Up To No Good is now out on Kindle at a very modest price and much to my surprise I didn’t have any of the problems uploading it that I had with Something Stupid, so what they say about practice making perfect must have some truth in it!
Yet again Theo Wayte has come up trumps with the cover;
It’s even more gorgeous than the one she created for Something Stupid and that’s saying something. And credit and thanks must also go to Roger Porter, Theo’s neighbour, who dealt with the complicated technical stuff.
Up To No Good is my French book, most of the action takes place in a holiday cottage in the grounds of an English owned vineyard and the setting is quite like a place that used to belong to my brother but I have to add that none of the characters are based on real-life ones except for the Dalmatian Lily, who was modeled closely on Plum, our first dog in France.
I have loved all my dogs but Plum was one of the special ones, the dog of my heart, perhaps of my lifetime. She was very beautiful and had a huge amount of charm, whenever we took her out we’d be stopped by people asking to pat her and when she was happy or pleased to see you, like Lily in the book, she’d wrinkle her nose up so much smiling that she’d make herself sneeze. You always knew when the first person had got up in the morning because a series of sneezing explosions would come from the kitchen door as soon as it was opened.
When Plum was nearly 5 she had her first epileptic fit. We didn’t get internet until Plum had been ill for nearly a year, if we’d had it when she was first ill I’m sure she’d have had a normal lifespan. Vets can’t be expected to know all about canine epilepsy, there are a whole range of different causes for it and treatments, and the information and help from the canine epilepsy websites was incredible. Our vet was very open to trying out anything I suggested as a result of my internet researches, even if he thought they probably wouldn’t work, and between us by changing her diet completely, juggling her medicines and putting her on thyroxine we cut her fitting down from several a week to once every two months.
A year of fitting violently, often with one following another in quick succession had left her damaged, not badly, her spark had gone but she was still my loving friend, following me around so closely that she became known as the Dogstacle because I couldn’t step backwards or I’d tread on her. She was always in the chair in my office when I was writing and occasionally I’d have to stop to leap up and catch her if she started to have a fit so she wouldn’t fall out and hurt herself.
Then an idiot locum vet gave her the wrong medicine and destroyed her immune system. She began to get one infection after another. I corrected the proofs of Up To No Good sitting in Plum’s basket with her head on my lap because my presence seemed to calm her. She died two days later aged nearly seven.
That’s why Up To No Good is dedicated to Plum, it really is her book.