I received an email from Chris Peers the other day. I stayed with Chris and her family in Fownhope, as part of a research trip around the UK. They took me to the medieval fair (or should that be fayre?) at Ludlow. Then winter mountain bike riding in a forest in Herefordshire.
Chris was wondering what had become of Blimey, the book that I was researching at the time. It’s a fair enough question, and one others I stayed with are no doubt asking themselves. So I thought I’d use this opportunity to give everyone a bit of an update.
Firstly, the name of the book has changed. Blimey was always a working title. It’s now known as Brit on the Side, continuing my sad fixation with punning book titles. Secondly, I now have a deadline. The manuscript has to be finished by early next year.
A lot of you are probably wondering why the project is taking so long. With my change of circumstances – marriage, fatherhood – the nice little production line of travel, write, promote, repeat that I had going ground to a halt. A number of other personal factors cropped up too (I’m not going to bore you with them, they happen to everyone), just as the publishing industry went into a period of turmoil. But most importantly, it’s taken me this long to save up for the huge chunk of change the British Government insist I hand over to apply for citizenship.
Anyway, just to let you know, it’s now all systems go. I can’t give you a publication date just yet. But as soon as I know, you’ll know.