Then one Christmas, rather underwhelmed at the prospect of yet another re-run of Only Fools and Horses, I had a story idea about a school reunion – and, in particular, a reunion of people who all have very conflicting memories of their school days…I wrote in between Christmas crackers and sherry, and soon had a few chapters under my belt. I finished that first draft in just over three months – was very pleased with myself! Though in retrospect I now realise that doing the first draft is only the first stage in a very long process…
That book became Old School Ties and since then I’ve had two more published, and my fourth novel, The Self-Preservation Society, is out this month. I’m more nervous about this one because it deals with a theme which is very personal to me: fear. I’ve always been a real scaredycat – and I know it can hold you back in all sorts of ways. I think being published and, in the last year, achieving my dream of becoming a full-time writer, has definitely helped me become a little braver.
I’ve just finished my fifth book, and this one is a bit of a departure for me as it’s a real Sex in the City style comedy (my other novels are more thirtysomething focused). And once the edits for that are done, I will begin my sixth, which I have to write by the end of the year. As a former journalist, I need deadlines, though I slightly scared by the ones I’ve set myself. Wouldn’t swap this life for the world, though. How amazing to get paid to make up stories. I’m still pinching myself!"
Thank you Kate and Lucy for their foresight to set up the Novel Racers. it has made writing this year a more pleasurable and less lonely experience.
Today is confirmation day. It's early. I'm cooking and cleaning. Just hope I remember to enjoy the day!