My excuse for not having blogged for six months is that I have been rather busy finishing, and now publicising, my first novel! Still can't quite believe that when I write it...
I have been writing fiction since I was a child, filling exercise books with excruciatingly bad stories complete with lavish illustrations, so I suppose it's no surprise that I have ended up being a commercial writer and designer. But my yearning was always to be a ‘proper’ writer, a writer of stories, a writer of novels!
My first novel, ‘A Sticky End’, is a joint effort with my old friend Joanna Sheen. We have attended many writing groups and writing courses together but never quite managed to finish a novel. I’ve written short stories, and even radio plays and some 60,000 words of a memoir that never got past the ‘two thirds sag’ stage – one of many nasty afflictions that seem to plague writers.
Joanna, who didn’t build up her own very successful business without being a bit of workaholic, announced last year that we ought to try and write a book together. I heard the smack of the thrown gauntlet as it hit the table, and I flinched a bit. Work together? I was not sure about that… we had collaborated on a radio play once before, and that had gone fairly well (although the BBC didn’t much like it)… but a whole novel?
Well, nine month later, it’s fair to say that had we not bullied and chivvied each other relentlessly, the novel would not have been finished. There have been tantrums along the way (mine), arguments about the cover design (me again) and last minute changes to the names of characters (I’ll hand that one to Joanna), but as a ‘process’, writing it jointly has definitely worked.
Next Tuesday, 1st October, Joanna and I are meeting up again to start planning book two in the Swaddlecombe Mysteries series! We’ve both got ideas about where Victoria and Albert go next, so much plotting will be taking place over Joanna’s kitchen table during the next few weeks… and then the writing will begin in earnest.