Val Wineyard Publishing

Val Wineyard Publishing

Summertime Adventures

Val's Publishing Blog

31st May  

My latest book - I'm a bit late with this one because it is a bit long - over 250 pages - and I want to make it perfect, with the latest and most stunning photos.  Nearly there!  Included is the "Project Visigoth" chapter, which I once planned to do as a separate book, with details of interesting places to visit if you want to explore Visigothic Languedoc.  I am sending the lay-out to the printer to proof today and if the corrections are not too lengthy we just might be in print by mid-July!  Good news eh?  Here's some pages from the book to whet your appetite.

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27th May - Socialising

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"Summertime, and the livin' is easy . . "  Well not quite, specially with the election coming up on June 8th!  I am SCARED!  We've got that crazy woman as Prime Minister, she who wanted to "remain" at one time, now trying to force a "leave" with no idea how it will turnout.  Jeremy Corbyn is patiently explaining that he is his party's leader and as such does what his party wants from him, unlike May, whom the Tories decided should adopt a "cult of personality" around her, only to find that she hasn't got much of one and just keeps repeating herself and dodging questions from the public!

  But the weather is getting better, and I went to a lovely summer barbecue at Rennes-les-Bains on the 27th.  It was held by a French Research Group (researching Rennes-le-Château, not Rennes-les-Bains!) and Occitanie was well represented, with some Brits and Germans there too.

25th May - what a find.

French friends from my previous village came to see me, Annie and Nicole, and we went to eat at the Fournil at Luc, which is a Bio place, that is, all the food is organic.  There is a vegetarian bias but if you really want meat you can have some, well we three were happy with just eating vegetables and for Nicole it was a revelation that vegetarian food could be so good.  Then Annie went off to take photos of a poppy field, a huge square of scarlet in the landscape, and she came back and plonked something on the table, "What do you think of that then?"

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  It was the jawbone, complete with tusks, of a wild boar - "nature red in tooth and claw . . . "  Annie might lend it to me one day for my museum.

22nd May 

Had to do my French Income Tax form, to my horror I had lost €1000 over the year, due mainly to the exchange rate lowered by Brexit on my money coming from England, it has put the price of books down too, and I am reluctant to raise them, and sales were lower last summer due to the 11% decrease in British visitors.  Hopefully 2017 will be better, as the new Atelier Empreinte bookshop at RleC is Brilliant.

12th May, a Mary M pilgrim

  Well, the season seems to be beginning at last, it was the first warm and sunny day. I met up with a lady from London in the red cafe as I call it - the Café de France in Couiza.  Marianne only had four days and was travelling by public transport so she had a few adventures here and there.  Bless her heart, she liked my "museum bookshop" and bought several of my books.  This is one of the most delightful things of my summer here; visitors from all around the world (well, the States, Australia, Poland, Ireland, Belgium . . . ) who are interested in the Rennes-le-Château and Mary Magdalene mysteries.

  A few days later I went to Carcassonne (lower town) on the bus to meet up with my friend Gaby (from Germany!) who has a holiday home in the Narbonnais village where I used to live, I got quite a pang as I've loved Narbonne since the 1980's, but what the hell, you can't live everywhere.  We had a lovely cassoulet for lunch and then went to the Carmelite church, I love it there, visit about twice a year.

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7th May, Bérenger Saunière getting around

 I have been having an on-going argument with Amazon for five days and 6 counsellers, because they had insisting on telling the great British buying public that my Bérenger Saunière book was NOT available!  What a drama this was, I was sending them long letters twice a day and every time they replied they gave me a new counseller, often one with a strange accent!  Eventually I got a message from someone called Nunzia saying simply that the book was now available!  At last!  You can find this Amazon link here.

6th May

Violent thunderstorms all night, me and poor Prisca never slept all night, she was terrified.

3rd May  - Spring means housework . . .

Really need a house with a garden for my dog so I won't have to walk her in this bitterly cold weather.  Prisca was used to running wild over the mountainside before she came here. Now I've renovated the house could I sell it and find a similar one with a garden?  But I can't live out of town because I have no car and hesitate to abandon my Green principles by buying one.  Everybody else say "But it's acceptable to hitch-hike round here."  Not for Prisca it isn't!  Anyway, took some nice house photos.

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An estate agent I am not!

28th April

It is bloody cold and raining, NOT the spring weather one expects after a winter of frosts and head colds!  Still, I went up to Rennes-le-Château to deliver more books to the new Atelier Empreinte (they already wanted fresh supplies of my life of Berenger Saunière book, hurray!) The shop has been completely re-done in a classic "French-traditional house" style - stone floors, white walls, pine shelving - and they have a complete wall dedicated to books in English - and not just about Rennes-le-Château either!

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  Then Mary and I had a drink at Le Jardin, where we heard the story about the vandalism in the church was still running rife on Facebook but the traders at Rennes-le-Château were trying to minimise it - bad publicity. Well, my journalist's nose had scented a story there and I am much gentler than many!  But it does beg the question, when you are a writer, if you stop being quite so honest but write to please everyone, you just turn into a free publicity machine.  And that is something I will never be.  And there's talk about bullet-proof glass in the museum . . .

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