It’s the first week in March, and I’m sitting at my desk which is situated in front of our study window, and watching the leafless trees swaying around in an enervating breeze. The snow has now gone, and the birds are starting to sing. They are no doubt thinking about building nests, and preparing for their next brood. I wish that I could see the first signs of tiny buds swelling and readying themselves to burst into full leaf. I have to confess that I’m not a winter person.
I digress… I should be thinking about writing something, but what am I going to write about? Do I write another book, or another short story? I’ve just sent off my latest short story, which will hopefully be included in an Anthology. It’s all about a bonfire. Bonfires, you may ask? Well, it’s about November the 5th, and Guy Fawkes sitting on top of a pile of rubbish and waiting to be burnt. But I could equally well be spending a little more time on another story on which I’ve been working; this one is about a beach hut. What can you write about a beach hut? You can’t cook in one, and you’re not supposed to spend the night there either. What’s more, they now cost a fortune to buy! The most important thing you need of course, is wonderful summer weather which is sometimes in short supply.
I try to picture my ideal beach hut in my mind. I will call it THE REFUGE. It will sit alongside five other beach huts. Each one is painted a different colour and surrounded by a low white picket fence. But I can’t make everything perfect, can I? There has to be conflict of some kind, or it would be a little boring. So this is where the fun begins. As a writer, you can imagine all kinds of problems. The trees outside my window are now swaying in a really strong breeze. and the clouds are scudding across the sky. My brain immediately conjures up a raging sea, which is gradually sending up huge waves… will they reach my hut? The possibilities are endless.
I’ve also just finished a tale which I’ve called A TANGLED WEB! The protagonists in this story call themselves “THE BLACK SPIDER’S WEB”. There again, my mind immediately thought about MI5 (or would it be MI6?) spies and danger. Such fun.
I’ve written three books over the last few years: A PASSING STORM, PAPER DREAMS and WHEN THE ICE MELTS, and they were all published by Matador. I like writing romantic stories, but they have to have a thrilling edge to them. One review I received for A PASSING STORM described it as “…a story of the complexities of human relationships told from different viewpoints. It is well told and is one of those rare books that show a wisdom and an understanding of different people and their motives.”
Another 5* review for A PASSING STORM with the heading: “Drama, excitement and romance.” In this review the reader says: “…The storm of the title is not only the physical storm which puts Jennifer in danger of her life, but also the emotional storm which she has to ride out for over a year. The plot moves swiftly from one dramatic happening to the next, and Jennifer is left reeling.” She goes on to say: “The author explores her various characters’ feelings and reactions and brings them vividly to life, and helps us to see that many of the events come from the way those characters act out of their natural individuality, whether good or bad.”
Receiving reviews makes an author feel that all the effort and worry about producing a book that someone wants to read, is worthwhile. I’ve received some 5* reviews for all of my books. I published WHEN THE ICE MELTS through Matador in 2016 and two of the reviews made me smile. I’m sure that there couldn’t be two shorter 5* reviews in existence: one said “Mesmerizing”, and the other, “Spellbinding”.
I’m still sitting at my desk and occasionally glancing out of the window. A squirrel is using the branches of the trees as a fast “highway”. as he progresses from one to another. Human beings can’t possibly do the same, but we do have the ability to write about what we think and see, and enjoy doing.
But… whatever book you read, whether it is non-fiction, or one of the many genres of fiction, please think about the author, and give them a review. Don’t get me wrong, to receive a 5* review is wonderfully gratifying, but any review is better than no review at all.