The big news on the Lovegrove domestic front is that, around the middle of August, barring disasters, we will be moving house. We’re upping stakes and leaving picturesque Sussex county town Lewes behind for the more rural setting of a village in north Devon. Moving to the country has been a cherished dream of ours for some time, and we decided it was better to do it now, while Monty is still relatively small, than later. That way we won’t have to wrench him away from a school or other local attachments. He won’t even remember ever living here, which is slightly sad but there you go.

The new residence is a renovated farmhouse some ten miles from Barnstaple. It’s a beautiful part of the country, with broad sandy beaches and rolling hills and moorland and lots else besides. The house itself is about the same size as our present house but with rather less wallspace, meaning a small proportion of the library is going to have to go, worse luck. Actually, I’ve been intending for some while to dispose of some of the literary chaff that has been accumulating on my shelves, and this is the perfect excuse. The local charity shops are going to have a field day.

Another benefit of the move is that I am going to have a garden office built so that I can work at home but not in the home. That way everyone else can make as much noise as they want indoors while I’m frantically wrestling with prose. When the office is finished I will be a hundred yards away in my little insulated wooden hut, with only the cows in the neighbouring field for company. I’m now trying to come up with some kind of pun on “low” here but I just can’t manage it. You’ll all, I’m sure, be greatly relieved about that.

On the work front, I have just signed a contract with Orion/Gollancz for Provender Gleed and another book, which at present seems to be one that’s going to be called Shiftlands. I still have various other projects bubbling under, including something with a certain Adam Roberts. More on that if, when, it comes to fruition.

Gig has at last appeared, and has been acclaimed in several quarters as PS Publishing’s handsomest-produced volume yet. And who am I to disagree with that? Especially as it’s true. This is genuinely a lovely-looking book, and the content isn’t half bad either, I think. Why have you not bought it yet?

Worldstorm is imminent. Official publication date is September 23rd, but the launch party should be slightly sooner than that, as I’m likely to be co-launching with the aforementioned Dr Roberts. His new opus is titled The Snow, so there’s sort of a weather/climatic theme going on there.

Finally, I have recently achieved a lifelong ambition, which is to set a cryptic crossword. The result has been published in a national daily during the past week, and is, I hope, the first of many. I’ve always been a huge fan of crosswords and of wordgames in general, a fact that often finds itself reflected in my writing, and now I’m the proverbial poacher-turned-gamekeeper. The only reason I’m being somewhat cagey about where the actual crossword has appeared is that I wish to preserve the anonymity of my crossword-setter pseudonym.

And that’s it for now. I’ll post again after we’re safely ensconced in the West Country and supping scrumpy there.

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• Filed under News • 30/07/2004 •