Friday 3rd January 2020
Today is the first day I have had since the first of September when I didn't have much of the day planned—when there wasn't a list of 'jobs' that needed to be done straight away. This is not a complaint—I like having some structure to my life even if it is dictated by jobs I don't like (cleaning, for instance). And this doesn't mean there aren't jobs that need doing. 'Christmas' needs to be carefully packed away (including our tree!!) for another year; table cloths from our New Year's All Day family brunch (there were 25 of us) need to be ironed, it's time for our annual clearing out of 'stuff' we haven't used in the past year, which will go to a charity shop, AND OF MOST importance, I am going to start a new book. The story began brewing even before I finished Caution to the Wind and has changed course several times, but I'm ready to begin putting words down 'on paper' for Stealing Thunder (working title).
Having written 9 books now I thought I would comment on my style.
First and foremost, my characters are not static. They are always on the move—travelling by whatever means is pertinent to the story. My leading characters are usually ordinary people, living ordinary lives—to whom something extraordinary happens. Sometimes this brings out the best in them, sometimes the worst. But my books will always have endings that are either happy or are full of hope. I'm by nature an optimist and not only can I not write books with a pessimistic outlook, I don't want to read them either.
I am a very visual person—my stories are usually based on places I have visited or at least have extensively researched. If my story revolves around a particular location that I have 'invented' you can bet I've mapped it (and maybe even included the map in my book). I know where things are in a house because I will have done a plan. I will have visualized my main characters as well.
I also love to do research. I could spend hours digging through material on the internet, traveling from one topic to the next, always looking for new material to 'mine' for my books. A new idea can come from anywhere!
These cold, wet dark wintry days in England are a perfect time for me to double down with a cup of coffee, a warm blanket, my laptop, and frequent visits from our ever-vigilant border terrier, Abbey (see photo)—just to make sure I'm getting on with it.
Thank you to all my readers--I wish you all a very happy 2020!!