Congratulations Kathy and Alice!
Look! My friend Jen Silver is with us today! Yes, y’all should be as excited about that as I am, especially since she’s giving away two signed copies of Calling Home. Drop a comment in the space below to enter the drawing and I’ll select the winners on Friday, August 31, 2018.
I’ve had eight books published in just four years with a ninth due out in February 2019. This astounds me.
It’s been a wonderful journey. As well as writing the stories, I’ve attended conferences, taken part in readings, panels, and generally had a wonderful time meeting so many authors and readers both in real life and on social media.
So, why have I written that in the past tense? Well, since the end of May when I submitted the manuscript for my ninth book to my publisher, Affinity Rainbow Publications, I haven’t been writing. (Apart from a few blogs.)
And I feel like part of me is missing.
It’s been a great few months for other activities. With the hot, dry weather we experienced in the UK from the middle of May (it started to rain in August), I’ve enjoyed playing golf, especially seeing the ball run and run on straw-like fairways. In archery, I’ve completed the three rounds I need to receive a Bowman classification badge for this year. My wife and I have visited a number of interesting places around the area so she can obtain photos for the 2019 calendar she is creating to send friends and family.
Other highlights of the summer have been the week-long Happy Valley Pride Festival in Hebden Bridge featuring the Lesbian Writers Read evening and the inaugural European Lesfic Literary Conference in Bristol. Great opportunities to once again mingle with authors and readers in person.
But while I have enjoyed all this, niggling at the back of my mind is the thought, why am I not writing? Where have the ideas gone? I have the name for a new character but she has no friends, no job, and no identifying features. I tell myself to be patient. Ideas will come. However, I also know nothing will happen unless I actually sit down in front a blank page and start writing.
That’s the way it’s always happened, so far. I’ve never been a plotter. Maybe my writing muse has taken a holiday because she’s fed up with this casual attitude. Maybe if I try writing an outline, she’ll come back from wherever she’s sunning herself. (I suspect she’s in Tenerife, a favourite location!)
Calling Home, my latest book, was actually inspired by someone I met while we were on holiday in Tenerife a few years ago. One of the first things this woman told us when we met up for a drink after our round of golf, was that she always switched off her phone on arrival at the resort, placed it in the safe, and wouldn’t switch it on again until setting off on the journey home. She wanted a complete escape from the demands of her job and an elderly mother who phoned her every day.
On the plane home I wrote a few notes developing this theme on my StorySkel app with the title, ‘The Lonely Vet’. It was almost two years later before I looked at these notes again and saw the potential for a story. Another StorySkel file held the name of a character with only a name and no background – Berry Fields. When I started thinking about these two characters and how they might meet, the details slowly started to emerge.
That’s all it takes sometimes…a random meeting, a name, and time for ideas to percolate. And sometimes, an injection of real life is a good thing for a writer.
Sarah Frost enjoys her dream job as director of the Frost Foundation making her home at one of their writers’ retreats, The Lodge on the Lake. The general manager of The Lodge is Berry Fields, an old childhood friend.
Galen Thomas arrives at the island to fill the post of handy person, taking an extended break from her vet’s practice to help her decide how to shape her future life and career.
When the next group of writers arrives for their two-week retreat, along with Sarah’s grandmother, tensions start to surface. Magda Frost doesn’t approve of the appointment of the “vet” and still questions Sarah’s decision to hire Berry.
The island idyll is soon undermined by the revelation of events from forty years earlier, threatening the lives and loves of Sarah, Berry, and Galen. Calling home and what they now call home—all are affected by the disturbing legacy from the past.
If you wish to win a signed copy of Calling Home, please leave a comment here to be entered for the giveaway.
After retiring from full time work, Jen thought she would spend her days playing golf, shooting arrows, reading, taking part in archaeological digs, and enjoying quality time with her wife (not necessarily in that order). Instead, she started writing and had her debut novel, Starting Over, published by Affinity Rainbow Publications in 2014. Jen now has eight published novels to her name, a number of short stories. For the characters in Jen’s stories, life definitely begins at forty, and older, as they continue to discover and enjoy their appetites for adventure and romance.
Check her out at www.jenjsilver.com. Also to be found on Facebook and Twitter.