Charlotte was beginning to regret joining the new Hambourne Happy Creatives group. As a newcomer to the pretty town it had seemed the obvious group to join to keep her energised in her rocky writing career. She was eager to write a more cheery novel than her last and hoped Hambourne would inspire her to write about her new heroine, a recently widowed writer who moves to a country town for peace and quiet, but finds herself investigating a murder.
If she had been a local she would have known to keep Robert Falstaff at arm’s length. To Charlotte, at first, he was a charming man who had advice to freely offer, from dealing with computer problems to publishing and promotion. His apparent connections to television had her fantasising about a Sunday evening cosy drama.
Now, at this evening’s meeting, she found herself at the centre of attention, with her languishing novel ‘2053’ the topic of a discussion led by Robert. The other members were kindly in their questions, but she felt herself and the novel horribly exposed.
‘What made you choose the title, or that year Charlotte?’
‘I wanted it to be in the future, but still in a time frame when I could conceivably still be alive. How was I to know when I was writing it that all the events would come true by 2022!’
‘You could change the year, or perhaps call it The Covid Chronicles.’
‘Oh dear no, does anyone want to read novels about Covid?’
‘Hmm, I am writing a novel about Covid and the horror it brought to a town like Hambourne’ said a tight lipped woman.
‘Well, the novel is out there, published on Amazon,’ said Robert with an expression of disdain ‘so let’s concentrate on how Charlotte could do much better with promotion.’
‘Um, I was hoping to have a stall at your arts festival…’
‘Internationally I mean.’
‘I do have my blog and quite a few followers from every continent, except Antarctica.’
Robert scrolled down his iPad, Charlotte shuddered to see the familiar sky blue background of Thinking Through. Was her poor little blog to be exposed to ridicule?
‘Oh yes, I am thinking of starting a blog’ said a timid lady Charlotte immediately warmed to.
‘Silly Saturday, Silly Sunday, Monday Madness, Tuesday Tiny Tales, Wordless Wednesday, Thursday Trifles and Fun Friday’ sneered Robert. ‘Charlotte dear, you are not exactly coming across as a serious author.’
It’s a long time since I visited Hambourne and I wondered what had been going on there since 2013. You can read the Hambourne Chronicles in Hallows and Heretics.