JONTY’S WIN

My new novel is published today!

JONTY'S WINJonty Greer is an irresponsible, impoverished jobbing actor catapulted into the fraught mindset of a rich man by a lottery win. Certain that money can deliver happiness and change, he strives to give his fortune a social conscience by funding what he views as life-changing theatre workshops, initially to the young people of a small English seaside town. As insecure as he was ten years ago when he worked for The People Train Community Theatre, he summons support from his old acting buddies, Edward D’Amato and Caroline Fenton, persuading them to join him on his altruistic quest to heal and inspire the disenfranchised youth of the town and possibly, the whole world. Jonty is unprepared for the demands a vast amount of money put on him and the people around him, including the local council, the women in his life and an abused child attending the workshops. Can money alone mend the loneliness, austerity, damaged relationships and homelessness that he unwittingly uncovers? Will Jonty’s win make him a better person? Or will he and the people his money attract remain the same?
ISBN: 9781788763516
Type: Paperback

Also available in hardback. Order your copy now at www.feedaread.com

Soon at Amazon and other online book stores.

A FOURTH ATTEMPT

Very soon, my fourth novel JONTY’S WIN will be published and available to buy online or borrow from my local library. 17190949_1265474693500898_8349464218403510824_nI will now go back to the beginning and start the revision of the other three: PRETENDING, RURAL CUT and THE MAN WHO THOUGHT HE WAS HAPPY.

I boldly went ahead and published three books through an online publisher, Feedaread. They gave me the chance to dip my toe in the water and find out what it feels like to write novels and see them in print. In the past five years, I have learnt a great deal about writing and about myself.

I decided to take the online route because I wanted to learn the craft. Some might say it was because I was scared of rejection slips, but that’s not the case at all. Of course, I hope people will enjoy reading my books and I also hope they will see progress as I move forward in my new writing career.

My next novel, now a work in progress, in the one I will submit to mainstream publishers. I have at least six months work ahead of me and despite how different my life is today, since my partner had a stroke, I am determined to persevere and eventually find a publisher who will take me on.

Four is my lucky number, as it happens. I have four amazing kids to prove it! But, number five will be the one. I am talking about the book, not another child, I hasten to add; far too old for that. It’s important for me to prove that no matter what happens in my life, no matter how old I am, I can, if I am really determined, achieve my goal.

JONTY'S WINAs I sit at my new desk, (thank you IKEA) gazing out of the window at the woods covering the hills near my home, I sometimes wish I had started this novel writing lark a bit earlier. There was always so much to do; kids to raise, films to make, plays to write, all demanding my attention. Novels need quiet time, head space, a room of your own and if possible, a tree-covered hill in the distance?

I love the process of writing books. It’s so different from any other form of writing. It’s solitary and at times, lonely. No one but your imagination to draw inspiration from. Cups of coffee or tea, biscuits and cake – not good if you consume those every day as your weight will confirm – make the late nights and early mornings a positive experience. These are the times I have allocated for work on the new book.

I have become a carer for my partner in the last eighteen months. He gets it. He understands that my writing hold me and everything else, together. Thanks Mike.

 

 

The Fears and Tribulations of a Writer…

So, you have finished your novel? No opening the Prosecco and crisps.  It’s time to rewrite it. That’s a hard pill to swallow, but unless you do embark on this tedious journey, you will never know if your plot, your characters or your idea to write the thing in the first place, was worthwhile and had any mileage.

Writing is a craft. It takes time and the sort of care a new baby deserves.  I have been trying to write for the last five years. I have published four books through an online site called Feedaread, funded by the UK Arts Council. It’s given me a chance to flex my writing muscles and find my writer’s voice – every writer must find this elusive piece of kit. It’s hidden somewhere in the dark recesses of your mind and doesn’t come out to play willingly.

When I read my finished work, there is often a sudden urge to declare it a load of old tosh and chuck into that little dustbin sign or press the delete button. I’m a fan of recycling, so after a cup of coffee or two and possibly a chocolate biscuit (or two), I start to work on recycling my writing. That may sound a bit lame, but it works for me. If I tell myself to cut, cut, cut, I start to lose heart and eat more biscuits.

For many years, I worked as a theatre director and a filmmaker. Life wasn’t half so difficult. You see, in those salubrious professions, you are not working alone. You have the bonus of lots of people around you, to tell you when your work is rubbish, too long, badly edited, crap!

As a novelist, you are stuck in a room with a computer, lots of dirty cups, a miserable dog who needs a walk and hope, (that’s not a person with the capital letter missing, it’s an emotion and probably has an emoji). At least I am, most of the time. You see, I always thought I was pretty good at spelling and grammar. Oh, folly! When I write, everything I learned in those literature/drama/writing lectures goes up a chimney. Why is that?

The recycling brings all those horrible mistakes to light. Who spells striped with the letter P twice? That’s stripped; something you do to wallpaper, right? Who puts too many commas, too few semicolons, far too many exclamation marks? Moi? That’s right. Why? Why? Why?

I learned how to spell and use English grammar at school. Yet, somehow the words flow out of me like racing banshees when I’m starting a chapter and the rules those dedicated teachers taught me all those years ago, disappear in the heat of the writing moment. Spelling etc becomes a hit and miss affair, as my fingers hit the keys and the story unfolds on the screen.

How to remedy this rebellion that happens in the space between head and fingers? Well, one way is to edit and rewrite until your fingers and your brain disintegrate, like melting lard on a hot hob. Not very pretty, but essential.

The next job, once you’ve put down the last full stop, is to turn the bloody PC off and GO FOR A WALK! (Dog is thrilled). I try not to look at the manuscript for at least three days. It’s like a well-made Christmas cake; it needs time to soak up the brandy and let the flavours develop. The idea is that when you come back to your precious book, it will jump out at you as a work of genius and your fortune will be assured.

Nope. That is not what happens to most writers. Sorry. If this career is your chosen path, failure is inevitable. Rejection is something you will have to cope with without on-going therapy. After five years at it, I quite enjoy rejection slips, especially if I am assured that my work is ever so slightly better than most of the unreadable rubbish the poor hard-working editor has had to read that week.

Writer out there, don’t despair. Share your rejection angst. I promise I will read every word.

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Doing my bit, talking to other writers. Hope they are listening…