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  • Writer's pictureA J McDine

Life update: In which we welcome a new addition to the family and I meet an author legend


I was thinking today that I didn't have much to tell you since I last dropped into your inbox, but then I realised A LOT has happened over the last month.

Perhaps the most exciting thing is that we have welcomed a new addition into the family - four-month-old kitten, Charlie.

After losing our beautiful Luna in May, I had been thinking we could offer another rescue cat a home, and when I mentioned this to the guy who runs the rescue centre we got both Luna and Amber from, he said they had a feral kitten up for rehoming and would we like to meet him.

So, off we trotted to Happy Endings Rescue, where we met Charlie, a beautiful black and white kitten who immediately stole our hearts.

Charlie didn't have the best of starts. He and his four siblings were born outside to a feral mum. Luckily someone managed to catch them all and they were taken in by the rescue centre.

Even though Charlie was the boldest of the five kittens, he was still very nervous for the first few days, but as his confidence has grown, he has turned into the sweetest, funniest, most affectionate cat.

Minstrel is less than impressed, but Amber and Charlie have become pretty good mates and spend the evenings tearing around the house chasing each other. Peaceful it ain't!

Anyway, here's some Charlie spam to brighten your day!

When I last wrote I was stiIl a way off finishing Book #7 but I'm pleased to say that once we got back from the Peak District I really did knuckle down and made the deadline to get the book to the editor with two days to spare.

Since then I've had the copy edits back on Book #6, and last week I had to check the proofread version of the book. The cover designer has been briefed and I will be sent the final files to check over on November 3rd.

Once that's done all goes quiet until the New Year, when there will be a flurry of activity: the cover for Book #6 will be revealed and the book will go up on NetGalley and on preorder on Amazon.

Publication Day is scheduled for St George's Day, Tuesday 23rd April 2024.

Book #7 will be published just under a month later on Monday 20th May.

It's all beginning to feel very real!

I can’t reveal any details about either book yet, unfortunately. All I can say is that the first was the most enjoyable book I’ve ever written, and the second contains the biggest twist I’ve ever plotted. In fact, even I didn’t see it coming until the end of the book!

In between edits and finishing Book #7 I did make a start on Book #8 and have nearly 12,000 words under my belt.

I'll have to put that on hold for the next couple of weeks, as I get the structural edit back on Book #7 today. I'm hoping it doesn't involve too much work. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

I did take a break from all the scribbling to go and see the amazing Lisa Jewell at Maidstone Literary Festival earlier this month.

Lisa is my go-to author. I love her books so much they're an auto-buy for me. I had a real fangirl moment when she signed a copy of her latest chillingly brilliant psych thriller, None of This is True. Here I am with the legend herself...

Talking of favourite books, I've been a massive Harry Potter fan for as long as I can remember, and I'm very excited to report that next month we're off to visit Warner Bros' Harry Potter Studio Tour. I've been wanting to go for years and Adrian bought tickets for my birthday. I can't wait!

Have you been? What are the bits I mustn't miss?

What with editing and writing, kitten-cuddling and wizard-watching, I have a feeling it's going to be a busy few weeks.

I hope all is well in your part of the world.

Until next time,


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