I have 11 days left to write four light-hearted, sexy chapters, plus a new synopsis, plus do loads of research about Brazil, because the book's foreign location scenes have to be moved from Italy, which the commissioning editor says is boring and has been done to death. (Pity: I did tons of research on Italy when the book was originally written.)
Meanwhile, an old friend who has been in hospital for the last six weeks has taken a definite turn for the worse and we have been told that it is 'a waiting game'. So I am trying to write sexy romps whilst reading heart-breaking text messages and emails from my friend's partner and bursting into tears at intervals. It is a sad and uncomfortable and extremely ill-timed juxtaposition of art and life and all I can do is be like an actor and don the comic mask over the tragic one. I feel like giving up and telling the publisher I just can't do it, but that would mean blowing the biggest chance I've had in the last 15 years. I am praying for my friend, even though the situation seems hopeless. Perhaps you could join a prayer to mine.