Bernardine Kennedy

A chatty and newsy blog about author Bernardine Kennedy, her books, her writing career and her life. Check out the latest news, views and recommendations along with the occasional irrelevant photo.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Books and Cars and Tags

I've been tagged twice lately so must get on and do something about it, but in my defence, I have been writing and forcing myself to overcome my negativity!
TWO LIVES (provisional title of WIP) has now started to pick up pace and I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. It's still far far away but I can see it. Unless of course its an oncoming train??? NO.... I jest.

I went to London last thursday for lunch with my Editor (Hi Clare) so negativity is OUT and positivity is in. I have been motivated.......
And on that theme thanks for the prompting to focus. I have now done that and so far so good so will do one of the tags today. At the end!

Trust me, I am just so focused!

I'm delighted to see that Kent Police are utilising the brilliant SMART car in their fleet. I am the proud owner of a black and silver SMART, I've had it for 5 years and I adore it. Its neat, nippy and economical and friendly; SMART drivers wave to each other!! Aaaahhhh. Now I want a new one, I fancy the metallic green cabriolet this time. Well, no, actually I'm lying, I want the v.v. pretty pink and silver girly cabriolet but as Ian also drives it I don't think I can be that mean. Can I??? Just picture the skiffing boys off to the pub; two in the front, one in the boot of a pale pink SMART....

Have given up reading books for the moment as they are sooooo distracting and I am secretly reading celeb mags. Just flick the pages, mutter 'she's too thin... she's too fat... Ohmigod, he/she's a cokehead' at regular intervals. Easy, easy reading and very good for schadenfreud. 'See? all that money and still she's not happy......' When no-one is looking I even buy the National Enquirer. (one has to put it face dwon in the supermarket trolley)

I haven't however stopped buying books and next is the 'Skinny Bitch' diet book. I haven't been called skinny since I was four years old and then a 'build the child up' diet of 'Virol' courtesy of my mother soon put paid to that! I reckon that I've probably lost around 20 stone in my lifetime with the on / off method of yo-yo dieting that I started at around 16! All I want now is to lose four stone by the weekend after next when I head off to the Southern Writers Conference near Chichester.

Any tips anyone??

Okay.... TAG no 1.

The rules..... (that I am only loosely adhering to as time is at a premium)

1. Each player starts with 8 random facts/habits about themselves.2. People who are tagged, write a blog post about their own 8 random things, and post these rules.3. At the end of your post you need to tag 8 people and include their names.4. Don’t forget to leave them a comment and tell them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.

So here are my eight random things...

1) I am completely neurotic about leaves dropping off of my huge 'Money Plant'. I love house plants but seem to be talented at killing them. I really shouldn't own them.

2) I am a vegetarian but not a 'preacher for the cause.

3) I used to have a Vespa scooter and a Ford Popular car.... oh that I had kept and preserved them both for posterity! My mother sold the scooter because I rode too fast and fell off and then I blew up the Ford Pop doing 80 on the M1. (they weren't built for that)

4) I once worked for a fraudulent Football Pools company in Nigeria. I didn't know it was fraudulent and that the owner was using the premiums as his personal income. Fortunately he was uncovered after I had left!

5) I am a fully qualified Swimming Instructor but nowadays I never go swimming! I keep looking for a pool that has a submarine-style entry hatch. Changing room to pool without having to walk the very public walk in front of spectators!

6) I love holidaying in Florida. However, on different occasions, we have been caught up in a hurricane, a heatwave (temps in 100's) and raging bush fires that even sent smoke into our hotel room. I also ended up having surgery on my foot after being stung by a stingray!

7) I've flown on every Boeing aircraft from the 707 to the 777, apart from a 717. (don't know what happened to that!)

8) I am a list fanatic. I write lists for everything. I rarely do what's on them but I have to have them to feel content. I only need the list, I don't need to do what is on it!

I'm not going to tag 8 people right now as there is a lot of tagging going on and everyone I know with a blog has been tagged already I reckon. I will later......

Till next time xx

Monday, May 21, 2007


Saturday was launch day for Jane Wenham-Jones book, 'wannabe a writer', a handy and hunorous manual for all budding writers. Lots of authors (including moi) are quoted in it. The party was at Borders in Charing Cross Road, London, which we invaded and conquered en masse.
Lots of big names there... to avoid being repetitious, take a look at fellow novel racer, Liz Fenwick's blog, she's listed on the right of my blog under great Novel race. (must learn to do links!)
Photo also there, I'm the one in green hiding at the back.
I hate photographs!aaarrrggghhhh.
Liz is clever at links so do have a look at what I'd like to do but can't because I have the concentration scan of a gnat right now.

I'm slow blogging at the moment because I'm .... well I'm just slow! I'm currently in the 'I hate writing, I can't write, everything I've written is rubbish and I want to stack shelves in Asda' mode.
This always seems to happen to me when I'm in the middle of a manuscript. My enthusiasm wanes and everything I've written seems boring and nonsensical so I find myself looking for other things to do that I can then grumble about having to do. Like filing bank statements in order, dusting behind the radiators and cleaning the shower. It's called Work Displacement!

I'm hoping it will soon pass becuase I'm not remotely domesticated and also my shoulder and wrist ache from playing Minesweeper and Tetris while I try and THINK. maybe the creative cells are dying?

I'm also passing time by trying to find a lovely lovely cruise on the internet, any suggestions anyone? Not a dressing-up for dinner every night cruise, just a nice causal two week saunter around the Caribbean, or maybe even up to Scandinavia at a push! Advantage of going north is no long haul flights, advantage of going south is sun and turquoise waters.

I'm now off to sit in front of my laptop until a few words are typed today! No more emails, no more surfing, no more nothing. I AM FOCUSED.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Skiffers and stuff

As so many of you are interested in the life and times of the Skiffing Boys I thought I'd start off by letting you know that the Boys are home and well; tanned and knacked. They're pleased with themselves (and rightly so) for rowing 100 miles in a week. They slept 5 nights in the teepee, 1 night on the skiff and 1 night in a rather classy hotel on the riverbank!
Now I guess they'll start planning next years adventure.
These are the conquering heroes. From left to right, Trev, Phil, Ian the husband.

While I'm being clever with photos, here's one of some of us at the Coalhole Pub after the Savoy lunch. What do you call a group of authors??? answers on a postcard please.
Again left to right... Judy Astley, Katie Fforde, Gilli Allen, me, Lesley Cookman, Jenny Harper.

And now the time has come to stop playing around and get back to work. The Great Novel Race has become a bit like any other race on Sports Day at school. (Oh yes I remember, how well I remember!) Initial enthusiasm quickly fades and I lag behind hoping to leave enough time for a sprint finish! We'll see.

Saying of the day: How can money be the root of all evil when shopping is the cure for all sadness??!!

Friday, May 04, 2007


Yesterday was hardback publication day for PAST CHANCES. My publishers sent me a lovely bouquet... it's so nice to feel special for the day! Now lets hope it gets out there and gets me some advance publicity for the all-important paperback in october.
By the way, the general opinion is that the boy on the cover of the Russian Taken is very Chucky! I think he is one scary child...

Lousy word-count this week but I have done a few other things as well this week that I'd put on the back burner so I don't feel too ashamed. Will check the wordcount asap. Tonight I have to do a piece about moi for LIZ FENWICK's blog and a piece about the Savoy luncheon for the RNA website.

I haven't started reading anything new (other than trashy magazines and my fave Private Eye) but I was interested to read in the publication trade mag that Kathy Reich's daughter Kerry has written a novel. Can't wait to read it... must check out all the details though I know its not out for a while. Wonder if she reads her mother's books? Fascinating.....
I will shortly choose a book off of the huge To Be Read pile that just gets higher and higher. Must stay off Amazon! One click is just so easy........

The Skiffing Boys are on the home stretch and will be finish tomorrow afternoon. (Ian's birthday). There have been no major mishaps although Ian was bitten by a swan that fancied his lunch and Trev by a duck that invaded the boat. Aaah, the joys of nature. Though I suppose they could be in Florida in the company of gators.

They reached the fifty mile point before turning around so will have done 100 miles of rowing by the time they get back. (Maths? easy...) They did hole up in a rather nice hotel by the river for one night but one out of seven is good, they roughed it for the other six which is six more than I would have managed!
The thought of a teepee just doesn't do it for me.

Chav cat is out of favour... I gently moved him off my office chair... the head spun round in his favourite snapping turtle mode and he sunk his teeth in; I now have a swollen hand. T/C to docs to find out about tetanus again but I'm still up to date. Then he wen and sat on the other side of the room and washed himself where I touched him. The nerve of the animal..........

For everyone I owe emails to... soon. real soon. I promise!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007


I've finished Kathy Reichs Break No Bones which I enjoyed and romped through to the end and am about to be sensible and re-study Paul McKenna's 'I can make you thin'. I agree the principle and it's a good way of eating, I just need prompting to listen to the CD. Oh for some willpower......

I've now got the finished copies of PAST CHANCES which I'm really pleased with. The cover is so descriptive.
I've also received the Russian imprint of TAKEN with a very unusual cover. see below!

The Skiffing Boys are still making their way up the Thames and apparently enjoying it??
They all had to spend a night on the boat because there was nowhere to pitch the teepee; this was uncomfortable enough (see the size of the skiff and add three big blokes)... but then a Thames Party Disco boat went by and the wake whooshed into their boat. And of course, blokes being blokes, they didn't cuddle up together to keep warm!!
So now it's the teepee for all of them.
Yesterday they met up with the actor Rodney bewes on his cabin cruiser. He had acted in Three Men in a Boat on stage..... oh how I loved The Likely Lads. (he was the nice one)
Now I think they are suffering but they have been so lucky with the weather. Although I didn't realise at the time, 'Edward' as pictured is the skiff they are on.
I have a different choice of boat....

Short and sweet as I'm midflow on WIP.

Saying of the day SAVE WATER; DRINK WINE.