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02/05/2017 Entry: "Catch-up"

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Doing a bit of research for next Maddleskirk Abbey title

Iím sorry I neglected to make any entries in my diary last year. Other things just got in the way. I strained my back lifting a sofa and it put me out of commission for a while. Iíve had to accept that Iíve got to be more careful now Iím 80. However Iím up and running again.

We hosted Family Christmas this year, our daughters having done it for the past 13 years. When I say Ďwe hosted Christmasí, actually said daughters did most of the planning, preparation and cooking. There were 14 of us all told, including my sister, Joan, who has returned to the UK after 19 years living in Ireland. The house was a hive of activity but it was lovely to see the place festooned in Christmas decorations again, especially the traditional tree in the hall. It felt just like the old days. And teenage grandchildren are very useful for moving tables, making up beds and, dare I say it, washing up.

To bring you up to date on the writing front, the bad news is that Robert Hale, my publisher, ceased trading at the end of 2015. This was a sad day as I had been with them for nearly 50 years, but the good news is they have passed their business on to Crowood Press. This publisher is well known for books on crafts and various interests rather than fiction books, so weíll see how it goes. Funnily enough, Crowood recently published a book by my brother, Charlie Walker, who lives in Dorset. It is a very instructive and well-illustrated book on the art of stickmaking. I donít think thereíll be any family rivalry there.

Constable on Trial, the book about Police Constable Nick Rheaís early career is now also available as an ebook and audio download, with a large print version on the way.

I am busy with a new Maddleskirk book but am not sure who might publish it. Weíll just have to cross fingers and wait and see.

In the meantime Rhoda joins me in sending best wishes to all my readers.

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