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Wednesday, June 30, 2010


I was fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to interview the author of Freeing Grace (see my rave review), by her publishers in New Zealand, Allen & Unwin.  Here are my question (in blue) and Charity Norman's great responses:

1. You were born in Uganda, raised in Yorkshire and Birmingham, and worked as a barrister, but then came a major career change, including a shift to New Zealand, and the writing of FREEING GRACE. Was there any single event that impelled you to become an author, or was it a lifelong ambition?
A lifelong ambition. I don’t remember a time when a blank page didn’t make me want to scribble words all over it. Growing up, my greatest heroes were authors. Whilst working I had a growing awareness that if I really wanted to succeed as a writer, I had to make some choices. I loved my job, and it wasn’t an easy decision to move on from it. The impetus for the career change – the final push off the edge of that diving-board - was the realisation of how much of my children’s early years I was missing.

2. Your writing is characterised by a crispness that indicates you spend a lot of time polishing your sentences. Do you keep office hours, and how many words constitute a good writing day?

Routine has never been my strong point! I try to keep regular hours, starting with that blissful moment when the last child finds his socks and piano music and peddles off to school. But I often write at weekends and until the early hours of the morning, because the school day is just too short and prone to interruption.

I’d guess about two thousand words would constitute a very good writing day. Occasionally, I have begun in the morning by deleting much of what I wrote the day before. This can be heartbreaking but, for me at least, it pays to be merciless.

3. The naming of your characters intrigued me, especially when the baby's name, Grace, resonated so with your own, Charity. Did you find naming characters easy, or did it take time to pin down the right name for each one?

It took me time. It still does. Some names just don’t sound right, and the character seems to be shrugging them off. So I give them new ones until they are happy.
4. Your characters are remarkably vivid. Did any of them come to life, and try to take over the book?

All the major characters had a go at upstaging the others, at one time or another. Jake was the most persistent, though. He wouldn’t take a back seat. And when the book was finally finished, I missed him.

5. Dialogue is an important part of your book. Do you have any tricks for picking up natural-sounding conversation, such as listening to strangers gossiping in buses?

I try to listen constantly – and yes, occasionally that means eavesdropping. I especially keep an ear out for those little exaggerations and euphemisms which give language its life and bounce.
6. I was very amused that Jake Kelly, the "voice" of much of your book, was able to snooze comfortably in coach class, but couldn't settle down in the comparative luxury of business class. While this was written to emphasise his disturbed state of mind, I couldn't help wondering if you have any tips for long flights.

Ah, now this is a subject close to my heart. If humanly possible, go online the day before and pick an aisle seat. Then you can pop up and down like a jack-in-the-box without clambering all over a row of people.

I take my own headset too, because for me a long-haul flight is a welcome opportunity to watch all those films that I’ve missed. Over twenty-four hours, that’s a lot of films. I’ve been known to sit spellbound in front of The Bridges of Madison County, tears coursing down my face, oblivious to the poor cabin crew who were trying to ask whether I wanted the lamb or the fish.


Freeing Grace will appear in New Zealand bookstores in July.


Historians, rejoice.  Forty million words of petition, accusation, and complaint - have been posted online, giving unrivaled access to the underground lives of eighteenth century Londoners.

Hogarth visited Sarah Malcolm just two or three days before her execution in 1733, and made a sketch that resulted in this evocative painting.
(T.C. & E.C. Jack, Masterpieces in Colour: Hogarth)

The London Lives website is a fully searchable collection of 240,000 pages of handwritten documents from criminal justice and town government.  Research that has been focused on the notorious and the royal can now be extended to the lives of ordinary working men and women.

It includes evidence from trials at the Old Bailey that range from murder to petty theft, petitions to relieve distress, accounts of money distributed to the poor, hospital and parish records, and the minutes kept at meetings of guilds.

Co-director Tim Hitchcock, a professor at the University of Hertfordshire, says that the aim was to make the site different -- "to make it available to everyone in a new way, and to allow everyone to chart their own narratives through past lives."

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


Random House  (NZ) authors Owen Marshall (Living As A Moon) and Fiona Farrell (Limestone), are two of the three fiction finalists in this year’s awards.  The third is Alison Wong, whose novel As the Earth Turns Silver was published by the Penguin Group.

There are now only two categories in non-fiction: general and illustrated.  In the general division the finalists are Anne Salmond's Aphrodite's Island (Penguin Group), Behond the Battlefield by Gerald Hensley (also Penguin), Cone Ten Down by Moyra Elliott and Damion Skinner (David Bateman), Encircled Lands by Judith Binney (Bridget Williams), and The Invention of New Zealand Art and National Identity by Frances Pound (Auckland University Press).

In the illustrated nonfiction category finalists are Al Brown for Go Fish (Random House), Art at Te Papa by William McAloon (Te Papa Press), Maori Architecture by Deirdre Brown (Penguin Group), Marti Friedlander by Leonard Bell (Auckland University Press), and Mrkusich by Alan Wright and Edward Harfling.

The poetry section has three finalists: Just This by Brian Turner (Victoria University Press), The Lustre Jug by Bernadette Hall (Victoria University Press), and the intriguingly titled The Tram Conductor's Blue Cap by Michael Harlow (Auckland University Press).

The three prizes sponsored by the New Zealand Society of Authors have all been won.  The first book of fiction award went to Relief by Anna Taylor (Victoria University Press).  The Jessie MacKay award for first book of poetry went to Selina Tusitala Marsh's Fast Talking Pi (Auckland University Press), and
Pip Desmond, Trust: A True Story of Women and Gangs (Random House), was the winner of the best first book of non fiction.

The NZ Post awards will be announced on August 27 in Auckland.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Winning children's books

Neil Gaiman's Newbery-winning The Graveyard Book has won the UK's prestigious Carnegie Medal.

The equally illustrious Kate Greenaway Medal for an illustrated children's book has gone to Australian illustrator Freya Blackwood for Harry & Hopper (with story by Margaret Wild). Published in the UK and Australasia by Scholastic, the book is not available in the US.

Monday, June 21, 2010


For those who don't know it, it is the fiftieth anniversary of the publication of one of America's greatest novels, To Kill a Mocking Bird.

In Reno, Nevada, small press publisher Jacqueline Church Simonds of BEAGLEBAY BOOKS was interviewed by a local paper for comments on the enduring success of the American classic.  I was very interested in her observation that Harper Lee appeared to have only one book in her, though one that turned out to be one of the greatest modern novels written.

It reminded me of another American writer, Richard McKenna, who produced just one great book, The Sand Pebbles, and (in my opinion) just one great story, "Casey Agonistes."

Both appealed to me because of their gritty, authentic maritime content.  McKenna, unable to afford university fees because of the Great Depression, joined the US Navy, and served in the Far East as a machinist's mate.  While the story of The Sand Pebbles takes place in 1920, ten years before his service began, life in the engine room of the rusty river boat San Pueblo rings with truth, partly because McKenna listened to the salty tales old shipmates told him, and he had a very good ear.  It comes as no surprise to learn that the book won the 1963 Harper Prize.

"Casey Agonistes" reflects the same lingo and philosophies of the lower deck, with characters that leap off the page. A handful of sailors and soldiers in the isolation ward of a servicemen's hospital fight death and depression with the help of an ape ... an imaginary ape?  Hit the title (above), read the story, and make up your mind for yourself.

Critics compared these, McKenna's earliest publications, to Melville and Hemingway. However, while a story, The Secret Place (published posthumously), won a Nebula Award, McKenna is seldom remembered now.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Changes at the top in Penguin NZ

Publishing director of Penguin NZ quits job.

One of New Zealand publishing's leading figures, Penguin's publishing director Geoff Walker, has quit after 25 years with the firm.

The one time television current affairs broadcaster had become the country's top publisher, initially with AH and AW Reeds in Wellington.

In a statement he announced it will "move on to pursue other opportunities".

Penguin say that under Walker's direction Penguin's local list grew to become one of the most acclaimed and respected in this country, winning pretty much every major award for outstanding fiction and non-fiction. He is credited with bringing into the stable the likes of Patricia Grace, Lloyd Jones, Maurice Gee and Michael King.

Walker says he has mixed feelings at leaving.
"It's been an incredible thrill to be associated with some of New Zealand's best writers. But it's time for me to change direction and try something new - and perhaps do a little less of it than a busy publishing life usually
permits," he said.
"I won't be retiring in any sense, just moving on from the corporate publishing life and doing a few things that interest me. I still plan to be around the publishing world....
"I want to thank all the wonderful authors I've worked with. It's been a joy to be your publisher."

Saturday, June 19, 2010


Not so long ago, I tinkered with the idea that listing the most popular holds in public libraries was as good an indicator of bestsellers as the bestseller lists.  Maybe even better, being less skewed by the data collection method.  I also wondered what the reserved list was like at our own public library in Wellington.

To my astonishment I opened our community paper, The Wellingtonian, to find a story by Rebecca Thomson called WAITING FOR A GOOD READ.  She had interviewed collections manager John Stears, and he had supplied a list of what Wellingtonians sign up to take out.

Eighty-three people are waiting to read The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest -- so many that the budget has been stretched to ordering more copies.

Others in great demand are The Girl Who Played With Fire (76 requests), and Andre Agassi's biography, Open (51 reserves).  Following close behind are:

Dead in the Family by Charlaine Harris
House Rules by Jodi Picoult
Gabriel Method (Revolutionary Diet) by Jon Gabriel
So Much for That by Lionel Shriver
Last Song by Nicholas Sparks

The most popular children's book is Water Blaster by H.I. Larry.

The most popular CD is Heligoland by Massive Attack
And the most popular DVD is season four of the TV series How I Met Your Mother.

Friday, June 18, 2010


So long ago, I can't even find it, I posted hints about how to write a query letter to an agent.  Now, courtesy of Jason Boog at GalleyCat at, I enjoyed a hearty breakfast-time laugh reading a new blog, SlushPile Hell. 

It is headed, "A grumpy literary agent wades through query fails."  I believe this is misleading.  The snippets from queries and the supplied ideal answers is the product of someone with a really great sense of humor.

A couple of favorites:

I want an agent who's confident to get me a 7 figure book deal or high 6 figure deal, not some bull crap deal.

Funny, that's exactly what I say to editors when I send them a proposal.  Works every time.

I was told by someone from Simon and Schuster that having an agent is a necessity in today's market.  What do you think?

BWAHAHAHAHA!  My evil plan to brainwash all S&S employees into recommending agents to authors is working!


This is a blog I will be following ...

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


Suddenly, it seems, there is an insatiable demand for crime fiction.  Jason Boog, on GalleyCat, announces today that Little, Brown, is launching a new crime imprint, called ""Mulholland Books" after a famous crime-chase street in LA.

The editor, John Schoenfelder, and marketing director, Miriam Parker, expect to publish twenty-four books a year.  First to hit the press will be mysteries by Marcia Clark, Lawrence Block, and Duane Swierczynski

Publisher Michael Pietsch is marvellously upbeat about the venture.  "There is an extraordinary body of suspense fiction being written today," he says.  While the aim is to entertain, there will be the extra factor of "surprise at all costs," and everyone at Little, Brown is excited to be part of the project.

And the winner is ... a new crime fiction writer

On Graham Beattie's book blog today:

The winner of the inaugural NZSA/Pindar Publishing Prize announcement

‘Judging the inaugural NZSA/Pindar Prize for an unpublished manuscript was a fascinating and challenging exercise,’ reports novelist and short story writer Graeme Lay,(pic left), one of the three judges of the award. The other two judges were Mia Yardley, Editorial Manager of Pindar New Zealand and Linda Herrick, Arts and Books editor of the New Zealand Herald.

For the exciting result of this competition, read more.

The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner, by Stephenie Meyer

Amanda Craig, children's book reviewer for The Times, and first British reviewer of the first of the "Twilight" series, which has sold 6.8 million copies in Britain, reviews the spin-off novella.

When the much-hyped new “ Eclipse novella” arrived, my teenage daughter asked, “So does it suck as much as the last one, then?” She had been one of the very first British teenagers to read the original Twilight, as I had been the first British critic to review it, and we had both enjoyed the unknown Stephanie Meyer’s original take on romance with a vampire very much.

But what a difference five years and multi-million pound sales can make ...  Read more.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


My good friend Roberta (Canoes of Kupe) McIntyre and I were talking book groups, and the book her group is reading at the moment sounded so intriguing that I headed for the library.

Olive Kitteridge, by Elizabeth Strout, was the winner of last year's Pulitzer for fiction (2009) -- which meant I wasn't quite sure what to expect.  Would it be over-written, highbrow, and boring, or would I be startled by its novelty? 

"Startled" came first.  Intriguingly, I found that it is a collection of thirteen short stories, as I had not been aware that short stories were eligible.  Additionally, at least six have been published before, in magazines ranging from The New Yorker to O: The Oprah Magazine, which has meant slight, but discernible, disparities in style. 

But that didn't matter, as I like the short story genre.  Additionally, important strands link them into a cohesive whole -- all save one are set in Crosby, a small town in coastal Maine, and the character of Olive Kitteridge features in them all, though often just as a mention.

Then I was riveted, because of the nature of the protagonist.  Even when just a footnote, Olve Kitteridge is a compelling character.  The maths teacher from some childhood hell, she should be an awful woman -- contemptuously rude to the gentle, submissive husband who loves her despite all the odds, often angry, abrupt in speech, intolerant of neighbours, absolutely incapable of expressing her adoration of her only son -- and yet I came to care about her.  In one particularly telling story, where Olive overhears her catty new daughter-in-law discussing her demeanour and dress, I was angry enough to spit on her behalf.

Otherwise, there were reasons I should not have liked this book.  The themes are universally depressing -- the tired challenges of a reluctant retirement, marriage that seems more like bondage than a partnership, the inability to communicate love, the terrors of old age, the awful threat of loneliness after the death of a partner, a piercingly acute depiction of anorexia.  So why did I love it, instead? 

First, Strout is a wonderful story-teller.  The book is a page-turner, a compulsive read.  I had great difficulty putting it down, and finished it within two days. 

Second, the writing scintillates.  I did have problems with the one chapter set outside Crosby, Maine (a difficult story that took place in Brooklyn, New York), but her depiction of daily existence in a small town in Maine rang with a sense of utter truth -- in this, Strout reminded me of another great describer of American daily life, Willa Cather. 

Strongly recommended, a wonderful pick for the prize.  Now to ask Roberta what her book group thought ....


GalleyCat on ran the headline that intrigued me.  Tired of pecking away on a midget laptop keyboard?  Miss the old IBM?  Well, an innovative artist, Jack Zylkin, has the answer -- a gadget that connects a typewriter to your computer via a USB port. 

It could be the answer to repetitive strain syndrome, too, as well as providing that nostalgia rush.  It could be dangerous to get used to zipping the carriage back at the end of every line again, though ....

Saturday, June 12, 2010


Ballard papers saved for posterity

Through a legality I had never heard of before -- the Acceptance in Lieu Scheme -- a large archive of manuscripts, notebooks, and letters of visionary writer JG Ballard has been acquired in lieu of 350,000 pounds worth of taxes.

The British Library, which will hold the archive, announced that the collection provides an "extraordinary insight" into the novelist.  The papers cover Ballard's output from The Drowned World  (1962) to Miracles of Life (2008).  Ballard, it seems, was much given to keeping notebooks full of ideas, such as "Topics that interest me -- airports ideas re passengers take over airport & establish a city state."

He was also a compulsive corrector, as his manuscripts, both penned and typed, eloquently testify.

Ballard died in April 2009 at the age of 78.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Barbara Kingsolver Wins £30,000 Orange Prize

Novelist Barbara Kingsolver (pictured) has won the Orange Prize for Fiction for The Lacuna, nudging out the favourite, Hillary Mantel. In 1999, her novel The Poisonwood Bible was shortlisted for the prestigious prize, which did not do her sales any harm at all. This year she is doubly lucky -- the Orange Prize carries a £30,000 award, and winners receive a bronze figurine nicknamed the "Bessie."

TV producer/author Daisy Goodwin, chair of judges, praised the book (about a man who mixes plaster for a famous muralist) for its "breathtaking scale."


Little Nancy Dawson
Haul 'em away!
Got her flannel drawers on
Haul 'em away!
Says our poor old bo'sun
Haul 'em away!
And a holly heigh ho!
Haul 'em away!

Thus runs a common (and unusually decent) stanza to the once-popular sailors' hauling song, "Nancy Dawson," often also known as "Cheer'ly man."

So who was Nancy Dawson, who was memorialized in bawdy song?  According to the online Oxford Dictionary of Biography, her real name was Ann Newton, and she was born in 1728.

She joined the company of a puppet-showman, Griffin, who taught her to dance, and was hired by Sadler's Wells as a figure dancer.  Being "extremely agreeable in her figure," as well as novel in her movements, she became a "far-famed toast," and was promoted to the part of Columbine.  About the same time she became the mistress of Ned Shuter, a Covent Garden comedian, and in 1763 she and Ned both featured in a satire written by George Alexander Stevens, The Dramatic History of Master Edward, Miss Ann, Mr Llwhuddwhydd, and Others.

Her big moment came in October 1759, when the man who was to dance the hornpipe among the thieves in The Beggar's Opera was taken ill. What happened next was straight out of Hollywood -- Nancy was plucked out of the chorus and danced the dance, and was an instant sensation. 

Her hornpipe was performed to a tune that was known as "Piss on the Grass" or "Piss on the Green," but instantly gained dignity as "The Ballad of Nancy Dawson" -- not that any words were sung as she danced.  It became hugely popular, even being mentioned by Goldsmith in the epilogue to She Stoops to Conquer.

The music seems to have been composed by Thomas Arne, and is popular still -- you can hum it, if you like, because it is the air of the old nursery song "Here we go round the mulberry bush."  The words, however, vary, according to the singers and the audience.

Sunday, June 6, 2010


A special edition of Haaretz, to mark Israel's book week.

Margaret Atwood contributed a beautifully written, deeply emotional article to the newspaper Haaretz.

It is called THE SHADOW OVER ISRAEL, and is introduced by a heartfelt poem, The Moment.

Recently, she then says, I was in Israel.  The Israelis I met could not have been more welcoming.  I saw many impressive accomplishments and creative projects, and talked with many different people.  The sun was shining, the waves waving, the flowers were in bloom. Tourists jogged along the beach at Tel Aviv as if everything was normal.

But, there was the Shadow.  Why was everything trembling a little, like a mirage?  Was it like that moment before a tsunami when the birds fly to the treetops and the animals head for the hills because they can feel it coming?

"Every morning I wake up in fear," someone told me. '"hat's just self-pity, to excuse what's happening," said someone else.  Of course, fear and self-pity can both be real.  But by "what's happening," they meant the Shadow.

I'd been told ahead of time that Israelis would try to cover up the Shadow, but instead they talked about it non-stop.  Two minutes into any conversation, the Shadow would appear.  It's not called the Shadow, it's called "the situation." It haunts everything ...


Simon Greenish, CEO of the Bletchley Park Trust, said the plan was for the centre's entire archive to be digitised.  A time-consuming project, the first stage alone is expected to take three years. 

It could have been started five years ago, but the Trust has lacked the funding.   Now, electronics company Hewlett-Packard has donated a number of scanners to the centre in Milton Keynes so volunteers can begin the ground-breaking task.
During World War Two, Bletchley Park was home to more than 10,000 men and women who decoded encrypted German messages. Many of the records at the once-secret centre have not been touched for years.

The centre believes there is a good chance that once the papers are scanned and deciphered, previously untold stories will be revealed.

Friday, June 4, 2010


Those of you who buy from the online bookstore amazon -- which I guess includes you all -- have probably scarcely noticed the "Add to Cart" or "Add to Basket"  buttons.  All online stores feature that crucial graphic where you click your mouse when you have made up your mind to buy the selected item.  It's easy, and it's automatic.  But what do you do when the button is mysteriously missing?

Obviously, you can't buy the item.  It is like being in a real store where all the salespeople have vanished.  The book (or whatever) is out of reach and unobtainable.

One would think that this would defeat the purpose of having an online store, but according to a fascinating timeline on an Authors Guild sponsored site,, amazon stores have been using the buy buttons as a weapon in a war to dominate publishers and maximize profits.  Back in 2008, after an altercation with Bloomsbury press, whipped the buy buttons off the Bloomsbury book pages, including, incredibly, those featuring JK Rowling.  Little was publicly said, but there must have been a behind the scenes flurry, because after some kind of sorting out of issues, the buttons quietly returned.

Amazon must have been pleased with the sneaky ploy, because within months they had done it again -- to no less than Hachette Livre UK, one of the world's largest publishers.  Authors Guild quotes CEO Tim Hely Hutchinson, who wrote to their authors, "Amazon seems each year to go from one publisher to another making increasing demands in order to achieve richer terms at our expense and sometimes at yours."  Many Hachette books are still minus those vital buttons, as the standoff continues.

Those demands widened to the print-on-demand trade.  In that same year, 2008, Amazon informed a slather of print-on-demand publishers that if their books were not printed by amazon-owned BookSurge, the buy buttons would disappear.  Author Solutions was one outfit to be blacked out  They succumbed, and the buttons returned.  Another firm, Booklocker, did not cave in so easily, filing an ultimately successful anti-trust suit instead.  (Amazon paid $300,000 but admitted no wrongdoing.)

This hurts authors, publishers, and the book trade generally.  You, the reader, can help -- by simply moving on to another online store, if you find that the buy button is missing.

Thursday, June 3, 2010


Well, it seems it is Christmas Carol remembrance moment.  According to the BBC, a first edition of the story, complete with an inscription by the author, Charles Dickens, forms part of a magnificent collection of first editions that is going under the hammer.

Other features of the collection are first editions of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, and Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice.  There is a collection of TS Eliot poems, also with a personal inscription (to none other than Virginia Woolf), a copy of Wilkie Collins's Moonstone in its original cloth, and Samuel Beckett's Murphy in its original DJ.  Charles Darwin, Geoffrey Chaucer and John Milton are other highlights.

Sotheby's English literature specialist, Peter Selley, confides that he felt "rather punch drunk" when he scanned the brilliant array.  "There is not just one highlight -- there is one highlight after another.  It is the finest collection I am ever likely to see in my lifetime."

Obviously, it is an eclectic array.  It does seem a pity, however, that it is going to be broken up.

Offered in a series of lots, the collection is expected to fetch as much as fifteen million pounds.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


June is here, and down in New Zealand, where a wintry blast of rain has predominated for the last eleven days, it feels like a mid-year Christmas -- which makes finding a New York Times discussion of Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol feel particularly apt.

Apparently, there is only one surviving version of the manuscript of the classic, held now at the Morgan Library and Museum in Manhattan.  As you can see, it is a bewildering chaos of alterations, corrections, and after-thoughts.  One wonders how it ever metamorphosed into a printed book.

Dickens wrote it because he needed the money, but was not rewarded particularly well.  The print run was 6,000, all with hand-tinted illustrations -- a disastrously expensive decision.  The project was a financial fiasco.  Even a man with the feverishly fertile imagination of Dickens himself could not picture the future of film, pantomime, and drama that lay in the future of this messy little masterpiece.


According to the latest bulletin of the Authors Guild, the computer phone SKYPE is the gadget du jour for publicizing books.  Needing just a computer, an internet phone, a webcam (which is probably standard on your reasonably new laptop) and a SKYPE account, the mostly free service is widely used by families to keep in touch.  It is also very useful for phone conferences, adding that invaluable element of visual communication.

Publishers have suddenly discovered that they like it as a promotion tool, because it is a lot cheaper than sending authors on tour.  The authors themselves find it is a little strange to invite the world into their living rooms to talk about their books. On the other hand, Andrew Clements (Extra Credit) finds it is an easy way to make contact with the public, yet keep plenty of time for writing, while Brian O'Dea (High) says that it means an author can keep control of the promotion of his or her book.

It sounds very promising as a way to avoid all those wasteful hours on the road, though there is something about face-to-face with current and potential readers that considerably enlivens the writing life.  And how does one promote an author-reader SKYPE session?  It would be interesting to find out. 


Crime and mystery writer Sue Grafton started off the alphabet with A is for Alibi in 1982, and since then has worked her way up to U, with ever-increasing popularity.   The print run for the first -- "A" -- book, which introduced hard-boiled heroine Kinsey Millhone, was just 7,500.  The first run for the latest, U is for Undertow, was in the hundreds of thousands, and it is currently number two on the crime and mystery bestseller list.

Obviously, everyone is wondering what the author is going to do after "Z" has been written, published, and become that very predictable bestseller.  According to People magazine, Sue Grafton's plan is for "a very long nap--and then I will party."