Richard and Judy's Blog
Friday 1 April 2011
Hi everyone...I was going to keep this to myself a bit longer, but apparently it’s in today’s 'The Bookseller', so I might as well blog about it – my novel has been accepted for publication! I’m totally thrilled.
I’ve written about half of it and submitted it a couple of weeks ago to a few publishers, and after some thought I’m going with 'Little, Brown', who seem really good. I should have it finished by the autumn and it’ll be out later in 2012.
It’s called 'Eloise' and is set in Cornwall, in all the places I am so fond of. I mostly use real place names and locations. Cornwall was the natural location for me to choose – it’s such an atmospheric, mysterious place, and 'Eloise' is a ghost story, after all. On a misty day like today, it’s easy to let your imagination run away with you down here.
I won’t give too much of the plot away, but this is pretty much what my publishers have told 'The Bookseller', so here’s an outline.
Eloise is dead. She has died of breast cancer, leaving a husband, Ted, and two young children. The story is told through the eyes of Cathy, one of Eloise’s closest friends. Soon after the death, Cathy starts experiencing strange dreams about Eloise – visitations, almost – and begins to feel deeply uneasy about the circumstances of her friend’s passing. She instinctively knows something just isn’t right, and confides in her husband, Chris.
The problem for Cathy is that she has a history of depression, and has only just recovered from a breakdown. She’s still quite fragile and Chris, who is a psychiatrist, naturally suspects she is having a relapse. When Cathy tells him, in effect, that she may be receiving messages from Eloise’s ghost, he is certain of his diagnosis.
This infuriates Cathy and she makes up her mind to get to the bottom of it all. Why does Eloise’s spirit seem so troubled? Why does she warn Cathy about Ted, telling her ‘not to trust anything he says’? Why, in the visitations – if that is what they are – does she seem so agitated about the safety of her children?
Well, as I say, I’m about halfway through and although sometimes it can be very challenging, on the whole I am loving the experience. I have always, always wanted to write fiction and at last I have the time to do it. Although Richard’s freelancing quite a lot, he has more time too and has written about three chapters of his own novel now.
I find I need complete peace and quiet when I write. That’s why Cornwall is such a good place to come and work. I also find I write much more, and faster, late at night. I often don’t get to bed until the small hours; I completely lose track of time.
The publishers have offered me a two-book deal, so I suppose when I finish 'Eloise' it’ll be straight on to the next one. And just to answer the question before you ask – no, neither will be in our Book Club! Strictly not on. 'Eloise', bless her, will have to stand on her own feet... or float around on them, if you get me.
Anyway, it’s good to be able to talk about it at last. Bye for now.
04th April 2011 Addendum
Judy: Can I just thank all of you for your wonderful and generous responses to my tweets and blog about my novel being published. You are all so kind and I am so grateful for your support. I’ll try not to let you down. x