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.
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…
See this picture? This shows Dixbury Does Talent on the shelves of the wonderful local department store, Jarrold’s. (Yes I do skulk around there taking pictures – is that a bit creepy?) I am chuffed to tell you that if you went there today you would find a gap on the shelf as they are having to replenish their stock again. Happy days!
Meanwhile I am having so much fun writing Return To Dixbury. I’m up to chapter forty-one and have been doing some serious editing. People ask how I plan out my books and I say that I have a beginning, an end and a rough idea of events in-between. More often than not those ‘events in-between’ change the course of the story and that’s what makes it so much fun to write. As much as I know the ending, it’s the journey to get there that’s interesting. Hmm, there’s a thought: you could say that about life too, couldn’t you? So deep, that’s me.
Jarrold’s should have a new supply of Dixbury Does Talent on their shelves next week – grab ’em while they’re hot! (Now, that makes it sound like they’re stolen and they’re really not – unless you steal one, but being on the top shelf that’s quite tricky, unless you’re tall. OK, I’m signing off now.)
Just a quick catch up…I’m very excited to be part of an event that involves sandwiches, cake and raising money for Alzheimers. It certainly sounds like fun to me, so if you fancy it, I’d love to see you.
What else is happening? Well, I went on an amazing day of workshops last Saturday courtesy of the Writers’ Workshop and I left brimming with ideas and inspiration. I have since spent a large part of this week editing the latest book. Still hoping to have it completed before the year is out.
I have also officially set up my Author’s Page on Amazon so my two books can sit side by side on the same page. Check it out at your leisure. 🙂
Before the end of 2015 I had never written a book, never thought I would, and am still not quite sure how it happened. You know how you look back over the years and say, ‘how did I get here?’ – well that is exactly how I feel now. How did my book end up in one of the best department stores in Norwich? Keeping company with the likes of Jo Jo Moyes, Jill Mansell and Katie Fforde?
The answer is that Jarrold department store, a family run business in Norwich, is supportive of local people and events, and it is all thanks to them that Dixbury Does Talent is now proudly perched in their Valentines display. I could not be happier. My gratitude goes to Jarrold’s for encouraging a new author and also to all the lovely folk who have bought and read Dixbury Does Talent so far. Thank you, x.
P.S. If you’re not in or near Norwich you can still get it at Amazon.