tolstoy
I have just handed back to Random my final revisions for How to Write Like Tolstoy. It seems such a long process, and I am now waiting to see if a British publisher will take the book. But I have been sent a heartening endorsement by Hilary Mantel. She began by asking if I wanted  ‘so vulgar a thing as a quote,’ but then relented and generously continued: ‘This book is a wry, critical friend to both writer and reader. It is filled with cogent examples and provoking statements. You will agree or quarrel with each page, and be a sharper writer and reader by the end.’
Obviously inspired by Hilary, South Korea has duly responded with an offer to publish Tolstoy. My first foreign language sale! Inspired by this, I immediately emailed Kathy:
Korea . . .
(sings)
The most beautiful sound I ever heard:
Korea, Korea, (not North), Korea . . .
All the beautiful sounds of the world in a single word . .
Korea, Korea, (but South) Korea . . .
Korea!
I’ve just had a bid from Korea,
And suddenly my book
Will never be forsook
By me.
Korea!
I’ve just had a bid from Korea,
And suddenly I’ve sung
How wonderful that tongue
Can be!
Korea!
Say it loud and there’re royalties paying,
Stay in Seoul and it’s almost like praying.

Korea,
I’ll never stop saying Korea! 

 
I must get a life.