THIS has been quite a year. After an enforced two-year break due to illness, I have been back at work and busier than ever. Best of all, I have felt well enough to cope with it all. Strangely, much of this year has been taken up with doctoring---but not of the medical kind. In my occasional capacity as the so-called "Lady Penelope" of International Rescue, I am called upon by publishers to help rescue books that are close to being cancelled through missed deadlines, poor writing, or a basic inability to structure a manuscript in the first place.
My services have never been more in demand and, although confidentiality agreements forbid me from saying whose books I have "saved", I can tell you that I have been embroiled in a remarkable political career, the glamorous world of international fashion, a memerising mind/body experience, and a travelogue of extraordinary adventure and historical importance. Fascinating as it has all been, the demands of tighter than tight deadlines and sometimes less than co-operative clients has brought with pressures of its own and there have been times when I wished I was curled up with a good novel---preferably writing one of my own! But the end results have been most gratifying, with all four books finished on time and to everybody's satisfaction, with subsequent sales justifying all the hard work.Freed from my rescue duties for a while, I am now off to the States for a few weeks to celebrate my freedom and to meet some potentially explosive new non-fiction clients.
I am still hoping for great things for my two screenplays, currently under consideration, and have meetings lined up in LA with a leading TV mogul who wants me to work with him on a new film project.There are three new novels in various stages of development----a Holocaust "memoir", an American epic, and a Gothic European mystery----when I'm given a minute to get back to them! And my brain, shut down for two years by a cruel virus, has recovered so well that it is bombarding me with new ideas all the time.Old projects continue to reap rewards. Heaven and Hell, the memoir of Don Felder of the Eagles, made it into the New York Times best seller list this autumn and continues to fly off the shelves.
Tomorrow to be Brave, the memoir of Susan Travers, the only woman in the French Foreign Legion, has been signed up for a new film deal by a leading European company, and Marthe Cohn continues to defy all expectations about her age by travelling the world over to give talks and promote her memoir Behind Enemy Lines. I am proud to have been the ghost on all three of those remarkable books.Goldie Hawn's memoir A Lotus Grows in the Mud looks to remain in print for many years and the insatiable appetite for all things Dean Martin has guaranteed ongoing sales for his daughter Deana's memoir of her father Memories Are Made of This. Goldie and I will be putting our heads together in LA to discuss a possible future project together, which would focus on her quest to bring joy back to the world.So, all in all, it has been a busy and productive time and looks set to continue to be so. I still wake up every morning and count my blessings, knowing how lucky I am to be alive and to be doing a job that brings me so much variety and fulfilment. I wish you all a very merry Christmas and the happiest of New Years. May 2009 be filled with love and laughter. W xx