Well, I’m writing again. No, I don’t mean this blog (although obviously I am writing it) – I mean books. I’ve had quite a long break from it. My last books were published in Ireland in 2005, bringing my total to 31. (My first came out in 1998.) I’ve only been dabbling for the last five years, mainly writing stories for the kids’ private consumption. But there’s a good reason for this apparent laziness. Moving to France. Yes, it’s given me a wealth of material, all yet to be harvested, but it’s been physically tough going and I frankly haven’t had the energy for serious writing. Falling asleep in front of the telly at nine o’clock was enough of a challenge every night. But finally the vast majority of all the heavy work is done, with just some gentle barn-to-shower-room conversion to finish, several acres of vegetable garden to establish, and a kilometre or so llama fencing to erect! No excuses any more.
Adult fiction beckons. I’m 100,000 words into a fishing-related story, I’ve got a chick-lit book started and a knitting mystery is underway. Seriously. There is quite a demand for this genre, and as an addictive knitter, I’ve got the know-how. I just have to hatch the fiendish plots. There’s plenty of inspiration around me. Our chickens, for example, are selfish and pitiless. The cats are scheming, merciless killers. Our dog is blindly prejudiced (against herons). A couple of the llamas are cunning and one is jealous and bad tempered. OK, the goats are plain stupid, but ignorance can be eveil. I need look no further than our farmyard to harness the ingredients for extreme villainy.
I’m going to be more organised this time round. I was a very scatty children’s writer (all my books to date have been children’s fiction). I’d start one book, think of another before the first was finished and get diverted onto that, then a third idea would develop and off I galloped in that direction and so on, and I would always have far too many projects on the go. While I firmly believe you need at least two projects on the go at a time, because you’re bound to hit a wall with one from time to time, it’s all too easy to go overboard and find a dozen or more works in progress sitting on your computer. So I’m being strict! Or trying very hard to be.
So the washing up sits around for a bit longer than usual while I sketch out a plot. So Youngest Son gets to do the odd extra half hour more DSing while I finish a chapter. So the two teens have to occasionally forage for food in the kitchen while I back my hero into an awkward corner. It’s hardly serious. And I’m happy. I’ve missed creating alternative realities. Playing God. Messing with words. Whatever writing is, I love it.
I’m determined to get a few more books with my name on the spine on the bookshelves. I’ll keep you posted on my progress. Oh – and please wish me luck!