Mary's musings

Mary Hoffman, author of over 90 children's books, including the Stravaganza series and Amazing Grace, has begun a web journal which will be updated roughly once a week. You can read more on

Sunday, May 03, 2009

The books we write and the books we meant to write

City of Ships is now with my editor, my agent having read it as quickly as usual and giving the thumbs up. So that's the first hurdle passed. I've also written a Banana book for Egmont. It's years since I did that but I wrote three back in the day. And this one came very easily, since I'd been thinking about it for a while.

I have a writer friend staying and we've had good talks about our work and others'.

On Saturday we went to see the modern mosaic exhibition in Cirencester, which Robert Field curated. My four Elements mosaic prints are now up in place in my study. So I forbore to buy more. Actually, apart from Bob's, the only one I really liked was the most costly in the exhibition.

So we looked at the Roman ones in the museum instead, which just made me want a Roman villa with a mosaic pavement in my dining-room and an atrium garden.

Last Saturday, we were at a day school in Oxford on Medieval Italian cities, which was lovely. A very high academic standard and good handouts and bibliographies.

On Wednesday i went to a local school (I mean in my road!) to give an assembly associated with the Times Books for Schools promotion, which has my Encore, Grace! in it.In spite of their projector's turning my PowerPoint green and the showcard's not having arrived, it was good.

This week I've read a book by a friend and a very old book by Georgette Heyer, which a friend lent me, called My Lord John. The John concerned was Henry V's younger brother, the one that Shakespeare gives such a bad press to, and the book was first in a projected trilogy set 1395-1435, but she kept being given contracts for more Regency novels and died before she could complete her Plantagenet project. It stops in mid-sentence; so sad.

She was a victim of her own success and even then the public and the publishers wanted "more of the same."So, even though she wrote some thirty historical novels, she couldn't complete the project closest to her heart. She gets rather a bad press nowadays but The Devil's Cub was one of my all time favourite books when I was a teenager - I knew it by heart. And she wrote some pretty fine detective stories too.

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