The Talk

Last week my editor and I had The Talk. You know, the one where you sit and converse in lowered voices and not meeting the other’s eyes, and go over those things that will determine your future, your health, and your worth as a human being.

It had nothing to do with sleeping with men, however. Our version of The Talk was concerned with, rather, being a man, in England, in the early twentieth century.

Yes, we were talking about what I’m writing next, following this Martinelli novel on which I am working ten hours a day in an attempt to finish the rewrite before Labor Day, and getting to the end of the day with smoke curling out of my ears, unable to retrieve commonplace words, which makes dinner converstion rather halting.

Anyway. This, too, will end, and then I can go play with my daughter in England.

However, I needed to know what I would be doing on my return in October so I knew whether I was doing research in Europe or just bumming around. And the decision is, research.

Not a lot, and mostly the sort that is more giving direction to an otherwise aimless holiday, rather than buckling down in some airless library for days on end.

Unusually enough, the book has had a title since it first began to glimmer in the back of my mind: Touchstone. It has a male protagonist, set in various places in England, and will probably center around the Great Strike of 1926.

But don’t hold your breath. It won’t go between covers for two years.

I’m so glad we had this little talk.

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  1. Anonymous on August 11, 2005 at 3:28 pm


    New book sounds intriguing–just don’t let this new fellow get ahead of Russell’s (and my) Holmes!


  2. KB on August 11, 2005 at 4:13 pm

    Smile. New book. Anticipation. Two years? 🙁 England? Research? Need someone to carry your bags? 8)

  3. Anonymous on August 11, 2005 at 6:14 pm

    I just found this site, and have read the Mary Russell books, I was wondering does she speak Yiddish?

  4. WDI on August 11, 2005 at 11:50 pm

    Something fun to anticipate — cool! Knowing that this novel will have a male protagonist makes me wonder what leads you to decide whether a protagonist will be male or female. Does the story idea begin with a protagonist who already has a sex assigned (and do you then have to figure out why)?

    Inquiring minds would love to know . . .

  5. riobonito on August 12, 2005 at 2:28 am

    aahhh..we will miss you, but your trip sounds like fun and full of adventures, is the lap top going too, is wireless floating around the home of my fore*fathers?

  6. Pen on August 15, 2005 at 6:54 am

    It sounds as though you’re not enjoying writing the new Martinelli book at all? Well, I’m sure I’m only one of many who are looking forward to reading it. I hope that you haven’t lost interest in such a great character.

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