For the past ten years or so, I’ve enjoyed writing about other people’s books. Today, it’s my turn to be happy about the publication of my OWN novel!
Around the same time that I started Childtastic Books, I wrote a short story about a mother, Grace, who had walked out on her daughter and husband and who was sitting in a coffee shop, watching all the other mothers mill around, regretting her decision but not knowing how to go back to her family. I submitted it for an Open University creative writing assignment and then put it aside for a while.
Then I wrote a response from the daughter about how it felt to be abandoned by her mother. The girl, Emma, was confused and rather bitter about her experience. I wondered about combining the voices in a novel, presenting the situation from both viewpoints. I kept thinking about the book but couldn’t quite see a way forward.
Then, towards the end of 2017, I saw a competition advertised by single-parent charity Gingerbread in collaboration with Trapeze Books. They wanted to find a new author – a new voice – to present single parenthood in a positive light. They wanted the first three chapters and a synopsis of a book that showed this. Quickly, I pulled together my idea, opting to present it from Emma’s point of view and that of her father David, who had raised her single-handedly from the day her mother (Grace) had walked out.
Just before Christmas 2017, I received the amazing news that I had been shortlisted to the final seven applicants out of a couple of hundred. I was over the moon! In February 2018, us seven finalists went to London to Trapeze Books to have a day of learning how to edit, writing pitfalls to avoid and meeting some of the lovely staff at the publishers. We all had a fantastic time and have become good friends as a result. Jemma won the coveted prize and we’ve heard her book is due out early next year – we can’t wait to read it and celebrate with her!
I decided to keep writing my story because, even though it didn’t win, I had gained some confidence in my writing ability to see it through. I worked and worked on it and finally, last month, I published it! Here’s the blurb:
Grace walked out on baby Emma and husband David seventeen years ago. Now she’s coming back. David is ecstatic but Emma isn’t so sure. She doesn’t need a mother, especially one who hasn’t bothered to keep in touch, and she doesn’t understand why her father is so desperate to accept her, no questions asked. After a disastrous first meeting, Grace and Emma slowly start to get to know one another. However, David is suspicious. What is Grace really after? Does she want to become part of the family or is she going to reveal a secret that could destroy his relationship with Emma forever?
If you fancy getting a feel for the book, please click on the Preview button underneath the title above. It will give you a sample to see if you like it or not. I really hope you do!