Monday 9 May 2011


After a lovely break in Champagne and Bourgogne – oh Reims, oh Dijon!– back to the grind. The burglars hit our building again, this time running away empty-handed after attempting breaking into another office. As a result, the building's manager has employed full-time guards, installed a new CCTV system, scattered a few mousetraps around and asked if we want to take part in a vigilante scheme Rambo-style. We all agreed. I am writing from the office now, with a dagger between my teeth. We can all sleep placidly from now on.

I have been working on my new novel – I'm just about halfway through, and very happy about it. I'll probably destroy it in a week or two. I have also received the Czech edition (hardback) of Bestseller – and what a glorious production it is. Lovely cover too. Unfortunately I can't read Czech, but I have noticed a funny typo on p.38: Cannongate. That doesn't diminish the beauty of the book. And I can see that Talbot's mumblings are not lost in translation: "Grrnf… trrrnf… frrrnf." And I love all those accents.

We had some great books in – for example the Lampedusa paperback, a real beauty – and some excellent books off to the printers – from Peter Benson's Two Cows and a Vanful of Smoke to Pushkin's Queen of Spades and other Stories.

We've been shortlisted for the Independent Publisher of the Year at the Bookseller Industry Awards (after being shortlisted for the IPG prize). And guess where the event is going to be held? You just need to read the prophetic chapter 7 in Bestseller again . . .

Went to the circus the other day with Elisabetta and kids, and we recognized Rob Brydon behind us – perhaps getting some inspiration? I hope not. I don't think he found the Dutch clown particularly funny.

We had a few literary luncheons over the past couple of weeks – a memorable seven- (or was it eight-) wine bash in Wandsworth with one of our author and friends, a treat from another author which included artichokes, fragoline, rabbit, borlotti and Sangiovese – and my ears are still buzzing with gossip.

But the talk of the day was of course the royal wedding and Osama's assassination (that's right – that is the word being used by the intelligentsia, which I neither discount nor condone), and it was interesting to hear – as outsiders – the point of view of "real" (not "royal" – in Italian it's the same word) England.

Busy-busy weeks and lots of interesting things coming up. I'll try to blog and tweet a bit more often than I have done recently. Stay tuned.

Now back to keeping watch.

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