The paperback edition of What a Way to Go is launched tomorrow (5 January) and the snazzy new-look cover features a girl in roller skates. I was like Bambi in roller skates as a kid, so this pleases me greatly. I can picture Harper, the twelve year-old protagonist at the heart of this coming-of-age novel, skating through her teens in a way I never dared to when I was young. In fact, the narrator in What a Way to Go is very much the girl I wish I had been, but wasn't brave enough to be. As such, it feels fitting that this interpretation was chosen for the new edition. Go, Harper!
And so, I am starting 2017 as I mean to go on: this year is going to be one where I set myself a few fresh challenges. I'm not taking up roller skating, but my friends in Wales are trying to tempt me out mountain biking. I don't think I have an atom of balance in my body, so I'm taking it very gently. Plus: have you SEEN the size of the mountains in Wales? I have pledged to try a spinning class - the ones where you cycle on a bike which is fixed to the ground and the instructor seemingly shouts you up the hill - just to begin with. You've got to start somewhere.
I'm running a series of new writing workshops across Wales (details to be revealed on my website shortly). I'm also looking forward to being back at Gladstone's Library in Flintshire on the 4/5 February 2017 at their Hearth festival alongside the authors Caroline Brothers, Malachy Tallack and Antonia Honeywell. More details can be found on the library website.
Of course, there is also the writing. There is always the writing. I'm making progress with Book Three and have pledged to glue my bum not just to a bike seat (of sorts), but also to the desk and to wrestle as much as I can of the next novel into submission.
Here's to a creative and courageous 2017 for you all... x Julia