As a tiny mite – perhaps not so ‘tiny’ – I loved Friday evenings. Why? It was on a Friday evening that I went to the library with an aunt. I loved the silence of the book-lined rooms but more than that the smell of the books. No, ‘smell’ is not the right word: it should be aroma or bouquet or scent. Because of that – I’ll say aroma – I came to love books. Loved them so much that I wanted to write one myself: write lots of them!
So, now writing them, while also being the owner of about 5,000 which others have written, I swore that I will never ever download an e-book.
Swore, that is, until last month, when the publisher Dave Lyons of the UK’s ‘Raven Crest Books Ltd’ offered to publish my book ‘Die in Paris’ as an e-book, and I agreed.
So I quickly had to buy a reading device and having done so and seeing my own book appear on the screen and being able to turn the pages with a click of the mouse or a slight brush across the screen with a finger, I can not stop buying e-books. As I tell everyone: one does not have to wait for the postman to deliver the books but can start reading them right away, and they are cheaper than the print books, and, unless one is on Forbes’ ‘Richest People in the World’ list, one needs to think of that kind of thing.
‘Die in Paris’ is a cross between true crime and history, but I now have a novel with my agent Owen Burnham of the ‘L & C Literary Agency’ of London. The novel – ‘For the love of a Poet’ – is set in Russia. Rather, in the Soviet Union of the 1930s ruled by the dictator Josef Stalin. A Russophile (I have Russian grandparents and great-grandparents) I’ve wanted to write about Stalin for about twenty years and I also wanted to write about the Russian poet, novelist and Nobel Prize in Literature laureate, Boris Pasternak. So, in ‘For the love of a Poet’ I write about both.
I have another two projects on the drawing board – or rather on my computer’s hard disk.
One is another novel – ‘Bella … Bella … Bella … A French Life’ – set in the 1980s in France, in the beautiful Normandy, and with flashbacks to the 1960s. I have 48,000 words written. The novel is full of music of the 1960s and 1980s. It is also full of food: well, it is set in France!
The other project is a book about the death of Princess Diana. I believe that Princess Diana was assassinated that night of August 30/31 1997 in Paris. My agent has a 55-page proposal for the book which he has discussed with London publishers. He tells me that those publishers he has spoken to feel that the book will endanger my life and they will not be able to protect me. As the French say: Voilà!
The question now is: do I write the book – working title is ‘Scenario of a Death’?
Or do I finish ‘Bella…’?
What I do know is that I would like whichever book of mine is published next to appear as a print book but also simultaneously as an e-book.