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New Launch

Just over a week to go before the next Blàs book is launched. I wasn’t sure if I would have time to write a blog this week. Trying to fit everything in is challenging.

The nights slowly creeping in doesn’t help. At first, I thought it was the dark rain clouds bring the feeling of early dusk but it would appear not. We are moving nearer to real autumn.

I love this time of the year. You can still smell the pine in the forest. The midges at least on this coast are falling in numbers. Light diffuses through the shrinking tree canopy, causing a soft tinge throughout the woods. A few early leaves gently float their way to the ground. A magical feeling sprinkles the atmosphere as the trees settle down to sleep over the winter months.

It is hardly surprising that the autumn months play a large part in my latest Blàs story. In truth once more events cover over a year but autumn flavours the text. Hence the colours on the cover.

Speaking of covers; it wraps not just around the story but also two of my great loves, trees, and dogs. In particular Dandie Dinmont Terriers at the moment. Friends could be forgiven for thinking that is Boise on the front but it isn’t. That fictional Dandie is called Malt.

Now that I have dogs (apart from Old Shep) firmly within the story they will definitely be making an appearance in the next Blàs book. Being a dog lover I can’t understand why they never played a bigger part in Blàs of the Highlands. I wonder what they will get up to next time.

I am looking forward to the next few weeks. The writer's group I am part of will once more be meeting one line. I have not seen them for a while so it will be interesting to see what they have all been writing since we last met up. There is also a book fair and school visit with the other book that launched this year. But more of that in next week’s blog.

For now, I am going to enjoy this early taste of autumn. The brambles are filling up with colour and juice. I have a tub at the ready. Bramble Fool will definitely be on the menu soon. In desperation after such a small amount last year, I have been encouraging a bush that self-seeded in the garden. I’m hoping the birds don’t get to them first.

My opening chapter of Blàs Roots in the Soil starts with bramble picking. It ends with…well, I better not say here. I know not everyone can make it to the launch. I understand the reasons why. I have to admit to being touched that some local readers contacted me to say why they couldn’t come but were looking forward to buying their copy. It is lovely when someone takes the time to get in touch.

Whatever the launch brings it will be good to have the book out there. It paves the way for me to continue with the draft of the third as yet untitled Blàs. I haven’t touched it for a while. My focus has had to be on this the second in the series. It is funny to think I had no notion of writing a second and now I am unsure as to how many I will do with these characters. I have four in mind but things change.

The launch will be a time to celebrate and what better way than in chocolate. Highland Thistle Chocolates who developed the Mela Blàs chocolate in the story are providing some of these for the launch. I can’t thank them enough for helping me and being so generous with their products and time.

When I first embarked on the road of writing I never for one minute contemplated how many new friends and help I would find on the way. Everyone says it is a solitary occupation. There are right to a certain extent. When physically writing we are alone with our worlds and characters. However, developing these stories often leads us to new people, new writers, and new friends. That is one of the most unexpected and nicest outcomes of me putting pen to paper or rather fingertips to keyboard.

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