Notes From The Cotswolds – It’s Official! by Penny Parkes
It’s official – Practice Makes Perfect has hit the shelves and I am now a ‘Lady Novelist’! Now some of you might think that this special moment actually happened last year when Out Of Practice made the leap from my laptop to your lives, but there you would be wrong. For, at ‘Parkes Towers’, we have a wonky logic that any happy occurrence in our lives might in fact be a one-off, a fluke, a serendipitous turn of events never to be repeated, something to be savoured and enjoyed without any thought of a reprise. But if something happens twice? Ah, well then you might be on to something really special…
So the launch of Practice Makes Perfect is doubly meaningful for me – not just for sharing another (hopefully) entertaining tale of Larkford’s wonderfully dishy doctors, it’s also a line in the sand that this is actually my job now! Yes, it’s all the sweeter for being able to prove that ‘faffing about with books all the time’ really was a career path and not an unhealthy addiction, not to mention that ‘letting your imagination run riot’ really isn’t so very bad after all.
What I hadn’t realised at the start though, as I was leaping around on my fictional river bank with Taffy and Dan and the odd stray goose, was how much writing for a living would enrich my life away from the page. It’s often said that it takes a village to raise a child, but I would suggest to you, that the same applies to a book. Bringing my Larkford stories from their infancy in my bonkers and over-crowded brain, via the wonderfully insightful guidance of my editor Jo Dickinson, is still only the nascence of each weighty doorstopper in the Larkford Series. Behind the scenes there is a dedicated team of like-minded souls, pulling out all the stops to make sure that the book finds its audience – the lovely Readers who take a leap of faith in picking up that book and who have been so fabulously fulsome in their support and praise. So, when we raise a glass today – and I can promise you we shall – it will be to a team effort all round.
I will be thanking (and embarrassing) my lovely friends and my team with tales of their support and generosity, be it with their time, their coffee, their cocktails, or indeed their inspirational stories. I’ll be joined by fellow authors who ‘get it’, when you say you’re having a tricky day at work, in the way that might make others roll their eyes…. (We do realise that sitting on the sofa with a laptop isn’t physically arduous, you know. But, oh my, can it be emotionally draining.) And I’ll be hoping against hope that the wonderfully generous young man who gave his name to a character in Practice Makes Perfect for charity will still be speaking to me afterwards!
So, from here, I wish you well on your second foray into Larkford territory – I hope it makes you smile. And for me, it’s time to say goodbye to the sofa and, indeed, the kids’ laptop where it all began: I am now the proud possessor of a writing room of my very own, although of course The Ginger Ninja has squatter’s rights by default – I’m hoping Virginia Woolf would be proud. After all, this is my second time around. Fingers crossed that Practice Makes Perfect!
Practice Makes Perfect, the brand new Penny Parkes novel is out today!