Phew! I've done it. Not being very IT literate, I'm proud of myself for setting up a blog, as I've only ever surfed the net and sent emails before.
I'm a mum of three children - all 6ft tall, but time flies as they say. My husband and I set up our own business, designing and building garden rooms earlier this year. (http://www.roomworks.co.uk/) So my working background, spent in hospitals and a doctor's surgery, has now become a future as a company director and aspiring novelist.
The recession has a lot to answer for, but it kick-started a dream which emerged from a nightmare. Although I couldn't control the upheavel of having to move or rent out our home, I could keep my house and the village safe in print and my heart. As I walked the dogs across the village green, past the cows grazing on common land and around the cricket pitch, I knew I had a setting for my story. The village, Car Colston in Notts, doesn't have any shops but it has an amazing, welcoming pub called The Royal Oak. (If you ever find yourself in Car Colston, you must try Vicky's Steak and Ale Pie. You'll move house to be closer to it!) I used the benches in the Royal Oak's garden as the place where the protagonist Tess, first sees the hero, Daniel.
From the cricket pitch, you can see Car Colston Hall. It's a privately-owned, awe-inspiring building which I knew was where my hero would live. It has turrets, huge chimneys which reach to the sky, vast stone-mullioned windows and an orangerie. In the winter as dusk is falling, a pale yellow light flickers in one of the windows. I almost felt that if I knocked on the door, my gorgeous hero would answer it with paint splattered clothes from working on his art.
The book took over my life. The dogs lost weight and the washing piled high. (Only joking about the dogs! They even have a walk on part in my story.) Anyway, back to my book. I've never known time to fly so fast. I felt like the characters were my friends and I fell in love with the hero. Towards the climax of the story, where Daniel holds an art exhibition at the Hall, my fingers tumbled over the keys as they tried to keep up with the pictures and conversations in my head. After all these years, I finally know how it feels to be, 'in the zone.'
It took me three months to write 90,000 words and I've spent six months editing it. I've started a blog because I'd like to hear from other published/unpublished authors, and find out how you were inspired to write and the trials and tribulations of trying to find a literary agent. I am taking the first tentative steps towards finding a publisher, which I know may take years, if ever. But my love of writing is a reward in itself, which explains why I'm on Chapter 4 of my second novel. It's opens in another wonderful part of the world which is special to me. Aubterre sur Dronne, in Southern France. (google it, it's heaven on earth.) Anyway, more about that later in the year.
I have travelled to London to attend the She Magazine workshop with Cathy Kelly and I went to a masterclass in How To Get Published at The London Book Fair. One tip was to start a blog and get my book out there, so here I am!