As I write this, we are 25 days from the official publication date of THE FORGOTTEN SUMMER – 11th February – and I am suffering a little bit from what the French call le traque or in actors’ speak: stage fright. That moment as you step out onto the stage or in front of the camera and you jump, praying that all the work you have done is there in place and about to reveal itself, and when it does, there’s a kind of magic to it. The preparations and choices have been made both in private and in the rehearsal room and you have to hope, pray, that it works, that as you step in front of those lights the spirit of the character you have created comes alive and interacts with your fellow performers. When it does, you are flying and it is magic.
Writing a novel involves months, sometimes years, of preparation, of dogged discipline. Get thee to the desk, to the computer, face that blank page, that fear. That fear of nothing happening, but those of us doing it regularly know that as long as you keep coming back, as long as you keep turning up at the desk, eventually the ‘muse’, the story begins to come alive, and that too is an exhilarating, magical experience. We call it ‘being on a roll’. The characters live and prance about the page and take on a force of their own. It is thrilling.
One of the major differences between acting and writing is that instead of preparing myself to step forward into the limelight, I am letting go. Letting go in a very different sense. I am turning the book , THE FORGOTTEN SUMMER, over to you. Aside from publicising the work, my job is done. The story is yours now.
Next week on this website Bart, my lovely webmaster, will be putting up a link to the opening pages of THE FORGOTTEN SUMMER, to whet your appetite, to introduce you to Jane Cambon and her talented and attractive filmmaker husband, Luc Cambon. The story begins at Luc’s gorgeous family home, Les Cigales, which is a vineyard estate overlooking the Mediterranean in the south of France.
Get ready for basking in sunshine, for the best meals you have ever read about, for fine wine, the heady scents of Provence, for high drama and a secret buried so deep it has turned and twisted lives.
So, dear friends, dear readers, THE FORGOTTEN SUMMER is coming your way VERY SOON.
Take a journey with me to the south of France, to Les Cigales. Please enjoy it. It is yours now.
PS: If you are attending the FRANCE SHOW at Olympia between 29th and 31st January, I will be there every day to talk about the book and sign PRE-PUBLICATION COPIES specially printed up by Michael Joseph for this event. Come and say hello.