Not a lot of people know this, but I’m a writer.
I know, who’d have thought it?
There is a reason I’m telling you this, but I’ll get to it in a minute.
A couple of weeks ago, Hugo took me on a journey, an eight hour plus journey to the Highlands of Scotland. The thinking behind the trip was that Christine hadn’t had a break from the MAC in a while (I’d begun to believe my characters were real. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing when one is a scribbler, but when the characters are Vampyres one’s husband begins to twitch and give one the steely eye.)
Another reason was because the weather (I’m sure I’ve mentioned the weather?) has been vile and he was certain the country was due a break from the rain. But no. We drove for six hours through the worst September storm in thirty years, think pestilence and a flood of biblical proportions and you might get the picture.
The thing about going away in this country is one never knows what to pack because it might be 10 degrees one day and 30 degrees the next, so I was advised by my youngest daughter to ‘layer.’
When we visit the Cairngorm mountains in the national park, see photo below, lovely isn’t it?
We always go on the funicular railway to the very top. Here’s the link if you fancy a trip (you can walk but it takes two hours and it’s 3,000 odd feet above sea level and the paramedics would need resuscitation equipment for Hugo.) The view is usually spectacular as long as there’s no low cloud cover. They don’t allow visitors to step onto the mountain because our footprint might damage the natural habitat. Hmm, I thought it might have had something to do with the sheer drop and a health and safety issue. But no, they’re more worried about damage to the mountain than human beings. Fair enough.
Anyway, Hugo had gone to buy the ticket and I was keeping our place in the line and noticed two couples standing in front of me who were not British. By the lovely singsongy voices, blonde hair, blue eyes (the older guy looked just like Charlton Heston in his prime 🙂 my intuition told me they were Scandinavian. So we all got on the train and away we went. When you get to the top, the organisers are a crafty lot and make visitors trek through a large gift shop. By this time, although I’d ‘layered’ I was freezing and a fleece top caught my attention. In spite of Hugo’s eye roll (I saw it by the way, just say’in) I bought it and they bagged it up in a swanky big brown paper bag, not plastic (even though it was now raining) because plastic is not biodegradable. Fair enough.
At the top they have a café with huge windows for us to enjoy the view. By the time I’d stood for half an hour for a cup of coffee and a slice of cake, I was too hot. So I took off my quilted coat and duck down gillet and told Hugo I was off to the ladies loo. I’d taken the bag with the new top in it and didn’t think he’d noticed. It is true I was gone for a while, but whatever.
When I returned to the café Hugo was chatting to the two Scandinavian couples who’d joined our table. Actually, to be accurate, one guy was British, a sound engineer with Strictly Come Dancing and he was married to one of the women. I know, I was thrilled because I love Strictly. Somebody who works with the famous is almost as good as speaking to the famous. Anyway the following conversation ensued,
‘See,’ Hugo said. ‘I told you she’d gone to change into her new top.’
My husband, boys and girls, has a big mouth.
I just gave him ‘the look’ and smiled at them.
‘It suits you,’ the younger woman said with a smile and a fabulous accent.
‘Where are you from?’ I asked.
‘Sweden. We’ve brought my sister and her husband up on a tour of Scotland. We live in London.’
‘What do you do?’ the sound engineer said to Hugo.
‘I’ve retired,’ Hugo responded. (He’s a LOT older than me, just thought I should mention it.)
‘Lucky you, how do you fill your time?’
‘Well, I do lots of things and I work for Christine.’
The sound engineer nodded, sipped his hot chocolate and whipped cream with marshmallows. ‘What does Christine do?’
‘She’s a writer,’ Hugo said with an evil grin at his loyal and loving wife.
They all turned to look at me and I gave them big eyes.
‘What do you write?’ his wife asked.
‘Oooh, you’re not that 50 Shades of Grey lady.’
I get this all the time.
I smiled. ‘No, I wish I was,’ I said. And we all chatted about Christian Grey.
‘I also write a vampire paranormal set in an urban future,’ I added.
‘Oooh, my sister loves vampires. What’s your name?’
‘CC MacKenzie. My first book was Reckless Nights In Rome.’
Her sister from Sweden turned to look at me and said something in Swedish.
‘My sister has heard of you.’
Heart stopped. Blink blink.
I shook my head. ‘Nope. I haven’t been writing for long.’ I took out my business card (always be prepared) and they studied it. Her sister nodded and spoke again in rapid Swedish.
‘Yes, she’s heard of you. Her son’s ex-girlfriend has your book on her kindle. She loved it.’
Blink blink, hot flush rose from my toes as more conversation happened in Swedish.
‘My sister would like your card to give to her son’s ex-girlfriend.’
So I gave her the card and found myself tearing up, how embarrassing was this? Hugo just grinned. I think it’s the hormones – I’m getting to that age – but I’ve never been so emotional in my life.
Who’d have thought it?
I’m famous in Sweden.
I just hope Reckless Nights In Rome didn’t kill her son’s romance with his ex! I sometimes worry that young girls might end up with too high an expectation of their men after reading one of my heroes.
So that’s what I’ve been up to, freezing to death up a Scottish mountain dishing out business cards to lovely ladies from Sweden.
What have you guys been up to?
What do you do for a living?
Come and share it with us – we demand to know. (This should be good.)