I decided, in 2000, to begin my first novel. Alias is a story about a dual identity, a crime which wasn’t committed and the brutal kidnapping and torture of Deanna and her own struggle against her insanity and Stockholm Syndrome. The writing of this book co-incided with the writing of my second novel, as yet unnamed romance featuring a teenager and her childish infatuation with her teacher.
These two combined took me ten years.
In 2011 I discovered NaNoWriMo and my life changed.
First I wrote Inside. This is based on my own experiences growing up in the early nineties as a child who was bullied both at home and at school. Julianne is very grown up for a twelve year old and her antics often get her in trouble as she struggles to cope with her depleting confidence, a group of bullies and a burgeoning eating disorder.
August 2012 Camp NaNoWriMo saw the birth of the story of Fran who catches her boyfriend in bed with her boss. The breakup forces her to go on her own voyage of sexual self-discovery which leads to her involvement with a very special group of people.
Not one to duck out of a challenge, November’s NaNoWriMo piece was Twitter Twatter. Based on events which may or may not have happened on Twitter, the protagonist Hannah takes a cynical (and often very critical) view of a community of Mummy Bloggers.
This was very quickly followed by The Critic, which started out as a thousand word competition entry and expanded into a full on steamy romance between Kim, a musician, and local author and critic Luke. Luke explodes to fame coincidentally just after he writes a negative review of Kim’s work, drawing them both into the limelight.
The novel for April’s Camp NaNoWriMo featured Julianne again, this time thrown into college with boys, and later on, a love interest with ulterior motives.
In July 2013, I began working on The Baby Who Almost Wasn’t, a true piece of reflective prose with added dramatisation based around my own experiences during my pregnancy with my third child and the resulting trauma from his birth.
NaNoWriMo rolled around again far too fast, and The Ultimatum appeared. A story for the modern era, it follows Martin through the breakdown of his relationship.
Between November and April 2014, work began on a very close, uncomfortable and almost suffocating novel called Delicious which crept under the skin and into the head of a character troubled by erotomania. This is a very intense read in its current draft and is still a WIP.
In April 2014, I attempted to branch out and wrote the first of a three part trilogy called Dragons and Gods. As you can imagine, this falls well within the realms of a fantasy novel and contains all of the elements required.
July 2014 hit me in the face and I abandoned (temporarily) my attempt at fantasy and decided to write a novel about a woman with severe heart failure who recieves a donor heart and another chance at life. As part of her recovery, she begins to uncover a wealth of secrets about her life that she wishes she didn’t know.
I started November 2014 with good intentions and not a clue what I was going to write about, so when another book about Julianne materialised, I was rather satisfied. This time, she learns what it’s like to take responsibility for your choices and gets herself involved in a mess because she’s struggling with her insecurities.
I skipped NaNoWriMo in April 2015 but have recently written another romance novel based around a novelist with feminist values who, in her search for inspiration for her new book, ends up giving away her heart.