Endings and beginnings
It’s four weeks now since I put the finishing touches to my newest book – A Tremarnock Secret – and whizzed it off to my wonderful editor, Rosie, who has been with me since the dawn of my novel-writing career.
Closing the laptop at this point is always a very strange sensation. On the one hand, I’m thrilled to be able to say, ‘It’s done!’ On the other, I know that I’m going to miss the characters that I’ve lived with for the best part of a year and all of a sudden I can feel oddly empty.
I’m always extra tired, too, because once I’m about two thirds of the way through a book and can see the end in sight, I start to work like a maniac. The house begins to fall apart around me, family meal times become unpredictable at best and at worst, it’s a case of every person for him or herself.
The cats are neglected, the washing piles up and all but non-essential emails go unanswered. My husband jokes that he’s frightened of me when I’m ‘in the zone’ and knows better than to walk into my study without knocking because I’ll probably bite his head off. I often think that the families of writers deserve more credit than the writers themselves.
This period of intense labour doesn’t last, of course. I go all out, knowing that soon I’ll be able to take a deep breath, relax, catch up on tasks and most of all, spend some quality time with my friends and family.
Soon after finishing A Tremarnock Secret, I had a week in gorgeous Cornwall with my husband where we walked a lot and I slept a lot and then, we when got home, I decided to knit a hat. Random, I know, but it was a complete break from writing and I found it curiously relaxing.
Not quite finished. Note the knitting needles at the top!
For a while I thought I might never want to write another word.
‘This always happens,’ my friends and family said wisely. ‘Give yourself a bit more time. You’ll know when you’re ready to begin again.’
They know me better than I know myself because sure enough, a few days ago I noticed what I can only describe as a sort of niggling feeling in my stomach. At first I didn’t know what it was, then I realised that I was beginning to miss the intense, sometimes exasperating, sometimes exhilarating feeling that comes from immersing myself in a new book.
The niggle has now turned into an itch, so here I am, planning my new synopsis and gearing up for my next writing adventure. I can hardly wait to get back to Tremarnock and meet up with my characters, old and new and once more feel that rush of adrenaline that comes from being on a writing roll.
Tremarnock 5 here we come. Wish me luck!
Happy Easter and see you again soon.
A TREMARNOCK SECRET (Head of Zeus) will be published as an ebook first in May 2018 and in hardback form in October 2018. The paperback will follow in Spring 2019.