So, where have I written this week? As well as writing at home, I have used my laptop to write with my writing group in a local café and on train journeys, and I have failed to type on a bus journey (the laptop kept sliding around and risked falling off my lap). I have fleshed out a character while waiting for a physiotherapy appointment, and I even had half an hour with my laptop while my husband was avidly exploring the motor museum at Bentley Estate, before we went to see the wildfowl together. Read more
Until a couple of years ago, I had to squeeze time for writing out of a busy schedule; I have four children, now all adults, and have enjoyed an interesting and satisfying career, so writing was very much relegated to third place, after my family and earning a living, both of which took a great deal of time and energy. I have always been an early riser, and it used to be my routine to write for an hour or so first thing in the morning, before anyone else got up.
Two years ago, I reduced my hours at work considerably. My youngest son, the only one of my children still living at home, was by then nineteen, and involved in his own work and studies. So I looked eagerly forwards to writing more than ever before. Read more
It was early in 1997 that my sister-in-law asked me whether, amidst raising four children, running a business with my husband, and tutoring in the evenings, I ever longed to indulge in something creative that was just for me. I opened my mouth to admit that yes, I’d love to go back to playing the piano regularly, but what came out was, “Yes! I want to write! There’s a story I want to tell, but I don’t know how!”
At her urging, I tried to get my idea down on paper. At first, I thought I was writing a short story; that expressing the tale that invaded my sleep and my memories would be enough. But, as I tried to find the words, as I haltingly described my characters and their world, it became clear that there were too many threads for a short story, and that weaving them all together would result in a novel. Read more
It has been an enormous privilege for me to have been involved with my father in writing his memoirs.
One of the facets of the decision to self-publish my books, is the need to createbook covers that are appealing and suit the contents of each book. I am fortunate to have a very helpful photographer/designer (Jason from www.atomswarm.com) who takes my pictures, then edits the images and adds text and details to make each book cover. I’d much rather set up photoshoots of the characters in my books, then have a designer create a less personal cover.
I am very fortunate that my location and lifestyle make it easy to notice and appreciate the changing seasons. At this time of year, for example, there is the steady increase in levels of light as I leave and return home; the unfurling leaves on the goat willow tree outside my bathroom window; the crocuses and daffodils, planted by my children when they were small at the edge of the lawn, which have multiplied and spread, and raise their brave yellow flags every spring (this year, through the snow); the quality of the dawn light, which now enters my bedroom not only earlier, but at a sharper angle; the lambing and calving on neighbouring farms; and all the other reminders that the winter is over, and my world is renewing its association with the light. Usually, changing temperatures are part of this – last year, we spent most of Easter weekend relaxing in the garden in shirtsleeves – but it snowed again yesterday, and the chill winds and frosty mornings remind us that winter can be tenacious, too!
I’d like to start by thanking all those of you who have read Brightly Shines the Darkness, and for your kind comments. A couple of people have asked me the same question, and in case others are wondering the same thing, I thought I would answer it here on the blog.
The first book in the Skywatchers series is now available for Kindle; see http://www.amazon.co.uk/Brightly-Shines-Darkness-Skywatchers-ebook/dp/B00AI1AMI6/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1354695773&sr=8-1
Thank you to all who sent me feedback, both on the draft cover for my book and on the prologue. Here is the final version of the cover, and, for those of you who asked to read more of the book, here is a link to the beginning of chapter one.
Here is the provisional cover for my first book – what do you think? All comments welcome!