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Thanks to all who voted in the “which Plank should I submit to this competition” poll, and the winner (of the poll, not the competition!) is “The Man in the Canary Waistcoat”.  So this weekend I will be preparing the first five thousand-ish words of that for submission, and then it’s fingers crossed until winners are announced in February 2018.

In other news, I have been working in Guernsey all week and so have had little time for writing, but I have managed about 600 words.  I’m still struggling a little with the plot of “Plank 5”, in that I have the basic plot but want more complication – you know how I like to have several strands to the story.  But I am reasonably confident that the additional strands will reveal themselves as I go along – they always have in the past.

On the promotional side of things, I read recently in a magazine that Sophie Raworth (an English news-reader on the telly) has a book review blog.  She seems nice and approachable, and so I tweeted her to ask whether I could send her a copy of “Canary” – it’s set partly in Langham Place, now the home of the BBC, and I thought that might appeal.  I have not had a reply, which perhaps is not surprising.  But I do try!

I have also taken my book of newspaper columns – “Susan in the City” – into the Cambridge branch of WH Smith (a large chain of bookshop/stationer/newsagents), to see whether they would be interested in stocking it on their “local interest” shelf.  The manager seems keen – he said that the sale-or-return basis of my offer was crucial – but he still needs to put the case to head office.  I’m hoping to hear by the end of next week.  As regular readers will know, putting copies in physical bookshops actually costs me money (in other words, it costs me more to order the books from CreateSpace and have them shipped from the US than I make from the eventual sales) but I see it as a promotional move, to get the books being read and – hopefully – recommended.  Although, as with all my promotional efforts, it is all but impossible to assess the success of the approach!