Book Hangover

I’m no stranger to the normal type of hangover but who’d have thought the booky type would be just as exhausting? Here I am needing comfort food, jammies and easy conversation and I haven’t touched a drop! It’s simply not on – the next time I feel this bad, I want to have had a wee tipple at the very least.

The source of this exhaustion is my new kindle. I’ve always been a paperback & bookmark kind of girl but recently I had to buy a new phone and the screen is so darn big I thought I might as well download the app.

Those of you less Luddite than myself will already know the kindle format but this was a complete novelty – there are no pages…that’s right no pages. Instead you’re told what percentage of the book you’ve read. This is an absolute nightmare for someone as competitive as me – ‘I’ve done 50%? That’s not even a pass mark!’  I had to do a whole lot better than 50% – I couldn’t stop until I’d scored at least 75%. That’s a B+ in old money I think.

Then there’s the whole light-off discipline. With a normal book & a hubby with a normal job, you tend to do the decent thing – you get just to the end of the chapter and switch off so everyone can get some shut-eye. Now I can read all night without him indoors even noticing. It’s like owning that mythical wine glass – the one that just keeps re-filling itself.

So if I ever want to finish writing my next novel, I’m going to have to go back to paper and that gentle moment when you close the pages and get some sleep.

Kindle – it should some with a health warning “May Cause Book Hangovers”



Launch Day

Publication day has finally arrived and I couldn’t be happier. Two years after deciding to write the novel, it’s on the shelves and that’s incredible exciting.

I hadn’t realised how emotional the whole process would be. It is tough submitting your manuscript and facing rejection but there have been real highs too. When I’d actually written 83,000 words and then was accepted for publication by Red Door I felt completely euphoric. I’d achieved my goal. It was a late spring day and I had a little glass of bubbly in the garden.

The publishing process takes longer than I’d imagined but I’m delighted with the book and can’t stop stroking the lovely shiny cover! Tonight is my first launch event with friends in Chorlton – where the novel is set. I hope I manage to hold it together for the evening and I hope everyone has a good time.

So for now, I’d like to thank everyone who has helped me along the way. If I can offer you help with your writing goals, drop me a line. We’re all in this together.

Finally – thanks to my dog Angus. He’s been with me through all the angst and as long as he gets a good walk, quite frankly he can’t see what all the fuss is about!20170221_121550[1]

A lifetime in book Part Deux

Although I kept a diary throughout my teenage years (and therefore know that TH loved JD – even though I have noooo idea who they are now), I didn’t write about my favourite books very often. I do remember my late teens; they were mainly taken up with reading books from the school curriculum. Like many, I studied Jane Austen and Keats. I loved Keats but wasn’t really a fan of Mr Darcy et al. The literature that really captured my imagination and my heart was french literature. I read L’assomoir at the age of 17 and was blown away. It has the honour of being the first book ever to make me cry. I still remember the pit pony being brought to the surface after a lifetime of being underground. He smelt fresh grass and briefly recalled it before dying. Ah! Tears are forming even now! I read more and more Zola sometimes yelling out to the characters as they were about to make life-changing mistakes. It was never a happy read with Zola but boy was it powerful.

A lifetime in books

I was talking books with my young niece the other day – she’s a prolific reader and it was an absolute joy to discover we loved the same characters. My niece is currently reading Enid Blyton – Mallory Towers and St. Clare’s. They’re inspiring her as much as they inspired me and as she spoke of the mischievous Gwendoline, the tomboyish Alice, the midnight feasts and the tricks they played on the French Mistress – boy those memories came flooding back. It turns out we both wanted to be Darryl – the Head Girl. I remember devouring the entire series, keen to find out what happened next and then re-reading them, not wanting to leave that fantasy world. These books defined my early reading – around the age of eight I think – and I can still remember the characters and the adventures they had. My niece has inspired me to think through the different stages of my life and pick the stories that influenced me most. The next post – teenage school days.