Christmas is coming and finding presents for the younger members of our families is at the forefront of our minds. Today, we have a great idea for the 8-12-year-olds in your lives, the recently published Billy’s Brain Booster Juice which, as the reviews will tell you is… a rip-roaring tale!! Perfect for 8-12-year-olds.
It gives me great pleasure to introduce you to Billy’s creator, the author Becci Murray from Gloucestershire. Becci has written sketches for children’s television, along with theatre plays for a children’s drama company and now, Billy’s Brain Booster Juice.
The first time he invited her back to his flat for a drink after a cocktail party to celebrate the New Year, she took advantage of his inebriated state. He flopped on to the sofa next to her, and she turned toward him, straddling his lap and pinning him down. Covering his mouth with hers, he felt he couldn’t breathe. Although way out of his comfort zone, being pounced on by an eighteen-year-old siren with the sexual appetite of a tigress, resistance was futile. If he had any doubts about the morality of his seduction, Elizabeth had no intention of giving him any time to think about it.
In the foggy waking moments of his hangover the following day, he dismissed what had happened between them for what it was, drunk sex. It would never happen again. He only had a few weeks left in London, and he would make sure he kept a low profile.
The year is 1958 and my main character, Lisa Grant, has not yet been born. I would like to introduce you to her charismatic young father, Fergus. On the brink adulthood, he is still enjoying his carefree life before he meets the force of nature that is Lisa’s mother, Elizabeth.
In June 2016 an idea for a book I’d been carrying around in my head for years, began clogging up my thought process. I needed to write it, a.s.a.p. and, as luck would have it… I was made redundant. So I threw myself into writing Just Say It.
After I started it, I realised I had little else apart from the main character and, after writing the first draft, she was beginning to sound alarmingly like me. The pantser-style first draft was nothing more than an autobiographical unburdening of my life to date, with a large dollop of post-redundancy frustration on top.
After a total overhaul of the original manuscript my MC, Lisa Grant, thankfully, took on a life of her own. It took me four and a half years to finish her story. The storyline often going off at tangents, which produced unrealistic MC goals and hours of frustrating rewrites.
Lisa Grant is leaving the UK for good to live in The Algarve to work at father’s vineyard. Her car breaks down at Portsmouth where she bumps into old flame Rory who, fortunately for Lisa, is also headed for Portugal. Rory gallantly offers to drive Lisa there and they decide to take their time travelling through Spain and Portugal to do a bit of sightseeing.
Seduced by the rush of the incoming tide, I walk towards the shimmering haze where the cool Atlantic Ocean meets the sun-drenched shore. My pace quickens, the hot sand burns the soles of my feet.
The sun, high in the azure blue sky, heats my tanned and tingling skin as I walk slowly along the water’s edge. The powder puff clouds drift slowly by on the velvet breeze, its feathery touch fluttering against my face.
This excerpt from The Secret Lives of The Doyenne of Didsbrook introduces you to a young Lucy Fothergill who is the main character in this murder mystery spoof.
I was so cold and my heart felt like a bird trapped inside my chest. My head hurt and something warm trickled from my forehead, over my eyes, down my cheeks and on to my lips. I licked them and they tasted salty. A strong, pungent metallic smell, which I couldn’t instantly identify, drifted up my nostrils.
I’ve forgotten when I hugged you for the last time. It was so long ago because the evil disease took its time to destroy your body and your vibrant mind until it sucked the very last breath from your lungs.
Yesterday I went to four sessions at the Jersey Festival of Words, it was the day for me to soak up the words of wisdom, as well as support, local writing talent and hopes of coming away with a better understanding of what literary agents are looking for.
Without an agent, your labour of love, AKA your novel, isn’t going anywhere and, with each rejection, you are engulfed by an overwhelming urge to self-publish. A few of your friends, as well as people you have never met, have read it and given you favourable feedback, but if your MS isn’t attracting an agent, then maybe you should think twice as to whether your labour of love is worthy of self-publication.
Over a million authors self-published during 2017, so there is plenty of competition out there. But, before you chuck your manuscript in the bin, be buoyed up by this…
Stephen King’s first big novel, Carrie, was rejected 30 times. He tossed it in the wastebasket but his wife fished it out. He earned $39 million in 2012.
I am impatient, true to my birth sign, Aries, but my dotage years are too close for comfort, so I need to get on and resolve my dilemma. Cultivating patience and continue to try and find an agent to work with, or give way to my impatience and join the ever-swelling ranks of the self-published?
Writing is not for the faint-hearted. The hardest part for all us aspiring writers is maintaining the motivation and drive to, as a fellow writers group member so succinctly put it… push you over the line.’
We need to keep the faith in our ability as writers and drive ourselves from final draft stage to getting published.
I’ve been having one final, brutal, word cull of the final draft.
This is one of the scenes I’ve cut when my MC realises her life is stagnating and I would like to share it with you.
Over the last few years, I have benefited enormously from the support and encouragement from fellow writers. One such person is fiction writer Rajani Sharma, from Bhilai in Central India. Her own writing journey started during her teenage years when she kept a journal. Now married with two children, her passion and energy for writing should be an inspiration to us all.
In October 2019, the Jersey Writers Social Group will celebrate its second birthday. Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to chat with author James Sillwood who is the founder of the Jersey Writers Social Group, to find out a bit more about his writing journey, as well as the recently published anthology of work by the Jersey Writers Social Group.
Just shy of 4 years and 3 title changes… I’m getting there. #iamwriting
I have no regrets, I have written and finished my first novel. It is not War and Peace, it was never written with the intention of it becoming a literary masterpiece. It’s about life, love and finding out who you are. It is a story that evolved over a four year period, but as I begin my next project I am starting with a clearer idea about where and what my characters are going to be doing with their lives.
Writing is such a solitary process and when the muse bites, it becomes an all-consuming passion, an unstoppable urge that often keeps us up… pounding the keyboard throughout the night.