A lot of my time is spent living in imaginary worlds, those I invent myself and those created by other people. I try to keep the two separate. My characters are never based on real people, and unlike many other authors, I don't find my ideas in true crimes. But other kinds of reality impinge on all our lives these days.
Last year Belvedere Books in London hosted a launch party for Cold Sacrifice, the first in my spin off series featuring Ian Peterson. It was a lovely event, not least because many of my facebook friends came from all over the country, travelling hundreds of miles to attend. Although I had never met many of them before in the 'real' world, they had become good 'friends'. We had shared each other's problems and joys online, and had seen enough photos to recognise each other as easily as if we knew each other in the physical world. It was very exiting to finally meet them; the real and the virtual worlds were interconnecting in both directions, from the real to the virtual and back again.
Last week, after months of negotiations, I signed a contract with a major television production company who were interested in purchasing the rights to both my series. It was like signing my very first publishing deal all over again. Very exciting! Of course the contract arrived just as I was about to leave for the CrimeFest convention in Bristol, so I quickly printed out two copies before rushing to catch my train. The lovely director of the CWA who was at CrimeFest kindly witnessed my signature. When I posted some photos on facebook, friends and fans from around the world - as far afield as Australia - began posting their congratulations. The real and the virtual worlds are interconnecting again.
But this time another level of reality is involved, because I can hardly believe my luck. I've signed a contract with a television company. It's not just happened in the real world, reflected in the virtual world on facebook and twitter - it's surreal!