It’s been that kind of week: something good, hotly chased by something a lot less good. Which, I suppose, is a kind of the balance and harmony the world could use a lot more of.
Except that the bad things seem to stay around for longer, and some bad things are never balanced out at all.
The bad things don’t have a lot to do with crime fiction, but in their own way they are crimes against anything that makes life worth living, and not just for me. Mainly they fall into two categories.
One: the small but perfectly formed theatre in my home town, which has struggled against funding issues ever since I moved here ftymumble years ago, seems to have become a target for economically and culturally challenged local government officers who don’t even use the place. Now I think abut it, that’s probably why. If they’d only visit it now and again, they’d know that over the past ten years audiences have grown, the quality of productions has been raised and the place has developed a buzz and ambience which have transformed it. Now all of a sudden, for no good reason anyone is offering, the staff responsible for the upturn are losing their jobs, the small production companies they’ve encouraged to perform there are being offered contracts which means they can’t afford to do it any more, and the entire atmosphere is one of gloom, resentment and fear for the future.
Two: the developers are back. (Quick recap: a year ago, a firm of builders who have owned a beautiful green field opposite my house for nearly forty years decided to apply for planning permission to put up an ugly housing development there. We organized ourselves into a vociferous and knowledgeable protest group, and they backed off. Temporarily, as it turns out.) They’re trying again. Last weekend they held a ‘public consultation’, AKA cynical PR exercise, the results of which they’ll ignore, because they don’t want to hear what they learned: that nobody wants the blankety-blank houses.
So far we’re fighting as hard as ever, and if we need to, a few of us will continue until lying down in front of bulldozers is the only course of action left to us. But most of village isn’t even directly affected, and though there’s strong support at the moment, we can’t expect everyone to go on feeling as we do for ever.
So what’s the good news?
Ah, now that’s a little more crime fiction-related. Actually a lot more. One of ‘my’ authors – I still feel protective and proud of and, forgive me, a little proprietorial about the ones I discovered, even though I’m not publishing any more – has just signed a three-book deal for a new series, and made me (almost) take a step closer to buying an eReader because it’s a three-eBook deal. With a real publisher, you understand, not do-it-yourself Kindle, and I’m told audio is also involved.
Wait; there’s more. A client of the editorial consultancy I set up long before I dipped a toe into publishing’s dark waters, and have run ever since, has a novel under serious consideration by an agent. The novel can broadly be described as a political thriller, and there are more thrills than politics.
Watch this space on both those subjects! When I have news, you’ll have news.
The other news is that my two, or possibly three, regular followers will get a rest from me for the next two Wednesdays; I’m getting right away from the bad news for a while.
This time next week, if all goes according to plan, I will have traversed much of Massachusetts and New York State, finished being blown away by the magnificence that is Niagara Falls, and be en route for Boston again via a more scenic route, taking in lakes, mountains, a little coast and maybe even a witch or two in Salem along the way.
My deputy blogger will be my exceedingly talented daughter, who may have forgotten more about crime fiction that I’ll ever know, so if you were around last year you’ll know you’re in good hands.
And I promise not to bore you both with my holiday photos when I come back!