Long time no write but I’m back and feeling very excited that Summer Sparks is almost ready for release! I completed it early last year and then the pandemic hit and then, as we all know, the world turned crazy upside down.
It’s a summer read and I know we’re not going to be poolside or on a baking hot beach abroad but Summer Sparks should make you smile in your back garden or – knowing the British weather – curled up in front of your fire. It’s Liv Ashton’s tale of friendship, love, relationships, finding her limits and then exceeding them.
Why not pick up a copy and join her on her summer adventure?
Dowdy Liv Ashton has always had a secret desire to experience passion in the rain like they do in her beloved Nicholas Sparks movies. Now in her fifties, she is plodding in life until her husband abandons her for a posher, prettier model. Left in pieces, she agrees to accompany her incorrigible best friend, Jeannie, on a working holiday in Europe.
There, Liv gets a job as a cleaner and hooks up with charming Rudy. Her summer turns into a rollercoaster adventure filled with new experiences she never even knew she wanted. But when circumstances change, can she go back to the life she once had? Or has the summer changed her into a different person altogether?
…And if she should return home, will she ever get her Nicholas Sparks moment?
Eagle eyed readers may have noticed that my latest book is called Being Greta with no mention of ‘Daisy’ at all. What happened to the title, ‘Daisy’? Hmm, it was strange. Not wanting to go all Martin Luther King on you but I had a dream and in that dream I could see my book on bookshelves only its title was ‘Being Greta’. Never one to ignore a sign, I changed the title as soon as I woke up.
Being Greta is the story of a young deaf woman living in a hearing world. It is about her relationships with the hearing people around her and her struggle with deciding whether to have a cochlear implant. It’s also a story of love, friendship and finding her identity.
I’m still here! I’ve been busy with life in general and, of course, writing. I left you where I had finished ‘Daisy’ and was awaiting publishers’ replies. Whilst waiting I have continued to write and my latest novel, ‘A Beautiful Life’, is now sixty thousand words in. I will return to ‘Daisy’, as indeed I’ll return to Dixbury at some point; I enjoy having future goals and irons in fires.
Writing is a great journey, but I have to say that some days I feel like giving up and it’s only the desire to be a better writer that keeps me going. And I don’t mean in a comparative way. When the great ballet dancer, Baryshnikov, was asked if he wanted to be better than other dancers, he replied,
“I do not try to dance better than anyone else. I only try to to dance better than myself.”
I like that. That is exactly how I feel in both my writing and my dancing. I think it’s perfect to not enter into competition, but rather to just try to be a better writer/dancer (fill in the blank) than yourself.
So, where did I leave you? Yes, my latest novel, Daisy, is written. The final full stop has been committed and I am now in the literary agent’s metaphorical waiting room. I could, as I have with my first two books, self-publish on Amazon, but something stops me. Daisy isn’t an educational book – it’s chicklit with deaf characters (deaflit?) – but it draws on real life experiences and I hope it will resonate with deaf people. I also hope it will interest hearing people who have little or no connection with the deaf world. And more than anything else, I am really hoping a literary agent will be drawn into Daisy’s trials and tribulations and snap it up.
Agents can take anywhere between one day to six months to get in touch so it’s quite a wait. I have a designated email account for all things to do with my writing and every time I see an email there I actually take a deep breath and open it with a squint. At the moment, it’s all LinkedIn and Twitter notifications – but that won’t always be the case…
Snow days feel like someone has hit the ‘pause’ button. The world is still turning but all plans, appointments and activities are cancelled, or rather paused. Normal service will, of course, resume once the snow clears, but it’s an odd feeling to be freed of what the diary says and yet trapped, unable to leave the house. What to do?
Well, I’d like to say I’m finishing my latest book, ‘Daisy,’ but I’ve already done that! After the final words are written it takes me a while to be ready to start something new. The seeds of ‘The Dixbury Encore’ are starting to sprout in my mind and I’m committing them to paper, but I really can’t get my head down yet.
In a few months time, when I’m mid-novel, I’ll need all the time I can get.
So tell me, what are the chances of a snow day or two in June???
So – having completed the first two instalments of The Dixbury Trilogy I am metaphorically walking out of Dixbury for now. I will, of course, return to write the final, ‘Dixbury Encore’, probably later next year. (It’s fine – I know that Amy and co. will carry on dancing, loving and laughing until I sit down to document their adventures again :-))
In the meantime I am half way through my next novel. It is a story about a young deaf woman, Katy, who is trying to find happiness despite her controlling boyfriend and overbearing mother. She is a passionate artist who (drunkenly) applies to go on a television documentary about disability and the arts. It is while filming for this that her head is turned by the attractive sign language interpreter, Connor. Katy is also wrestling with whether to have a cochlear implant and at the same time trying to support her best friend who, after one too many one night stands, falls pregnant.
It is a story of love, friendship, relationships and, ultimately, finding your identity.
‘The Art Of Being Deaf’ (working title) is a work in progress…