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Showing posts from June, 2013

The Kindness of Strangers

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What’s happened to all the spare time I thought I’d have after completing Book 3? It’s a question I ponder as I leave Tom and my comfort zone and head off alone to fulfil one of my new roles serving on the committee of the Romantic Novelists' Association. I know it’s lame, but I’m pretty hopeless at finding my way round London and always dread it. Today though, I’m armed with maps and directions carefully printed for me by Tom and instructions from Rose to ignore the hurry everyone else is in and to take my time. What can go wrong?


The plan goes slightly awry at Epsom where I’ve spent the night at Ma’s. At the station I congratulate myself on picking a quiet time to travel, but, seconds before the 8.17 to Waterloo train arrives, the platform is flooded with commuters and I’m outgunned and outmanoeuvred in the rush for a seat. Well never mind, there’s enough room for me and my bag to stand out the way and I can quietly read my Kindle. Except, of course, that with every passin…

One Story Closes...

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Towards the end of a ninety-thousand word writing journey, all I can think of is reaching The End. By this stage, I’m pretty tense wondering if all the story threads will knit together; I used to think I was a ‘plotter’, but three books down the line, I realise I work with the spark of an idea and by allowing space for my characters to grow. This means that I’m constantly going back, revising my work in the light of what I’ve found out, but even so the final chapters still feel like hurtling down a helter-skelter hoping I don’t crash-land!

The next test for me is handing the manuscript over to Tom. He may be my other half, but it doesn’t make it any less excruciating knowing he’s reading my work as there’s no hiding his reaction. Fortunately the man with the red correcting pen says, ‘yes’. I also take it to be a good sign that he’s sat and read the story straight through, barely moving from his chair. Then it’s a matter of making the last-minute corrections, giving it a bit of …