Just got my advance copies of Linda Blair's brilliant new book which is one of the launch title for Hodder's new imprint Yellow Kite. The book is based on Linda's thirty years of clinical practice and it consists of a five step programme that works - it changes people's lives. Advance publicity has been great and it looks wonderful. It's one of those books that I feel really proud to represent.
WINTERWATCH on BBC2 this week, with Martin on screen and released from his secret writing hut, where he has produced the most FANTASTIC entertaining memoir of his adventures behind the camera making wildlife documentaries. (which he did for thirty years before becoming an on-screen presenter.) Constable & Robinson publish this autumn.
The saddest New Year news of Simon's death on Sunday 5th January from the pancreatic cancer with which he had lived (but very privately so) for over three years. Very early on, he made a decision to share the news of his terminal diagnosis only with those who needed to know. This enabled him to continue the life he so enjoyed as the wittiest sketchwriter of his day, the best wine correspondent, the sell-out performer at literary festivals without the tag he so dreaded of 'brave journalist battling cancer'. It was though, an incredibly brave decision and a typically generous one as those who didn't know - his readers and acquaintances - were able to enjoy his unique gift for wit without malice for so many extra years. He would be amused and delighted ( as he was a shy and modest man) at the amount of coverage of his death and the warmth of the tributes from fellow journalists and politicians from all sides. He was the master of the metaphor, the puncturer of pomposity, the best of lunching companions. I hope that as many people as possible get hold of his 'anti-memoir' A LONG LUNCH and his collected columns HOUSE OF FUN so that they can enjoy his marvellous gift for anecdote. A year without the prospect of a long, boozy, gossipy lunch with Simon, talking about ideas for new books, is bleak indeed.