Halloween isn't as big over here as in the States, but that's partly because we have Bonfire Night. On November 5th 1605 a group of disaffected Catholics tried to blow up the Houses of Parliament. Some say Guy Fawkes, the man assigned to set the charge was the only honest man who entered the building. Consequently on the same date every year we have bonfires and fireworks, with a Guy, a stuffed straw man, standing on the top. The celebration is a development of the old customs of Britain, when the people allowed themselves feasts and fun. The old mayhem of Mayday and the abundance of the harvest festival are more cases in point, and also examples of how cleverly Christianity took over the old festivals. Not all of them were religious, of course.
The fireworks are accompanied by roasted chestnuts, toffee apples, sausages and other hot goodies, and very often funfairs too. There are a fair few fireworks displays and almost every house has a bonfire party. Sometimes the bonfires are the centre of th party. It breaks up the early nights and the arrival of the cold, wet weather of autumn.
So that means the box set of Hosts to Ghosts is still available at 99 cents for a while. I told you all about it last month, so I won't go on about it more, just a little nudge in case you want a copy, because it’s going up to its full price soon.
That was the ad break. Now NaNo. I do NaNoWriMo most years. I love the concept, that it's for people who always meant to write that novel and never got around to it. NaNo gives that person a definite ambition, so that even if you don't reach the projected word count of 50,000, you're still a winner. These days, with everyone and his grandmother self-publishing on the various platforms, you can even see your book published. But the difference between that and between producing something on a regular basis that is good enough to satisfy both publishers and readers is, I have learned, major. I used to write a lot, but it was always for me. I tore up what I wrote, or left the pages somewhere. Old filing cabinets where I used to work, for instance. I bet they've been incinerated years ago. Snatches of stories, books, ideas sparked by something I've seen. I've always written, as long as I could put pen to paper, so I could probably have done NaNo anyway, but not with something I had the confidence to send out for others to read. During those years I learned more about writing than I thought, which only goes to show that learning by doing is a great way to pick things up.
This year I'm writing more than one book, I think. Novellas, with any luck, but more about those later. I'm also working on the next book in the upcoming Even Gods Fall In Love series, a project I'm very excited about!
We are starting to work on the next Nightstar book, to get it ready for publication. It's one that many of you want to read about - Zazz is up next!