Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Still writing, walking and gardening



So, it's July, the start of summer, and lockdown is slowly being eased (for now.)

It's been an unusual few months, to say the least, a period of adjustment. Thanks to some wonderful weather and a garden to escape into, and fields and woods to walk through, I feel as if I've adjusted fairly well... that's not to say I'm not panicking slightly at the thought that my husband and daughter  may never return to full-time working. I hadn't quite realised until this week how much I value my own space! But, overall, I consider myself lucky to have not been badly affected, and it's good to spend more time than I usually would with some members of my family. And I haven't had to home-school, which is a bonus 😬



I've managed a few socially distanced walks with a friend, and am planning to meet up with another very soon, and although my mum won't be coming down from Scarborough for her usual summer break, we stay in close contact via the magic of WhatsApp - probably more so than usual.


As ever, writing has proved a wonderful escape. Mandy and I have almost finished the first draft of our joint pscyhological thriller, provisionally titled The Bad Friend, and have thoroughly enjoyed the process once again. Knowing that Mandy's waiting for my chapter and vice versa is incredibly motivating, as neither wants to let the other down, and the ideas have kept on flowing. And our first book The Secret Sister is going into The Works this month, which is exciting.

I've recently finished working on the structural edits for my solo book and thankfully, my editor loves the story and is excited as I am to see it published, hopefully in October, though schedules are a little uncertain due to the current situation.

I've made a start on my next novel and am enjoying doing some research. It's set mostly in a remote part of Wales and I'm drawing on my vist there last year, up near the mountains. It might be a while before we can go anywhere again, so thank goodness for the internet to fill in the blanks.

Hard to believe we're more than halfway through 2020. I've gone past the baking and jigsaw phase, but am still reading a lot, and am keen on getting to grips with the garden. I've even dug out a border and planted some flowers, which I wouldn't have imagined doing before lockdown. It wasn't easy as there were a few old shrubs with stubborn roots to remove and the soil is full of stones, but there was a nice sense of acheivement when I'd finished. Okay, I was smug as hell.


I often take my camera with me when I go for a walk these days and enjoy snapping flowers and local wildlife, though there's plenty in our - and my mother-in-law's - garden. The birds and animals have got used to seeing me pop up and seem to strike a pose - probably wishing I'd clear off.



I hope your year so far has been safe and healthy and maybe even productive - and if you've been home-schooling you have my undying admiration. I hope it hasn't been too fraught ♥

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Lockdown

A couple of months ago, I was looking forward to meeting my friend and writing partner Amanda Brittany in London, to celebrate the paperback and audiobook release of our psychological thriller The Secret Sister.

How quickly and dramatically life has changed tince then with the country (world) on lockdown due to the highly contagious coronavirus. It sounds like the plot of a dystopian novel, but is sadly all too real.

It's the second week of lockdown and after days of being on an emotional rollercoaster, when I was certain this couldn't be happening and that surely it was fine to go to shopping - where empty supermarket shelves and queues outside the chemist's brought home the reality  - there's been a period of adjustment and acceptance.

A week of sunny, mild weather made it possible to get out in the garden, and to go for walks and fresh air, and limiting exposure to the news and social media, apart from a check of the headlines each morning, has made it possible to focus on writing, at least in short bursts - mostly in the garden.



I've developed a routine of writing longhand every morning, so I have something to type up later on, and now have plenty of notes for my second psychological suspense novel. I'm aiming to get the first draft in early, which will be a first! I'm also expecting the edits for book 1 back any day, so that should keep me busy, and Mandy and I have have made a start on our second joint book.

One thing I've learnt is, I don't need a cafe or coffee shop to write, I can do it just as well from the dining table, or sitting out in the garden, so I'm saving a fortune on cups of tea and slices of cake. (Still eating cake, but only homemade until all the flour runs out.)

Reading continues to be a solace and an escape, as I'm sure it is for many people. If you're in the mood for a thriller THE SECRET SISTER is available now in paperback and audiobook. Mandy and I will look forward to celebrating when lockdown is over - which may not be for some time.

Wherever you are, stay safe and healthy xx





Saturday, January 11, 2020

The Secret Sister

After a lovely Christmas, the new decade got off to a great start with the digital release of THE SECRET SISTER which has had some great feedback from readers already. (The paperback will follow in April for those of you who prefer print books!)

It's nice to celebrate these things, so co-writer Mandy and I headed into London for lunch and inbetween stuffing ourselves with pizza, talked non-stop about writing, in particular our next book, due out next year, which has the working title The Bad Friend.












After signing a 2-book contract with new publisher HQ/HarperCollins, I'm excited to be working with them on my first, solo psychological suspense novel, and I'm a few thousand words into that and enjoying writing it.

My romcoms are still selling well, thanks to the wonderful team at Bookouture sourcing special promotional opportunities, and my first THE BEACHSIDE SWEET SHOP will be in a Kindle Deal in Austraila later this month.

Aside from writing, it's been a wet, grey start to the year, but I've done plenty of walking through muddy woods and fields, which has been good for getting my brain away from mince pies and Christmas cake and back into writing mode (and good for working off all that festive food!)

Whatever you're doing this January, I hope your year has got off to a good start.

Still writing, walking and gardening

So, it's July, the start of summer, and lockdown is slowly being eased (for now.) It's been an unusual few months, to say the ...