I am a perfectly imperfect author, Mum to two fabulous boys & Meniere's slave. Changing the world in my own way to make it a better place for everyone.
These are MY opinions. Don't worry if you don't agree. You choose how you interpret the words. Just remember "at the end of a storm, there's a golden sky..." YNWA. Be kind, caring and compassionate.
Shortlisted 2 consecutive years for a UK Blog Award
Saturday, 10 January 2015
For me, it is not JUST stormy weather…
First of all I want to pass my sincerest condolences to everyone
affected by the events in Paris this week. As someone who has driven through
those idyllic streets with my little boy as my co-driver, it is hard to
contemplate how horrific and terrifying the atrocities must have been for the
local people. We live in uncertain times but we ALL, each and every one of us -
regardless of religion, background, ethnicity – need to stand united for peace, tolerance and
#JESUISCHARLIE #JESUISAHMED xxx
Okay so this is new territory for me. Marketing a
published book, editing a finished manuscript and writing the first draft of my
third, yes my THIRD, novel ALL AT ONCE. Never, ever has time management meant
so much to me. When I say time management, I mean making sure I don’t lose
myself in my work and forget the world around me, not that there is ever any
fear of that with my beautiful boys.
One thing I have learned during my new career change, is
not to be too stuck in one way of doing things. The beauty of being self-employed
is being able to make the decision of how you work.I read a lot of information from other
authors and specialists in the literary world but at the end of the day I work
on what is comfortable for me without it constraining my development and
I thought I would give you a brief update on my work this
This is my debut novel. Full links to purchase the book are on my website.
The links are on the right hand side of this blog, just above the book trailer.
The Synopsis -
height of his playing days, Mark Smith was a talented rugby player and the
consummate professional. He was accused of raping a girl in a totally
fabricated story that could have ended his career. It did end his marriage. He
never found out the whole truth surrounding the allegations. Decades on, Mark
is retired and works as a TV pundit. At a charity event, Annie Swift caught his
eye. Slender and radiant, she lit up the room. Their relationship begins to
blossom but out of the blue, Annie and Mark start to receive malicious texts,
notes and being followed by a car. When Mark approaches the car, he is knocked
off his feet.
Fisher, the investigating officer only realises the gravity of the case when
they are run off the road in a horrific motorway accident. He requests
assistance from DS Phillipa Davies, someone he had admired from afar after
sharing a Christmas party kiss. Together they unravel the case and find they
share a love for rough, playful sex. The extent of the twenty year conspiracy
against Mark unfolds with disastrous consequences.
Marketing is really tough and time consuming but
absolutely essential. There is no definitive way of approaching marketing the
book and some days I do wish I had an agent who could guide me through this
minefield. I have in the past, paid for marketing services but in all honesty
they have not given me anymore than I have done for myself. I have made
mistakes but who doesn’t when they are in a new line of work? Life is about
learning from your mistakes and developing as an individual. I am moving
forward slowly but surely.
I am currently editing the draft manuscript. My lovely
publishers do have editors and it will be edited a number of times but I will
only submit it when I am totally (well almost totally) happy with it.
Editing is not just punctuation and grammatical changes,
though they are important especially for a perfectionist. Equally important is
adding those extra special twists that hold the reader’s attention.
Although I had planned this novel, I never really knew the
outcome until it was finished. This is the first draft which means the final
submission to publishers may not resemble this version at all. In fact, I’m
really pleased with the amendments I have made in the first twenty pages.
Because I now know the outcome of the book, it is easy to change a few things
to make the story more exciting and engaging. I think I get more excited at the
first edit when I can finally the mould the story than I do with the first
I work on the basis that the very first draft is only a
blueprint and the final version could be completely different. For this book, I
have allowed my reliable critic to read the rough draft and I am hoping she
will love the final version as much as she loves the draft. Only time will
This is a sequel to Beyond the Past. The synopsis will be
posted in a future post, when I have finalised it.
the Painted Smile
I can’t quite believe I am writing this – Behind the
Painted Smile is my THIRD novel and I have started it with a bang. This is DCI
Fisher and DS Davies’ first major case after the Mark Smith and Annie Swift
case. They are somewhat local celebrities in their own right. A body is washed
up on the banks of the River Wharfe. It is the fourth body to wash up in
Yorkshire rivers in as many months.Harry and Phillipa have a serial killer on their hands. Will Harry head
the inquiry or will it pass over him again? I have the basic outline of the
murderer and the victims. The rest will develop as the storyline develops.
This was a short story I wrote for the BBC Short Story
competition. It was my first ever short story and I am currently working to
change it into a script. I thought it would be good to practice on before I
convert Beyond the Past to a screenplay.
Wow, I have been busy this week, haven’t I? On top of this
I have been to Sheffield three times and done lots of KeyStage Two homework! I
did say I was going to leap into 2015 and I have certainly kept my word. I
wonder how long I can make it last? Well
I got my answer on Thursday as the storms rolled in and everything turned into
one, painfully frustrating go-slow. And on top of that the car developed a
fault rendering it totally out of action and Lucas needed a blood test that
turned into one big massive panic attack (him, not me) because the nurse stuck
the needle in his arm and completely missed his vein! Oh the joys!!
The storms cause a massive headache, quite literally for
me. Over the last 12 months the Menieres has become more prevalent, which I
knew it would but was hoping I could manage it without medication and I do, most
days, to be fair. However, storms are an absolute killer for me. I can feel the
pressure building in my ears and the back of my head. The tinnitus becomes
louder and louder to the point that I want to scream. Then, after the physical
symptoms comes the overwhelming feeling of uselessness and frustration. I know
what I have to do, when I want it done by but the worst thing in the world, is
your body not allowing you to do what your mind knows needs to be done. I sound
like Captain Jack Sparrow!!
Imagine loud music playing in your head PERMANENTLY and
you trying to sleep through it. That is what the tinnitus is like. Imagine
being in a room of loud people and trying to hear the one soft voice at the
side of you. I live with that every day. On top of the constant noise, then
imagine having your worst ever hangover every day when you have not touched a
drop of alcohol. I feel all this 24/7 when we have stormy weather. It is SO
frustrating and quite frankly, depressing. As hard as I try the self confidence
and self-esteem slips and I’m back to square one for a short while. I want to lock myself in a room but I can’t
because in spite of feeling like this, the boys rely on me to be their mentor,
their bread winner and most of all their Mum. Thankfully they understand this
invisible monster and are very good at adapting when I am not well. They know to
come to me and speak to me rather than shout from another room – I simply
wouldn’t hear them.
I used to hide that I had Menieres, I saw it as some sort
of flaw in me. I wouldn’t acknowledge the bad days and would try to carry on.
Now I embrace it. I accept it is a part of me and Bob Marley was absolutely
right when he wrote, “You never know how strong you are until being strong is
the only choice you have.” I don’t accept I have to live within limitations but
I accept the limitations are there. Some days I can push those boundaries
further than others and it may take me longer than most to get where I want to
be but while there is a breath in my body and the boys need a role model, I
will fight to achieve my personal goals.
Stay safe everyone and make every day count.
Never take for granted your freedom, your rights and your