JUST SAY IT – AVAILABLE ON AMAZON NOW!

Seeing my first novel in print, has lived up to all expectations, it is a euphoric moment in my writing life, but I couldn’t have done it without…

Here is the Unofficial Book Trailer for Just Say It!

Here is the official book trailer for my first novel Just Say It. I am excited and terrified in equal measures! I’d had a shot at writing a novel before, when I was in my thirties, but the time didn’t feel right. Although I had written short stories and miscellaneous features for magazines and newspapersContinue reading “Here is the Unofficial Book Trailer for Just Say It!”

OFFICIAL COVER REVEAL – JUST SAY IT!

It’s been a long time coming, but here is the official cover reveal for my first novel, Just Say It, which will be available on Amazon soon.

There’s Light at the End of the Tunnel, so Why the Confidence Crisis Now?

I had a significant confidence wobble last night. I am not quite sure why, when I am so close to achieving my goal, as I can – finally – see the light at the end of the tunnel, I suddenly felt like a jellied mass with a blancmange for brains.

PUT YOURSELF OUT THERE! The Scary Path to Self-Publishing

I had set my heart on being traditionally published and, during the first lockdown, I was presented with the best opportunity I would ever have to buff up my manuscript.  Over twelve months later, the competition from others vying to see their name in print is fiercer than it has ever been. In the current climate, agents will struggle to find the time to read all the MS’s are receiving from the ever-growing numbers of wannabe authors. 

2021 was the time to ‘get myself out there.’ I’m no spring chicken, so I need to get on with it. So why did I hang around when I’ve been sitting on a finished manuscript for such a long time? Well, however old you are, your self-confidence often needs buoying up, even if you believe you have a story worth telling, and there is no better person to do that than your editor.

The Growing Pains of a Virgin Novelist​

The growing pains of a virgin novelist are real.  It will be six years at the end of June since I started writing my first novel. At various intervals during that time, I celebrated reaching ‘The End’ but realised, after all that deluded carousing, writing a novel is more than just telling a story.

STILL LIFE made the Longlist for the Fiction Factory Flash Fiction March 2021 Competition!

Out of the dark, comes the light and the sounds of a commotion. I am focusing on colours, flickering and dancing behind closed eyelids. I snap my eyes open, but the light is blinding, and I close them again. My heart is fluttering, and I imagine a swallow flying in the summer sun.

Authorial Intrusion – Back Off! Let Your Characters Do The Talking!

 At the end of last year, an edit of my ‘finished’ novel, Just Say It, highlighted I had a problem with multiple point of views, I largely ignored it, until I received the latest critique, which not only highlighted the multiple POV’s issue, but it also pointed out that I was also guilty of another writer’s crime, authorial intrusion.  So I need to back off, and let my characters do the talking!

Nail Your Shifting Points of View!

There is always a great deal going on inside my head at the same time as I bounce ideas off each other. Too many, on occasions. I flit and float from one thought to the next, so perhaps that is one reason why I have allowed something similar to creep into my fiction writing. Unwittingly, I have beenContinue reading “Nail Your Shifting Points of View!”

SHORT STORY – KARMA

My mother and I were never close. There has never been an unshakable emotional bond between us. No invisible strand that binds a mother to her child, post umbilical tie. Even as a child, I felt more of an accessory than a daughter. She never tried to cultivate a rapport between us, so I never felt that ache. That overwhelming sense of dread that engulfs you when you think about losing someone you love.

CHICK-LIT FOR THE OVER FIFTIES!

A chick, in my book, is a baby chicken covered in downy, yellow feathers up until the age of  6-weeks.   I’ve always bristled when the term is applied to young women, and I have always subconsciously disassociated myself from Chick lit, believing the genre to be driven by scantily clad, sex-driven female main characters.  I couldn’t have been more wrong and, although I’m not a fan of categories, it’s time to reassess the genre I think I’ve been writing in.

Creating Characters – Edna Fowler Would Be World-Renown Author

Edna is a member of both DAWG, the Didsbrook Authors and Writers Group and DADS, the Didsbrook Amateur Dramatic Society.  She is blessed with an unwavering self-belief that she is about to join the ranks of world-renown authors, convinced she is Didsbrook’s answer to J. K. Rowling, hence her rather suspect non-de-plume, E. D. Fowling. Edna is one of my favourite characters from The Doyenne of Didsbrook because every inch of her reminds me of one of Roy Clarke’s wonderful characters, Hyacinth Bucket. 

Creating Characters – The Gin-Swilling Miss Laverty

I would like to introduce you to the gin-swilling Miss Laverty, one of the characters from my first novel, Just Say It. The year is 1963, and my main protagonist, Lisa Grant, is four-years-old. Her mother, the self-centred Elizabeth, has hatched a plan with two families living down the road to employ a governess to teach Lisa and the neighbours’ young daughters.  

Creating Characters – Elizabeth Goldsworthy-Grant, nee Campbell

He stopped his tirade and got up to pour himself a stiff whiskey and, realising he was trembling, knocked it back in one.

‘Damn you, Will!  If we are going to make our marriage work, the least you can do is be civil to me. You’re widely regarded as being exceedingly bright.  So, you should be able to work it out.’

‘Work out what?’ He turned to glower at her, and hissed ‘insufferable as well as insane,’ before slamming his glass down on to the drinks tray and poured himself another one.

‘The dates, Will, they don’t add up.  Not with Jeremy anyway, and Grandbo only wants to walk a virgin up the aisle.  He told me to get out when he found out I wasn’t.’ Elizabeth started to sob.  ‘He was about to put his grandmother’s engagement ring on my finger.  It’s a sapphire… the size of a quail’s egg. Oh, Will, I really thought he was going to be the one. Unfortunately, he’s not interested in marrying a woman with a desecrated hymen, let alone one carrying a developing foetus. My life is ruined, and I never wanted children, and it’s all your fault!’

After the Editing’s Over

‘Of course, men always look at the mother first to see if they are ageing well. Hopefully, you will age well, Lisa, dear, but that is one reason I always spend time making myself look as good as possible. Mind you, I look so young you and I could easily be sisters. I look at myself in the mirror every morning, and I find it impossible to believe that I’m thirty-six. On a bad day, I only look twenty-five. Unfortunately, you’ve inherited more of your father’s genes on the facial front. I think it’s fair to say you look more like him than me.’ The mention of her father sparked disinterest, and Lisa turned back to look at her typewriter.

JUST SAY IT! Excerpt Cut from the Final Draft

She closed her eyes.

‘Forty-years-old and no husband. It’s unthinkable. How could it possibly happen to a daughter of mine?’

Having a forty-year-old daughter did not sit comfortably with Cynthia, especially a forty-year-old unmarried one.  She squirmed inwardly, turning up her stinky fish nose and pursing her lips as the phrase spinster of the parish flashed into her mind.

She wasn’t really surprised. She always felt Katie’s choice of men over the years had been questionable. Probably satisfying in the bedroom department perhaps, but none of them ever had any money.

In Cynthia’s mind, money, lots of it, and preferably a title were the essential ingredients to sustain a successful marriage.

IT’S GOT TO BE DONE: THE FINAL EDIT

THE EDITING NIGHTMARE – THE END! Well, all bar the kicking, screaming and the next wave of submissions. Or should that be the other way around?

JUST WRITE THE DAMN SYNOPSIS!

Capturing the essence of a 90,000 words (±) novel is a bloody nightmare. We spend weeks, months and years, scripting stories, creating characters, in 500; is a bloody nightmare. Or is it because and I’m trying too hard too hard in my attempts to wow a potential agent?  

FINDING THE COURAGE TO TAKE THAT LEAP OF FAITH

When your writing life begins to smack of lemons, you start questioning your ability. Have you really got the courage to take that leap of faith and separate yourself from the rest of the pack? However determined you are to get into print, it is not enough. You need courage, shedloads of it if you are ever going toContinue reading “FINDING THE COURAGE TO TAKE THAT LEAP OF FAITH”

Stone Angel – Short Story

The wind drops, the rustling of the leaves stops as a feeling of déjà vu washes over me. I’ve felt this rigid iciness beneath my fingertips before.  Thirty-five years ago. I remember.

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