I’m aware that I haven’t been in touch on this website, rather I’ve been posting on Facebook and Twitter but am about to remedy this.
2018 hasn’t turned out to be the year I thought it would be. On 17th May, while we were away on holiday in Menorca, I received a text from Choc Lit asking me to contact them with a view to discussing publication of The Boys of Summer, a manuscript I had submitted to them earlier in the year. Coming the day before my birthday I believed this was a good omen; that things could only get better. The next day – my birthday evening, I slipped off the bottom step of the staircase in our villa. I was stone cold sober, not a drop of alcohol had passed my lips – in fact we were about to have a pre-dinner drink and the wine was sitting in a cooler on the coffee table. I figured such a small slip would at worst see me with a sprain. Instead I ended up in Mahon ED, was x-rayed and my ankle put in a plaster. I was told it was fractured and that I should I to go to my own ED department as soon as I returned to the UK. Back home I discovered I had a triple break which required surgery and plating. So began a very long journey which was to impact on everything, including my writing life.
It was a month before I felt ready to attempt any writing. Everything I had taken for granted was turned on its head. In the days following my return home I had to get used to a whole new way of living with a non-weight bearing plaster. It totally took over my life and I couldn’t concentrate on anything else. I spent those early days reading and binge watching TV box sets. The glorious summer we had helped as it meant I could at least sit in the garden and enjoy the sunshine while I read. Happily though, the need to write eventually returned. In late June I received my contract from Choc Lit which meant I knew I had to get moving on my second book for them. I’d already got an idea in my mind for a story set on the South Cornish coast. Fowey and Polruan, holiday destinations which I have great memories of, became my fictitious towns of East and West Kingswater. The characters gradually began to evolve. Some I kept, some got lost along the way. However as my writing is organic, things do have a habit of changing. I’m now happy with what I have – working title Heron’s Gate is now 20,000 words in and another 60,000 to go. A long journey, yes, but one which I now have a mental sat nav for- although that’s not to say it’s the route the story will eventually take. I always try to keep an open mind while writing and am never surprised at what happens before I type THE END.
Now to my second project. Wicked Game. This was previously published as The Other Side of Morning, the fifth book in my Little Court series. Before I was contracted to Choc Lit, I had decided to take all these books off Amazon, rework and re-publish them. The first one When Tomorrow Comes, was published in 2008, ten years ago. I thought the series was commercial but hadn’t sold as well as it could have. Those were my early writing days and as an indie author I still had a lot to learn, particularly about marketing. So I decided to update, organise new covers and then re-publish. I was all set to do this when Choc Lit accepted The Boys of Summer, so it rather skewed the project and put it on the back burner. However, The Other Side of Morning kept niggling at me, it simply wouldn’t go away. It was the one book which could be read as a stand alone. It featured the second generation of the families and wasn’t directly connected to the other four books. After a lot of deliberating I made the decision to go ahead and work on it. Now completed it is nearly 30,000 words slimmer and has a fabulous a new cover courtesy of Jane Dixon Smith. I had plans to publish at the end of October, but with all the Christmas titles out there at the moment and a delay on the formatting date I decided maybe it would be best to hold off until the new year.
I will be back later with more information about the cover reveal, publication date and also when it will be available for pre-order. Republishing a book is a delicate balance but I believe the story is strong enough to attract new readers who enjoy romantic sagas which are just a little bit different.
And the ankle? When the final plaster came off in July I had a orthopaedic boot for a month and physio. It’s been a long journey. I’m still maintaining my daily physio regime but I never lost my determination to get back to walking normally – and I’m pleased to say I’m nearly there. I’ve kept a diary and although the daily changes in my mobility may be small, looking back through it lets me see how far I’ve come and keeps me positive.