Tuesday, February 12, 2008

New venture

Well, sort of.

You may have noticed (if you notice that kind of thing) that I have just updated my profile. This is because I am starting a new blog.

I am in the middle of revising book no 2, which among other things is about four people who are learning to dance and their entangled love lives.

I got the idea after attending salsa classes a few years ago, and noticing that there were rather a lot of single men there. More women of course, and most of the women were in pairs, there for a laugh, or because their partners wouldn't get on the dance floor even if you paid them. The men on the other hand, the men struck me as in the main being out on the pull, but also often rather nervous. There was one poor chap who used to hold my hands so tightly I thought they'd break.

So it struck me that if you were a divorce and wanted to meet women a really good place to go would be a salsa class. My story had started with Mark, a dentist who gets sued by a patient, and I got his best friend Rob to drag him along to salsa lessons where they meet Emily and Katie.
Of course the minute my editor saw it she said, why don't they attend ballroom dancing lessons, and with the popularity of Strictly Come Dancing at the moment as usual she was right.

My slight problem is that I know not the slightest thing about ballroom dancing (apart from watching the ease with which my parents used to do it), though thanks to the latest series of SCD, Marie Phillips' hilarious blogging about it, and some dance steps I downloaded from the internet (I was at one point trying to rumba on my own, reading the steps of the screen of my laptop when my main computer was playing up), I cobbled enough together to set the dancing scenes at least while I was writing the book. (Current title Strictly Love. Nothing like cashing in or anything).

However I was all too painfully aware that my lack of expertise in the area of dancing would be quickly found out, and so it has proved. I am hoping to change that as I tackle the rewrites, so have got some dance dvds (hilariously trying them out with the sprogs the other week) two dancing books kindly supplied by my publishers and I have just booked a dancing lesson with a teacher who - get this - was ACTUALLY ON SCD!!! Woohoo...

I was also supposed to be going to a proper class with her last night, but as usual I got a bit domestically sidetracked and I didn't make it.

Anyway the point of all this is, that yesterday I met up with my agent and editor (and yes I am well aware how poncey that sounds), to discuss new ideas (of which more later), and my editor asked me to start a blog about learning to dance. This is purely a pr exercise, but I hope a fun one, so those of you who are interested you are welcome to join me on my new blog, http://Strictlycomedancingnot.blogspot.com which you can see on my profile. Those of you who don't, that's perfectly all right too. I won't hold it against you, and I will carry on blogging here.

I'm going to be me properly on the other blog, but I rather like the cosy comfort of being Jane here, so I shall keep it like that.

In the meantime if you haven't seen this and care about authors pay most of which is laughably low, please take time out to visit the Downing Street website to sign the petition against reducing PLR which we get every time someone borrows a book and for many of us is an important source of income.

Following the announcement that the Department for Culture, Media and Sport plans to reduce Public Lending Right (PLR) funding, I have initiated a 10 Downing Street e-petition to protest at the cuts. Public Lending Right is the right for authors, illustrators, photographers, translators and editors to receive payment under PLR legislation for the loans of their books by public libraries. More than 23,000 people are entitled to receive payment under this scheme, and for many the annual PLR payment is an important part of their income. PLR is particularly valuable to those people who receive little or no royalty on book sales — their books are more often borrowed from libraries than bought in shops. Please spare a minute to sign the petition. Click the following link (or paste it into your browser window) and add your name. http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/plr-funding/ Please do not delete this email. Instead, forward it to as wide a group of people as you can. It is in everyone’s best interests to support the work of Britain’s creative talent.


John Malam said...

Hi Jane,
Many thanks for flagging up the PLR petition. We all have to stick together on this one!
Kind regards,
John Malam
(petition creator)

Jane Henry said...

No problem John. I've worked in publishing for twenty years and now am eligible for plr. I know how important it is to authors' incomes. Well done for putting the petition up, it's certainly going round the internet among the writing community!