Samantha Wood, author

I’ve been ensconced in other writerly activities of late, although none of them entirely manuscript-related. There was the formatting of my first book, Culua, for conversion into an e-book in the next month, an updated author’s note to go at the front of the new edition, a brand-new cover design (a very exciting and fun part of the whole process); then the re-write of Under Ten Thousand Stars which, admittedly, has taken a bit of a back seat to all the other stuff; and marketing and promotion for The Bay of Shadows – so so much marketing. It is necessary, of course, because nobody is going to buy your books if they don’t know about them, but it does take time away from the writing, and time is one thing that none of us have in great supply. The good thing is that this season allows me a little more of that precious commodity.

For the past five months I’ve been swimming nearly every day (I do have a gym membership but it is more of the spiritual kind. That is, I’m there in spirit) and now that it’s cold I’ve retreated inside. I’m not planning on turning into a complete hermit – that’s not to say the idea of sitting at my computer in my ugg boots and beanie isn’t an appealing one, because it is – but I am just taking time right now to appreciate the opportunity it affords to really focus on the writing without external distractions. Instead, I’ve picked up where I left off last winter. I’m reading a lot more now – anything I can get my hands on, and in both formats: e-book and hardcopy; at the moment Don Quijote in olde-worlde Spanish, hence the ‘j’ in the title spelling, and when my brain starts to hurt from the concentration, I’m listening to the entire George Michael back catalogue because he was my first true love and I can’t begin to say how much I have loved his music all the way from his Wham! days to everything that followed. I’ve also gone back into my pottery studio. I’ve mentioned before how much I love getting on my wheel. It is one of the things that allows me to completely disengage from the world and come back to the writing with a new focus.

There’s a lot to get done this month, most importantly, finishing the rewrite of my next manuscript, but with the rain pattering on the roof and my swimsuit packed away in the closet I’m feeling optimistic. Should anyone want to know where to find me, I’ll be here at my computer, plinking away for the next few months at least.

The Bay of Shadows is available now.

It feels like a lifetime since I wrote my previous post, although in actual fact it has only been a little over a week. I’m thinking it has something to do with the change of season from an Indian summer (really, autumn appeared in name only) to the shock of winter’s arrival. One minute I had my toes up in the water, and the next I’m wearing my brand-new pink beanie with the fetching pom-pom. I’ve written before about authors’ love affairs with beanies – see Michael Douglas in The Wonder Boys – and other I’ve-given-up-on-life apparel, but now with the advent of the cold weather it is something I can fully embrace. And I’m pretty happy about that.

An ode to winter: the author's season...

Monday 8 May, 2017