10 Nov 2009

This Last Summer - I wrote a novel

I haven't mentioned this before but I don't just write blogs. I have also completed two full length novels, the first one about 15 years ago which I did nothing with and the second one, This Last Summer, which I finished last year. The book is contenporary women's fiction and the blurb is thus:
"Life is finally going well for young TV reporter Madeleine Chambers. Despite a disrupted childhood she’s looking forward to a bright future. Then one day out on a story, she stumbles upon a discovery that throws her family’s lives into disarray.
Her mother, who abandoned her young family and was thought to be long dead, resurfaces at the scene of a fire Maddie is sent to cover. Maddie tries to make sense of her discovery, while trying to maintain her focus on work, making her way in a newsroom filled with the treacherous and the lecherous.
But it isn’t long before her family learn about Maddie’s discovery and now they must all work out if they want their mother back – a decision made even more difficult by the devastating news that she doesn’t have long to live."

The book was uploaded last week to Authonomy.com, a site run by Harper Collins for aspiring authors to showcase their work. You can read it here:  http://www.authonomy.com/ViewBook.aspx?bookid=13370.
The story came to me when I was studying for an Open University Social Sciences certificate. I was trying to make notes, but this idea kept nagging at me so I turned to the back of my notebook and wrote down fifteen hundred words of what would be the original prologue for the book.
That prologue has now been discarded but it got me started on the next 92,000 words, written over the following ten months. It is set in the summer of 2007, such as it was, and draws directly from my former experiences as a regional television reporter with Meridian Television, from having two children with Asperger Syndrome and from the emotions of having a parent dying from a nasty and almost always incurable form of cancer.
I don't know whether it will ever be published but so far it had garnered lots of nice comments from the Authonomy community and as we speak it is Number 3 on the weekly Chick Lit chart and Number 17 on the weekly chart for all books. Of course this will have changed for better or worse by tomorrow as it's just a current snapshot.
Still, putting it 'out there' has given me more confidence that I haven't wasted my time in writing it and that I should try harder to send it out to publishers/agents, which scares the life out of me!
If you ever have time, I'd be delighted if you would take a look at it. You can comment as well if you like but you have to be a member of the community to do so. If you are a writing something yourself, take a look at the Authonomy site for inspiration!