Tuesday, 29 July 2014
Blog Tour - What Would Mary Berry Do??
Today I am pleased to welcome Claire Sandy, the author of What Would Mary Berry Do?, to my blog and she tells me about writing Acknowledgements for her book, and why dogs are not included within them:
Why do dogs never make it into the acknowledgements of books? Everybody thanks their agents, their editors, their readers, but I can't recall a Bonzo or a Fido ever getting so much as a mention. It's time to right this terrible doggy wrong.
I couldn't write my novels without Mavis and Zelda. True they have poor tea-making skills, and they've yet to give me one decent idea about characterisation or plot, but their never-ending devotion surely counts for something in a world where a writer spends eight months working on a book only for it to end up selling on-line for less than the price of a Kit-Kat.
Two spaniels, Mavis and Zelda share a dog bed in my study, two feet away from my desk. They're not temperamentally suited - Mavis is an introvert, whereas Zelda makes Katie Price look cripplingly reserved - but they snuggle into one another, like furry jigsaw pieces, snoozing twenty three hours out of every twenty four. Even in their sleep, however, they're tuned into me.
If I lean back in my chair and sigh with frustration about chapter twenty's refusal to come out right, they both sit up, ready for anything, ears pricked. When I swear because instead of moving a chunk of prose I've managed to delete it, they nose about my ankles. When I growl to myself about the fact that I can't quite grasp the perfect way to express a character's feelings, they pace the room, alarmed on my behalf. They're supportive in a way my husband would be if he had the time.
True, it can be spooky to look up and see two pairs of eyes trained on you, with the sort of focus usually associated with serial killers. There's such a thing as too much devotion. And when five pm comes around their body clocks set off an alarm and they pester me for their dinner.
The sudden barking when the doorbell goes can give the lady novelist, deeply engrossed in her work in process, a mild heart attack. And of course they do have the occasional scrap, which means one of them has to be put outside. I could live without the harrowing whining if I accidentally lock them out of my study; it's as pitiful as the death of a Dicken's heroine and not the ideal backdrop for conjuring up frothy romantic comedies.
Hmm. All in all, I think I'll leave them out of the acknowledgements. They'll never know; they can't read.
Thank you to the publishers, Pan, and to the author, Claire Sandy, for inviting me to be part of the blog tour for this fantastic book.