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Out of the Cave to Look at the Sky

  • Post category:Blog / General

Hmm, where am I? This place looks familiar…Oh, wait! I know where I am. This is my blog, isn’t it? I thought I vaguely recognised it.

Nothing would make me miss this!

Okay, I know, it’s been a while…Sorry! I have been very, very busy lately, and staying away from the internet, including my blog, has been vital, if I’m to meet the deadline for book four. The good news is, it looks as if I will meet that deadline. I would be furious if I didn’t, quite frankly, since I’ve been living like a hermit for simply ages now, tapping away furiously at my computer, shut away in my little office, declining all offers to go out for the day, and even shunning my favourite programmes. Except for Outlander. Hey, I’m only human!

My inspiration. Burton Agnes Hall, East Yorkshire.

So, for the last few – crikey, I’m not even sure myself how long it’s been. Weeks? Months? Anyway, for the last however long it’s been, I’ve been working very hard on my fourth full-length novel, which is the third in the Kearton Bay series. It follows the story of Will and Lexi, and a lot of the action takes place in Will’s stately home, Kearton Hall. It’s been an absolute joy to write, although I actually began to write it way back in 2012, can you believe? I’d just completed the first draft of what became There Must Be an Angel, and while I was taking a break from that novel before beginning to edit it, I started work on what I thought would be the second in the series.

Eventually, around sixty thousand words in, I decided it wasn’t working. I deleted loads of scenes, chopped and changed things, and then abandoned it to go back to work on Angel. Then, Rose MacLean started nudging me to tell her story, so I wrote A Kiss from a Rose next. After that, I wrote a pocket novel for People’s Friend, and then felt the urge to write something different, so I completed This Other Eden, the first in my Skimmerdale series.

When that was finished, I knew it was time to return to Kearton Bay, but I dabbled with another couple’s storyline before deciding now was the right time to return to Will and Lexi. I tried loads of different things for those two! In the end, I retrieved all those deleted scenes one night and sat looking through the story I’d started so long ago. And it worked! I wondered why I’d decided it wasn’t right, and thought about all that time in between, when it could have been written and out there. But, things are never wasted, and everything happens for a reason. I think maybe I needed to do other things before I tackled this story. Anyway, the upshot of it is, the third Kearton Bay story should be published in September, and I’ll give you more details about it in the next few weeks.

I can’t resist this fabulously weird programme!

So, having emerged from my writing cave, what did I do first? Well, I’m embarrassed to admit, I caved in (see what I did there?) and got Sky back. I’d cancelled it, determined to do without it because I didn’t have much time to watch television anyway, and I really wasn’t that bothered. Then the rotters only went and announced a new series of Penny Dreadful! Well, I tried to be strong, really I did. But when your workmate is eagerly telling you how fantastic the latest episode was, and what an amazing series it’s shaping up to be, what can you do? I kept saying to my husband, “Shall we get Sky back?” and he kept saying, “No, we said we wouldn’t.” And we’d both sit there, grim-faced as we pretended that it didn’t matter that we could no longer pause, rewind or record anything, or that everything we fancied watching was no longer available to us. Then we got home from work one day, and there was a letter from Sky offering us a deal. Come back for half price for a year. I held up the letter. Husband looked at it. We looked at each other. He said, “Do it.” I grabbed the laptop and that was that. Oh, but Penny Dreadful is worth it!

Yep, that’s how it felt!

Anyway, I deserved a reward. Not only have I been working very hard on the writing, but I endured a visit to the dentist. And not just any old visit, but an emergency appointment type visit, and we all know what that means! Toothache! A broken tooth and a night of agony was enough to convince me to put my nerves aside and get my behind plonked in that dentist’s chair. In the event, it was a long visit. I have weird roots, apparently, that curve round and hook in the jaw bone and, sadly for me, as the dentist removed the tooth, the straight bit came out but the curved bit snapped and remained wedged inside. It took an hour and a half of desperate chiselling and hacking, three injections, two top-ups, a call for reinforcements, a cut gum, four stitches and two exhausted dentists to finally get that broken root out of there. I left with a face like a hamster, clutching a prescription for antibiotics and a pack of gauze “just in case”, feeling very proud of myself for being so brave. In truth, I can’t say it was painful, because it wasn’t. I was totally numb, and the dentists were absolutely lovely. When the injections wore off…Well, that was another matter! I’m currently doped up on painkillers, which is why this post is probably a long, rambling mess. I may read this in a few days and be horrified. Mind you, it won’t be the first time!

Have a great week. xxx