I am pleased to share a brief surprise; more and more people are reading my book, and its Amazon rating has climbed up the charts.
Last year, I gifted three copies to the local library, and my reward was a PLR payment (Public Lending Rate). Although not an enormous sum, I accepted this as a recognition of having produced an entertaining novel, and people were enjoying the story.
On completion of my writing course with the Open University (UK) I drafted this book as confirmation of my progress of the writers’ craft. This book took ten months to complete, writing in the evenings for three hours on and off. I had a lovely editor who kept my motivation on track, as I almost tore it up for burning.
Will I write another one? People tell me I should.
If only they knew the determination and work involved? However, the enjoyment of writing is my best reward.
“I was found wrapped in my mum’s coat – but who am I.”
Today, I was enthralled by the story of Mr Tony May, who, as a newborn, was found wrapped in a coat on the Victoria Embankment by the River Thames, London, in December 1942.
His adoptive parents assumed he was an abandoned GI baby, and it was not until 70 years later that Tony discovered the truth.
“Tony thought he was the result from a liaison between a British woman and an American GI. It’s estimated that about 22,000 children were born in this way between 1942 and 1945.”
Family history and genetic identity are subjects of great curiosity for many people who crave to know the past about their family and relatives. There is a sense of satisfaction they feel when they can complete a family tree and learn about their own personal history.
Genealogist, Julia Bell, was successful in tracking down many American servicemen as the fathers of the GI children left behind in the UK. She took up Tony May’s quest as a challenge since he didn’t know who his mother was, or his father.
In Mr Tony May’s case, the discovery of his biological parents and circumstances of his birth was a revelation and, in many respects, a sad story.
You can read the full story by Claire Bates on the BBC web page.
I was pleasantly surprised at the high number of downloads so far, but then again most people like to have a rummage around an unknown person’s attic – so to speak. You never know what they may find and perhaps a copy of their school pictures – now that is creepy.
I trust we are all adjusting our daily lives to cope with the various governments’ reactive decisions to deal with Covid-19.
When we were children, we would sit with our grandmother and gaze at the boats on the lake.
She would stitch away at her patchwork quilt and listen to our problems.
‘Remember,’ she once said. ‘Hitting people is wrong; although,’ she laughed.
‘A quick slap to make a point and a kick up the butt is good for lazy ne’er-do-wells.’
She shook her head and pointed at us. ‘Yea, they soon forget the pain and may even thank you.’
‘Whatever you do; don’t torment people.’ She wagged her finger. ‘Emotional scars don’t heal.’
She would never talk about Uncle John.
My inspiration for the novel came after meeting relatives at recent funerals. We knew of each other but have never kept in touch, in one case I made the presumption that two people were my cousins. We had started school together and played games on their farm. We were the same age, and I assumed at the time they were my cousins. I called their father, uncle. It was only recently that I learned they were my father’s cousins.
With family secrets and misinformation, I developed the novel. It is a collection of snippets of real events each balanced on the premise of something missing. On the surface, the main character Laura is missing her mother, but underneath every other person in the book is missing an important aspect of their lives.
I believe the revelation in the novel asks the questions;
Who suppresses the family secrets in your lives?
Would you want to know?
During one of the Indie Authors’ Meetings I attend, I met an enthusiastic writer who told me he writes a book in 30 days and within two months gets it published. I never grasped in what genre he writes. He is on his third book of his trilogy, so perhaps it’s fantasy. Good luck to him.
I am afraid I took my time with my first novel, almost 12 months. I searched for inspiration in Stephen King’s ‘On Writing -A Memoir of the Craft.’ Like all crafts, the skill involved improves with experience, and there is nothing new in that piece of wisdom. However, putting the advice into practice and taking action really matters.
My idea was simple: Young girl taken into care, her father is dead, her mother is missing and is a murder suspect. Years later, girl sets out on a journey to find her mother.
Perhaps not the exciting thriller you might expect; my point was to take an idea and focus on the premise to produce a great story for a novel.
Writing, getting edited and proofread, setting up my publishing imprint and eventually putting the book out into the world was a great experience of self-learning.
Now that I have trod this beaten track, I have an enormous admiration for the hundreds of writers who tirelessly have followed their dream and can make a living writing their books.
My first novel, MISSING, is now available to order in any bookshop, online retailer or library both in paperback and ebook.
When Laura was three years old, she was dragged away from her garden swing and taken into care. This experience created feelings, as she grew up, of being abandoned and unwanted by her mother.
As an adult, she contacts a librarian in the village where she was born for assistance in tracing her relatives. She ignores an anonymous warning to stay away.
In Russet House, she finds photographs of her mother, and from newspaper cuttings hidden in the attic she reads about a horrific event.
Laura is shocked by the tragedy and with the help of a retired detective is determined to solve the mystery. However, their investigation unsettles those close to Laura who advise her to let the past rest.
Laura had come to Kirkindale to find her mother, instead she discovered her identity was a lie.
I have completed thirty seven chapters of the book and I am on the third editing cycle. (Will I ever finish?). The book cover is also a draft.
Comments welcome – the good, the bad and the ugly – my skin is thicker than an elephant’s.