Life begins at… I’ve been lucky to find a career which requires me to write, pretty much every day, and for a huge variety of needs.
To date, I’ve written to order. Someone (a client) needs an article, a blog, a speech, a news release, content for a website, and so on. So they tell me what they need, provide background information, and I ask what kind of style is right for them, how long it needs to be, the ‘tone’ required, the deadline.
And so on. I might suggest, embellish, research the content, add my own ‘take’ or a new angle. I can even be creative, within limits - but fundamentally I’m writing to a brief.
I’ve always wanted to write a novel, for as long as I can remember. But until recently, with my own business to run and two children to bring up, it was on the back burner, a dream possibly never to be fulfilled. From time to time I joked that I’d be like Mary Wesley, whom I so admire for publishing her first adult novel at 71 and going on to create a hugely successful writing career. I was only half joking.
Then I saw my opportunity – my boys grown, my life and work stable – to find the quiet time, the thinking time I knew I’d need to write something for myself, from my own imagination.
I’m nowhere near Mary’s grand old age, but I’m pretty sure that many people my age who have worked all their lives would balk at starting a new career when the minds of their contemporaries are on life post-children, on holidays and hobbies.
But for me it’s a joy. The idea for Dare to Remember came from nowhere really – a germ of a theme, then a way to move the story forward. I got started, a short creative writing course provided added impetus, and I was away. The story took over.
At The Marlow Bookshop with Allison Zink from Legend Press
Dare to Remember is nothing like the idea I started from – it’s much better. I wrote with a confidence that I didn’t know I had, and when I got to the end I was proud of what I’d done. It was rough, and raw, and needed plenty of work before anybody at all saw the full manuscript, but I’d done it. Through this novel I’ve found my voice, my preferred genre, a way of expressing myself which I was unable to do before.
By the time I finished the first draft – in fact, well before then, when inspiration really hit - I knew I had a new career, which somehow fits in beautifully with my old one. My age was not the catalyst. It might have been the stage in life that I reached. It might have been the lucky circumstance that I already worked from home and could support myself.
Dare to Remember is just the first. I’ve already finished the first draft of my second novel, and the first is now published. The third is beginning to form in my mind.
Below is a synopsis of Dare to Remember:-
Reeling from a brutal attack that leaves her badly injured and her best friend dead, Lisa flees to the countryside to recuperate. With only vague memories of the event, she isolates herself from her friends and family, content to spend her days wandering the hills with her dog, Riley.
However, Lisa is soon plagued, not only by vivid flashbacks, but questions, too: how did their assailant know them? Why were they attacked? And what really happened that night?
As she desperately tries to piece together the memories, Lisa realises that there’s another truth still hidden to her, a truth she can’t escape from. A truth that may have been right in front of her all along.
Dare to Remember was published by Legend Press on 1 February 2017and is available to buy now on Amazon.
All photos are owned by me.