February has been an memorable month here by the lake in N.E. Switzerland. It started with a yearly event…
One day at the beginning of the month, I was stepping out the front door of our apartment building and wishing I’d thought to glance at the clock before I left. Two steps up the driveway and I knew what time it was.
13.30 on the first Wednesday in February is emergency siren test time. If world war three broke out at exactly this time, Swiss citizens would be slow to react. The sirens are scary, penetrating; the wail they emit is both oddly nostalgic and frightening – but everyone here jumps, as I did, thinks, Waah! The siren test… – and carries on with whatever they were doing, in my case going to Spar. The wail lasts around ten seconds, and when it stops you hear more distant sirens start and stop. Not all are tested at exactly the same time, and those which aren’t deemed satisfactory get to wail a second time. When I was halfway to Spar, on a busy pavement, a nearby siren started again. We all jumped – the sound goes right through you – grinned at each other, and on we went. And I hope I never hear that sound for real. Here it is below:
The second most important happening in this flat was the publication of The Saturday Secret, my charity collection of feel-good short stories, on the 15th. Profits from ebook and paperback sales are going to Doctors Without Borders, so if you, or a friend or relative would enjoy something like this, click here or on the cover for purchase details, and help support an excellent charity. And huge thanks again to the team at Fabrian Books for supporting me with this one.
But the biggest event – for me – came last Monday, when I signed a contract with Bloodhound Books for my sixth psychological suspense novel, Baby Dear. Publication will be in May, and I’ll be sharing cover image details etc over the next few weeks. I’m really pleased to be extending my repertoire like this, and I’m looking forward to working with the Bloodhound team. Cheers, all!
And to finish off, let’s have the song whose title came to mind when I was preparing this post: