Dear Diary…

… or a writer’s life less ordinary…

Dear diary. Wow! It’s hard to believe that I haven’t written a blog since 24 July, more than two weeks ago now.

Well, an awful lot has happened since then, not the least of which was a very successful ‘Writer of the Day’ spot on Reddit, back on 25 July, which gave me the chance to connect with a great bunch of fantasy fans from across the world and answer questions about my books, my writing, Mister Spock and of course, fish allergies among other things. I have to say a particular thank you to Brobie De Dalston for that last one. What a character he was! I really do hope that our paths cross again in the future.

Mr Spock - Dear Diary. Rob Gregory Author

How many fish do you want?

Then we had our dog, Ben, who has settled into the family rather well, spayed. This meant spending the ensuing week dealing initially with her post-operative depression and then her frustration at being restrained to the confines of the bar, during which time she chewed through two leads and did her very best to get her wound infected, despite our best efforts to the contrary. Thankfully, she has made a full recovery and is now sleeping soundly in the study behind my chair as if nothing ever happened.

Following that escapade, I had a visit from my dear friend Robbie, who has been travelling around Asia for the last year. That was something of a high point for me, although it did take a couple of days for my head to get straight again after hitting the beers a little too hard on the first night he was here.

Dear Diary - Glass of brown beer. Rob Gregory Author

Beer. How many times have I said: ‘Never again!’

Prior to Robbie’s arrival, sadly I had to take a friend of mine to the hospital, as he was suffering from a serious and very debilitating illness. He spent almost two weeks being treated before being discharged earlier this week to convalesce at home. I’ll tell you more about the medical system in this country in another blog, but let’s just say that dealing with the hospital administrators was not a pleasant experience at all. Anyway, my fingers are crossed that he will make a full recovery now that he’s out of that awful place and I’m hoping that won’t need to go back there, or anywhere else, any time soon.

Just when you thought that it couldn’t get any worse, I subsequently found out that another dear friend of mine, who I went to university with, had just been pulled out of an induced coma, following a mystery viral infection which had brought him to the brink of death. Thankfully he’s past the worst of it now and I’m sure that you’ll join me in wishing him and his family all the best for a full and speedy recovery.

What else? Oh, yes. We had a minor outbreak of dog fleas and ticks due to a misunderstanding about treatment options, during which time poor Ben almost scratched herself raw. It turns out that, despite what my mother in law claimed, Ivermectin doesn’t control fleas, so another quick trip to the vets was required, in order to get the dog properly treated. Fingers crossed, the tablet she was given has done the trick and we are now flea-less and ticked-off at the same time.

Dear Diary - Sawn-off bread knife. Rob Gregory Author

A sawn-off bread knife. Not a nice weapon.

Then, late last week, on Friday, in fact, I received a phone call from another friend of mine, asking for my assistance. When I arrived at his house, I found him shaking like a leaf and understandably so, given that he’d been attacked the night before by his now ex-girlfriend, who had gone for him with what can only be described as a ‘sawn-off’ bread knife. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen one of these before, but it is a scary thing indeed and he was lucky to have been able to wrestle it from her without sustaining serious injury. I’m not sure if he’s been to the Police yet, to report the incident, but I do know for a fact that the experience has quite badly shaken him up and has given me a couple of sleepless nights worrying that my wife might start getting similar ideas!

On a more positive note, I did receive a set of cartoons from a good friend of mine, for inclusion in my forthcoming compilation of the DATS Trilogy, entitled ‘The Lucius Chronicles’, which I’m hoping to release before Christmas… and at a very reasonable price too, just in case you were wondering about presents for friends and family! I think that they are wonderful and while I’m not going to share any of them here just now, I might do so in future, but only if you’re good. What I am going to share with you is the initial concept sketch for the cover of ‘The Lucius Chronicles’, which has been done by American author and illustrator, James Stevens. He’s on Twitter @FernMajestic and has a book of the same name coming out soon. In the meantime, I can’t wait to see what the final version of the illustration looks like!

Dear Diary - Cover sketch for The Lucius Chronicles. Rob Gregory Author

Cover sketch for ‘The Lucius Chronicles’, drawn by James Stevens.

And somewhere, buried deep in amongst all of that madness, I finally managed to finish the first draft of my latest novel, Yogol’s Gold, a revenge thriller spanning seventy years during the last century. It came in at just under 97,000 words, so is a reasonable length and only marginally shorter that Drynwideon. I’m planning to release it sometime in early 2019, but first, it needs to go through the editing and revision process, so you’ll have to be patient.

In fact, looking back on recent events, it’s not surprising that I haven’t published a blog since 24 July. In fact, it’s amazing that I’ve managed to do anything bookwise at all!