Comments and questions that have accumulated on Post Its around the edge of my Mac until I can’e2’80’99t see the screen any more:

Yes, the launch date of Locked Rooms has been shifted back a week, to the 22nd of June, not the 29th. Sorry, everyone who used ink to write it on their calendar, and sorry too, Meredith, that you can’e2’80’99t make it.

And for those of you who wonder, yes, I read all your comments, even on the older posts, thanks to a magical little option that automatically shoots them into my email bin.

The survey is indeed closed, and the winners have received their copies of The Game. Those of you who took the thing and didn’t get a book, you win my thanks instead. Thanks also to those who made comments on the blog itself. I’e2’80’99ll be putting together material for a May update to the site, and will keep your remarks in mind. And because you seem to like them (printing them off, even transferring them onto your Blackberry–making me feel so technological!) I’e2’80’99ll have some great additions to my Recommended Reading list, too.

The Keeping Watch movie for CBS is still alive and twitching feebly, but I won’e2’80’99t hear any more about it until the end of April or so, something to do with the network’s planning sessions for next year. I’ll let you know if it gets the electric paddles or the shovel.

And someone mentioned Virginia Woolf’e2’80’99s ‘e2’80’9cA Room of One’e2’80’99s Own’e2’80’9d a while back, the essay on how necessary it was to have a private space to be oneself. What people tend to forget when quoting that good lady is that she firmly included “and five hundred pounds a year’e2’80’9d to her prescription. Remember, this was a time when an entire middle class family could live in comfort on that amount of money. As she puts it, ‘e2’80’9ca woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.’e2’80’9d

I’m sorry, Virginia, this is a luxury few beginning writers have. And anyway, is it true? Wasn’t it Jane Austen who scribbled quite happily in the corner of the family rooms? I’e2’80’99ve rarely had that kind of money to fritter on myself, and only in later years have I had the room. And furthermore, why only women? And, only fiction?

Sorry, just rubbed my fur awry.

And finally, for any of you who are re-reading your paperbacks of A Grave Talent, To Play the Fool, With Child, and/or Night Work in preparation for next year’e2’80’99s reappearance of Martinelli et al, could you keep an eye out for typos? I’e2’80’99ve found one or two over the years, but if Bantam decides to re-issue all four, it would be nice to have them clean. Thanks.

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  1. Rebecca Le Good on April 3, 2005 at 9:08 pm

    To a degree I understand where you’re coming from with Virginia Woolf. Coming from a priviliged background as she did, it’s easy to forget how hard it is for the rest of us to scrap for a living.

    The other explanation that I could give however, is that perhaps she preferred working on her own- something that I can appreciate. When I’m writing an essay, I have to be by myself and as far away from anyone else as is humanly possible. The library at my university is only used to find the books I need, and to research those journals pertinent to my essays but which can not be taken out privately. It is far too distracting a place for which to write at as invariably I’ll come across a friend, or I find that there’s just too many people coming and going.

    Jane Austen I feel is more the exception than the rule. Although JK Rowling is famous for writing in a cafe, I believe that she did this because it was warmer than her unheated flat! Many of my friends also prefer to work alone, they too have cut short their Easter holiday as they can’t work at home. I knew that I couldn’t work at home, and thus I deliberately planned to go home only for a few days so that my parents could re-assure themselves that I still exist before returning to university to complete my assignment.

    By the way, will you be visiting Britain at all when launching Locked Rooms?

  2. Pen on April 4, 2005 at 8:05 am

    Inteersting to hear the film of Keeping Watch is still on-going but furstrating too as I still haven’t been able to obtain a copy of the book here in the UK. Anyone any suggestions?

  3. Pen on April 4, 2005 at 8:05 am

    Het, talking of typos … sorry for the odd words!

  4. Anita on April 4, 2005 at 12:52 pm

    I have a little freeware/shareware program on my iMac that is called ‘stickies’. It allows me to have little post-its right on my screen. You can even have them in different colors and different fonts. Works great. That way I don’t loose any of the little notes. Though I still use the ‘real’ post-its in my date book, and there is quite the collection of them. They are helpful now that I have gone back to school. I now have a fighting chance of remembering when things are due! Recieved my copy of “The Game” on Friday, thanks!

  5. Anonymous on April 4, 2005 at 6:18 pm

    I imagine she focused on women — and on fiction — because the essay was originally written as a series of lectures to be given at one of the women’s colleges, and that was the topic they invited her to speak on. She refers to this at the beginning of the essay. It seems unlikely that she meant to exclude, for example, the late poems of John Keats from the list of literary treasures lost to poverty, merely because Keats was male.

    More in a bit.

  6. Becca on April 5, 2005 at 2:52 am

    Oooh, will happily search for typos. I always feel bad about pointing them out, but if you ask… :)I have to say, your books are some of the most carefully written I’ve read.

  7. Anonymous on April 5, 2005 at 8:39 am

    Pen, has Keeping Watch in their collection.

    Laurie, I’ve started reading A grave talent.


  8. Pen on April 5, 2005 at 10:25 am

    Thanks for your suggestion Anonymous but since posting I’ve ordered it through Silver Moon bookshop in London. Looking forward to reading it.

  9. JohnnyeD on April 23, 2005 at 8:54 pm

    I discovered the Mary Russell books a month ago, bought them all and read them in the order written. This “feast” left me hungering for more of the Russell/Holmes partnership, so I’ve pre-ordered LOCKED ROOMS.

    I hope you intend to continue the series until Holmes is at least 85 years old!

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