Nicola Vincent-Abnett

Nicola Vincent-Abnett
"Savant" for Solaris, Wild's End, Further Associates of Sherlock Holms, more Wild's End

Friday 4 December 2020

By way of a re-introduction…

The World is a strange place… a very strange place.

Time to update this pic...
I look nothing like this
Author photo: James K Barnett

We live in interesting times. Personally, I’m among those who’d rather read about historic interesting times than try to survive them. But there it is.

It’s for this reason (mostly) that I stopped writing posts for this blog. What could I possibly say about Brexit or Trump? or about the ludicrous nonsense that has transpired over the past three or four years?

I couldn’t do it. I was sad and angry, and I didn’t really want commenters being sad and angry back at me… That was never really what this was all about. I stopped writing, and the blog hung somewhere in limbo for a couple of years or so.

Meanwhile, a week or two ago, I began to take notice of Twitter, mostly because of something to do with one of my daughters. As a consequence, someone tweeted me that my website was showing pages and pages of Japanese girdles, and I might want to do something about that. I don’t google myself, so this anomaly had passed me by, but somehow, people, or at least a person was still watching.

The fact that someone was still checking my site so long after my last post was interesting. Dealing with hackers was not interesting; it was frustrating, and it stretched my computer skills to their limits. As far as I’m concerned, if you delve into any kind of computer, you’re going to find fairy dust. When I first used DTP, back in the eighties (that’s the 1980s, not a typo), it was just a little fairy dust; thirty-plus years later, it’s a veritable torrent of fairy dust. I got covered in more than my share of it this morning, sorting out silly hacker shit. As it turned out, I lost three hours of my day, but I also saved myself some cash, so, you know, there’s that.

It is done. And, having done it, it seemed only right that I should at least think about reviving this blog. I thought other people might like to think about it too; I put out the call on FB and Twitter, and got lots of lovely, positive feedback.

So, this is by way of an introduction to my newly revived blog. I hope you’ll enjoy my posts.

A Rose By Any Other Name…

Writing a novel is a funny thing. At least, for me, the process of writing a novel is a funny thing. It is fast, spontaneous, consuming. I don’t do it often, and perhaps these are some of the reasons why. Besides, when I’m writing a novel, nothing else gets done… Nothing!

On March 11 2020, I had one of my regular, quarterly hospital treatments. I knew it would be the last time I left the house, for a while.

On March 12 2020, I lit a fire in the library, sat in an easy chair, my laptop on my lap (it’s right there in the name), and began writing. I stopped when I’d written a novel. I dare not tell you how long this one took to write. If I did tell you, I doubt that you’d believe me.

The novel began with a title. My novels, in fact, all of my stories in all their forms, generally do. I have titles that I haven’t written stories for, but no stories that I don’t have titles for. Titles are important; they’re part of what drives the writing.

Today, I had a lovely e-mail from the lovely publisher of this, my latest novel, due for release in 2021. The publisher wanted to ask me if I was wedded to the title, and he made a suggestion as to what the book might be called.

The title came first. I’ve been calling this novel by its title since March 12, when I sat down to write, or, more probably since before March 12, when I first began to think I’d write this novel… My memory is cloudy as to the details.

The publisher was right, though. The title he had lifted from the novel is more appropriate, more compelling, more apposite, and it leaves less room for confusion.

In my head, this novel will probably always have the title I gave it nine-plus months ago; I won’t be changing the folder label on my desktop. Today it has a new, better title, which the reader will know it by, and that’s absolutely fine with me.

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