One month to go before the UK release date and just a few days after that Under a Sardinian Sky will reach the American shelves too. Excitement is mounting in my household. In the meantime, reviews are beginning to surface and I'm glimpsing a slice of a brand new world. I come a little more prepared than the first time I was reviewed - as a performer. I remember making the foolish decision to glance at the message boards where mums lurked leaving their cyber whisperings upon the screen. As a new presenter it didn't take much for my fragile ego to quiver on reading that most of those mothers would love me not to sing, ever (in another life I had delusions of being an opera diva) and that they wondered whether I was pregnant (I was). It was hard to tell, they went on to type, because I was on the plump side to begin with.
I stopped reading reviews after that. Until this morning. I woke to a lovely mention:
“Alexander’s novel will leave readers riveted until the explosive conclusion.”
The surprise start to my day is a momentary tonic for my uncertain wading through the tricky mid point of my second novel. I've floated in the bath, I've jumped around to music, I've glared at the British grey outside, but my thoughts swim in concentric circles. These days are a regular occurrence. Today I embrace it. I let the lost float be. I lose myself in creating a feast. This is my most pleasurable sideways approach to writing. And it brings pleasure to those around me too. Nourishment is paramount. To all things. What better way to hone the backwaters of my subconscious than commune with my Sardinian spirits invoked by the heady smells of caramelising garlic, tossed through spaghetti and a fist of fresh parsley, a grated zucchini, a few slivers of smoked salmon, topped with a generous sprinkling of pecorino? Add a demure taste of wine. Finish with freshly ground coffee.
Then waft on, guiltless, satisfied, ready to float some more...