Friday, December 21, 2012

Opal goes live!

Except for the small matter of the world ending today, this is a pretty well-timed guest post.  And timing isn't my strong suit, let me tell you.  I send out a fair few New Year cards every Christmas - which is the mark of the truly disorganised.  My first ever published novel was going to be Ottakar's crime book of the month in September 2006.  Who?  You might well ask; Ottakar's went out of business in August 2006.  And then there's the fact that this is my third group blog in two days.  Chose the dates all by myself too.

But, as I say, it's perfect timing.  My new, MidnightInktastic, AsSheLeftaLicious, StandAlonaPalooza website went live at midnight.  Can you tell that I did it with caffeine helping? 

I still can't believe I did it at all.  The last time "we" - Neil, the undergardener, and me - attempted a home-made website 1. it was the bit of us that's not me who actually put it together 2. he had HTML for Dummies Wrapped in Morons beside him all the way and 3. it wasn't much cop.

Now, far be it from me to say that my new website is splendid; I'll leave it for others to tell me positive things today or negative things after the 6th of January when I'm back at work, but it was a skoosh to assemble.  I did way-hay more than half of it before handing it over to get the fiddly bits sorted.

And it got me thinking about how, although it's generally "This way hell; handcarts available", a few things are a bit better than they used to be.
  • Caller ID is better than ansaphone screening and then lying about being in the garden
  • Skype is better than flimsy blue airmail letters full of spidery handwriting
  • Fleece-lined gore-tex is better than 15lbs of waxed gabardine mackintosh 
And that got me thinking about nostalgia, missed chances and regrets  . . . it's a maudlin time of year for Celts . . . and about the fact that Opal Jones, the heroine of As She Left It is being pressed back into the past and its secrets, no matter how hard she tries not to go.

Funnily enough, my first ever stand-alone was about that too.  It had a very different tone from ASLI - it was a time-travel caper that I wanted to call Save Elvis! - and the heroine was literally sucked back into the past, waking up in the eighties at the age of fifteen with a bad perm and double German at nine.

So, since it's the giving season, and since As She Left It doesn't physically exist yet, I'm giving away a copy of the time-travel book - it came to be called Growing Up Again.  Just let me know in the comments if you'd like your name in the hat (US only, with apologies) and I'll draw one at the end of today.

And whatever you're reading on the days off next week, have a cosy or thrilling or procedural or noir holiday and all the best for next year.



Dru said...

Catriona, I'm getting an error when I click on your website link.

I would love to win your book.

Catriona McPherson said...

Hi Dru - I've fixed it! Sorry. Your name's in the hat, Cx

Karen in Ohio said...

Yes, please. I love time travel books, and I love your books, so win-win.

May I make a teeny suggestion? Link descriptions of each of your books to the icons on the "Books" page. And number them; so many of us like to read series books in order. More work for you, but a more effective website-as-marketing-device.

Catriona McPherson said...

Karen, Good idea. At least I'll link the graphic to the dandy site, where there are all sorts of excerpts and reviews and things

Karen in Ohio said...

Be sure to link it so that it "opens in a new window". That way you aren't dumping readers completely away from your site, which would be a tragedy if they have not yet read the entire thing.

Catriona McPherson said...

I think I've found a compromise - keeping Dandy's site the place for her stuff.

Debi Murray said...

I would love to read Growing Up Again. Please toss my name into the hat! Thanks!

Catriona McPherson said...

Karen - you win Gee up, Elvis (as we call it. Can you emial me your earth address, please? Cx