The countdown has begun with a week to go until my fourth book ‘New Beginnings at Rose Cottage’ is published. I am so excited for Thursday, 8th August to arrive – like a child waiting for Christmas.
All book publications are special to an author but this one feels a little different from my previous three. Book four is my first novel published with the fabulous team at Headline Publishing Group – who’ve embraced my creativity and vivid imagination.
‘New Beginnings at Rose Cottage’ feels different because I have written about a cottage in which I actually stayed whilst visiting Brixham in August 2018. It was a last minute invite from friends to join them on holiday. I hadn’t any intention of planning a novel whilst on holiday, I was there purely to enjoy a good rest amongst such a beautiful location. But my mind never switches off and within three days an idea sprung from nowhere. I noted down three lines outlining my main character cast into my phone app. I still look at those three lines and smile knowing what has been born from those tiny lines.
I use the world around me to stimulate me as an author. Everything that I see, feel and encounter on a daily basis plays a part in creating the world which inspires me. I love people watching. I’ve always been fascinated by watching human beings interact with one another, their gestures, their exchange of communication and body language. It’s no surprise that I felt the urge to study psychology – which helps me to portray my characters.
It’s quite common for me to be intrigued by a passing individual and wonder about their life and experiences. This is how my three new ladies came into the world. In any crowd, I see women who lead full busy lives, for which they sacrifice certain aspects in order to maintain a balance elsewhere. I wanted to explore the nature of these individuals and their inner worlds.
I created three females and sent them on a solos holiday where they know nobody and yet, are expected to live alongside two other strangers in Rose Cottage.
Benni is in her twenties but she’s yet to embark upon the independent life which she craves being a little scared to break free from her comfort zone.
Ruth has dedicated her five decades of life to loving and looking after others but sadly, she’s lost her sense of herself over the years.
Emma is an energetic thirty-something who recognises that she’s taken the wrong path in life. She wants to be her own boss but can she use her talents to secure her future?
I wanted to see their personalities and experiences entwine capturing the changes that can occur when we are placed in a new surrounding and allowed to be ourselves for two weeks. And so, ‘New Beginnings at Rose Cottage’ was born.
New Beginnings at Rose Cottage is available from Amazon and Waterstones.
I class myself as a fairly tidy person. I'm a 'everything has its place and everything needs to be in its specific place' kind of person - especially where my writing room is concerned. But, and here is a huge confession from me... in recent weeks I've got into the habit of dropping things into my writing room without putting them away, clearing or generally tidying it. My attitude was simply 'I'm busy, I'll do it another time'. But another time didn't arrive before the next pile of papers/notes/books and so, in quite a short time my room which was the solace for all I do has become an utter disgrace.
To the extent that I couldn't actually work in there without feeling the need to chastise myself every twenty minutes for the piles of paper, books, notes which cluttered every surface. The reality was I had morphed into a grungy teenager with a cluttered bedroom.
Today, I mucked it out!
It has taken hours.
Seriously, I'm not joking but boy, have I done a grand job.
I have thrown out years of stored paper be it notes, synopsis, scribbled details - gone. All gone! Three bin liners worth of gone!
Whilst 'mucking out' I have revived my love for this particular room, the tiniest room in our house. In this one room, I have created all five of my published books. I have written each NaNoWriMo project. I have pondered my possibilities of ever being published, cried about the hours spent writing before becoming a published author, opened numerous rejection letters and even, sat questioning whether I should sign the first publishing deal I was ever offered? Seriously, I did. All those things have happened in this tiny room, which I claimed as my writing room. Each one a moment on my journey towards becoming a published author.
And now, just two years after publication, I've had to literally 'muck it out' in a ruthless manner to clear away the debris enabling me to breathe. Amidst the fragrant polish and clear surfaces, I have regained my quiet solace and tomorrow, I will say goodbye to the dining room table and return to writing in my writing room.
And should I need to deliver a pile of paper to my work room, I promise to put them away immediately - otherwise I will ground myself for a week without internet connection in an attempt to curb my unwanted habit.