I may have taken a significant step closer to a new book deal this week. The three ideas I put forward to Stan (the agent) were forwarded to Simon (the editor) at Transworld and he liked two of them a lot. The only thing wrong with the third was that it was too close to something Manda Scott is working on. Simon asked me to put together a single page synopsis for each of them and (fingers crossed) he'll be presenting them as his next project.
Nothing's certain in this world, but it feels like progress.
Great news midweek from Samantha my publicist, who is doing a brilliant job. I'm invited to appear at Wigtown Book Festival in September. We went last year with our friends, Elaine and John, and stayed in Newton Stewart, and had a fantastic time. I can't wait!
The Borders Book Festival first, though, where I'll be chatting on stage to my friend David, the books editor at the Scotsman. Hopefully, I'll have the book proof of Claudius by then and I'll be able to promote it.
Also had a parcel from Transworld, the complete and unabridged audio book of Caligula, 10 CDs read by the actor Russel Boulter. I've only listened to the prologue so far, and very chilling it is too. You don't really have much of an idea of the impact your words will have on other people when you're writing them, but I now know what people mean when they say Caligula is 'visceral'. You try to impart realism, but when the scenes are as brutal as some of them in Caligula, if you recreate reality too well it can be pretty overwhelming.
I travelled down to Jedburgh at the weekend for the rugby sevens and had a great time catching up with friends. On Friday I'll be giving the toast to the Jethart Callants Festival in the town hall in front of 150 dignitaries: of all the spin-offs I've had from being a published author, this is the one I'm proudest of.