Ami's story. "The only witnesses we have are the staff in the office and the blind beggar. I don't hold out much hope."
Mutt looked up from his plate. "The blind beggar at the Hall of Records?"
Benor nodded, amused by the boy's sudden interest.
"Oh, he's not blind." Mutt turned his attention back to his plate.
"What do you mean, not blind?" Tallis asked.
Mutt looked at him as if he were a difficult and argumentative child. "Simple, he can see."
"So how does he pass himself off as a blind beggar?" Benor asked, scratching his head. "Don't people notice?"
"He's got a bandage over his eyes, but look closely you'll see the bandages have been split and he looks out through the slit." Mutt absently finished his slice of bread. "I think his eyes are weak and he cannot cope with the sun, but he's not blind."
"So he might remember Ami if she gave him some money."
"Brides do that," Mutt said in a world-weary voice. "Said to be lucky." He pondered his comment. "It is for the beggar."
So treat yourself, it's only 98p and you'd kick yourself if Amazon ran out of electrons and you missed your chance to buy a copy.