Apart from having a nasty flu bug, and mail still not connected which is a right royal pain, I have two reasons to celebrate. First, today I was offered a contract for the sequel to Abomination. I’ve been writing blurbs and tag lines, a real chore. Does anybody actually enjoy writing blurbs? It means there won’t be an unreasonable hiatus between volumes one and two, nor with volume three if I send the manuscript in soon.


I’m also pressing ahead with the follow on series to The Green Woman. 60k words on the clock of volume two so far. I’m hoping to give the whole thing a makeover. That might take us into 2017 though.

As if that isn’t enough to celebrate, our house-buying plans are going smoothly. The obligatory once-over has revealed nothing more terrifying than dodgy electricity (we knew that from the porcelain plugs and switches), and a bit of lead piping that ‘needs watching’. There are no drains worthy of the name, and heating seemed to come mainly from the adjoining cowshed. But it’s the south, the winters are mild, we’ll dig a drain and change some of the porcelain light switches. Our youngest is trying to convince us to get a herd of llamas for the grass/meadow since the stabling won’t be a problem, and I don’t think you have to milk llamas. Not like goats that don’t eat the right kind of grass either.


As an aside, I have been asked why I don’t write about my ‘experiences’ living in France, and I suppose the answer has to be, would you write about your experiences living in a semi in Stoke? If that’s what you know, there’s nothing extraordinary in it. I’ve never bought a house anywhere but France, never dealt with workmen anywhere but France, never had children or sent them to school, anywhere but France. There’s a lucrative market in writing ‘humorous’ books about life with the baguette and beret brigade, which generally involves poking fun at the ‘French way’. Sod that. I live here—if they do it, chances are I do it too. Seems to me, the people who write these slapstick comedies don’t really live here. They’re voyeurs, ex-pats, people who feel their real lives are somewhere else.

So, I won’t be writing posts about how hilarious French plumbers can be, but I hope I’ll be writing pieces based on our new found country peace and quiet. I hope. Just so long as the neighbour doesn’t decide to swap his sheep for quad bikes…


Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

26 thoughts on “Celebration”

  1. Congratulations Jane, so exciting! I’m with you on the slapstick ex pat view. I lived in Paris for a year and was given one of those books as a going away gift (can’t remember what it was called). I read it months into my stay and found it very cringeworthy! Yeah, get llamas! I’d love alpacas here but our fences are pretty bad- we’ll have to make do with just chooks for now although they’re not as cuddly. In other news- you have progressed in the queue – only one book ahead of my read and review of ‘Abomination’😊

    1. Alpacas would be good, a more manageable size than llamas. The problem is the same as yours—fencing. The neighbour with the sheep has a fence, there’s trees and a stream along one edge of the land and a bramble hedge along another side, but there’s a whole side of about 200 yards with nothing at all. It’s an idea though. I vaguely know somebody who has written book after book about the hilarity of living in France. She was only ever here for about a year and lives in the UK. She never even mastered the basics of the language. I really hope you’re not going to be disappointed by this book. If you are, please don’t feel obliged to waste any time over it.
      Date: Fri, 5 Feb 2016 22:26:07 +0000
      To: jane.dougherty@dbmail.com

      1. Well, going by your writing style on your blog, I think I will enjoy it-plus I read one of the excerpts and the story sounds interesting! 🙂 Now, I’ll stop talking about it until I’ve read it!

  2. Of all people I know, you, I think, will love the country. What’s not to love? When you see the stars at night, you will just be enthralled and wonder how you never noticed them before. When you hear the silence, except it’s not silent, it’s full of voices, the rushing wind, the dancing trees, bouncing water, singing birds. Air will smell like fresh air, not car exhausts. And everywhere green. I have lived in several cities and do not miss the city, or towns or anywhere where humans live collectively one bit. I cant believe you won’t love it. Congratulations on the book contract too.xxx

    1. Thanks Ali 🙂 I know I’m going to love all those things, even if the birds are a bit scary. I’m used to little song birds, not the great noisy things they have out there. And there’s not a lot I’ll miss about the town either, except for things like having a choice of doctors and dentists. I obsess about dentists. Must be because I never go 🙂

      Date: Fri, 5 Feb 2016 22:59:23 +0000 To: jane.dougherty@dbmail.com

  3. Congratulations on your book contract and on your new home! And I hope you feel better soon, too. (I can’t believe you’re so productive with a nasty flu bug. I would not be.)

    No cringe-inducing expat books, but perhaps one on llamas–because llamas are funny anyway. 🙂

    1. Thanks Merril. If I wasn’t feeling so crumby I’d be fizzing with excitement. Llamas or alpacas are definitely on the list of things to do if we get bored rigid. I have a feeling we’re going to have our work cut out just surviving! Date: Sat, 6 Feb 2016 02:44:54 +0000 To: jane.dougherty@dbmail.com

  4. Jane congratulations!! I’ve never been outside India…your words painted the perfect countryside living of France…thanks for letting us travel to those unknown destinations through your words….

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