First of all - happy new year! I am fervently hoping that this one unfolds better than the last, which - I personally feel - could have put in a lot more effort. And to everyone directly affected by the floods that seem to be almost everywhere, I wish you all the very best and hope your year improves - dramatically. My heart goes out to you all. 

Now welcome to everyone whose names have been imported from the competition at SheInspires, I promise that I won’t inundate you with newsletters - my average is about three (interesting and witty) missives per year, and maybe one boring one but you can’t have everything. If you’d like to remove your name however, just head to the website and unsubscribe. I won’t take it personally.

Speaking of the SheInspires competition, a huge congratulations to Kaye E. and Noelene L. who have both won a three-book prize pack. Apologies for the delay but there was a slight mix-up at SheInspires and I’ve only just received notification. I’ll email you both separately and post your prize off within the next day or two. And I enjoyed the whole thing so much that I’ll definitely be running some more competitions soon - next time probably just through the website.

Thanks also to everyone who sent me feedback about Sticks & Stones. It was very encouraging, especially since the book got an
abysmal amount of coverage (perhaps because of the subject matter). So although the  reviews were uniformly  positive, there was so few of them it was all rather disheartening. Especially after Broken did so well.

So onwards and upwards with the next project, which is - of course - The Invisible Woman, and other remarkable phenomena of middle-age. My first foray into non-fiction! Thanks to everyone who contributed to the survey, it closed last month with heaps of information. Marvellous stuff. And I have been having a
tremendous time with the other research. Lots of discussions groups, and champagne, and a mountain of information. I am now a font of interesting and relatively useless information also - like did you know the Egyptians used to use crocodile dung as a contraceptive? And when they (finally) realised that it was less than effective, they turned to elephant dung instead. I seriously do not want to know the logistics of this methodology. ANYWAY, the manuscript is due in at the end of this month so I have barely been out of the house for a few weeks, and shall be stuck here for a few more. But I’m still after any anecdotes or stories or even one-line feedbacks about middle-age etc for women, so feel free to keep sending them in. Particularly with regard to the following areas:
* midlife crises - fact or fiction?
* the bond between mothers and daughters (good and/or bad)
* being ’sandwiched’ between elderly parents and offspring still at home
* middle-aged sexuality (feel free to use a pseudonym!)
* and - what do you think of the term MILF?
* plus any offbeat and/or non-traditional beauty/well-being tips 

Any bits and pieces welcome! If you would prefer for your real name not to be used, please include a pseudonym. Use your imagination! I look forward to hearing from you if you have (a) something to offer, and (b) the time to submit it (often two very different things!). And feel free to circulate this newsletter amongst your own networks if you think it might strike a chord. The more the merrier!

Cheers, Ilsa Evans

PS: And I have one box of Spin Cycle and one box of Drip Dry left that I’m happy to offload at $6.00 per book. I can barely remember writing those two it seems so long ago! Also one box of Flying the Coop at $15.00 per book.  I am trying to de-clutter!

PPS: If you’re interested in the middle-age material, don’t forget to visit the blog at - I’ve been a bit slack lately updating it, mainly due to the manuscript, but I’m determined to be more organised this year!


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