Monday, 23 January 2012


Sorry about the crude title of the blog but...well...OMFG!

Phew, let me explain.

Last Wednesday I got my first bite from an agent. Yes, you heard me right, an agent requested to read the rest of my manuscript. Which one? It's only the new kid on the block, Blackbrooke.

Needless to say, I'm over the moon. Of course, I know its still a long shot. A real long shot but this is the furthest I've got in my quest to get published so far and my fingers are firmly crossed. I was even wondering whether, if it gets rejected, I might get some good feedback, seeing as they've actually made the effort to read at least some of it. Who knows....

That does leave me feeling a bit sad for my underachieving eldest child, Driving Exile. I started cosmetic surgery on my first-born recently and now I'm thinking it demands a full re-write. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love it, but there's something of a disconnect when I read it now.

I provided Uno with what's probably a really unhelpful analogy...

Guns n Roses (aka Axl Rose) didn't release any music for a long time. Years and years. Then the rumours started swirling about a new album to be released in 2008 - 15 years after the last. Of course it was massively hyped and everyone waited with baited breath to hear that Guns n Roses sound again. Only there was something not quite right with Chinese Democracy. You see, because it had taken so long to make, music had moved on. Several times in fact. The album ended up sounding like a mish mash of whatever was in fashion at that particular moment.

That's how I see Driving Exile. It took me four years to write and when I read it, I can tell. I can spot the bits I wrote four years ago and those I wrote more recently. I think writing ability is something you work like a muscle and my muscles were slightly puny four years ago. Now, I've ended up developing what are probably some of the best characters I'll ever have the joy of writing, but the backdrop isn't good enough.

Hence the re-write.

I really don't think it'll take me too long. Certainly not four years. in fact, I very much doubt it'll take me four weeks. I'm just gutted that I printed ten full bloody manuscripts off. What the hell am I supposed to do with those now?

Ah well, the joy of being a writer I suppose. Just when you think you've packed one kid off, they turn up back on your doorstep looking sheepish with their head bowed. And it doesn't matter how much of a smug star pupil your second is, you can't close the door and forget about the first that easily.

Not until you've done everything in your power to help them be a success.

So, well done so far my darling little Blackbrooke and Driving Exile...come here, you need a bit of TLC.

An opportunity now to say thank you to everyone who's ever read this blog and those who have commented. Keep your fingers crossed for Blackbrooke.

I'll keep you posted.

Keep rockin'



Tuesday, 10 January 2012

I heart BB

I really, really do.

It doesn't stand for Big Brother, or BB King, or Ball Bearings, or Brian Blessed - but thanks for the suggestions people! ;-) 

No, BB stands for Blackbrooke which is the official name of the Side Project. Why am I revealing the name? Because it's finished. (The 'I heart Blackbrooke' stuff will mean something to you if you ever read it one day...)

It took me four years to write Driving Exiling but probably about that many weeks to write Blackbrooke and I'm so proud of it. So much so that it's already gone to one agent already. 

This is it now - it's war. 

Blackbrooke vs. Driving Exile 

Will any of them get picked up? If so, which one? Exciting. 

I'm now targeting two completely different agents - one for women's fiction and one for young adult fiction. It'll be interesting to see whether the responses are any different from either of them, or whether the young adult agents are more receptive, or less...

Anyway, after my few weeks of work, here's the synopsis for Blackbrooke - my horror book for teenagers. Read and hopefully enjoy and I'll keep you posted on the progress of both of my babies...


 I live in Blackbrooke and you would have had to be living under a rock to never have heard of it before now. This town is different to most others…Humans aren’t the only residents…”
The residents of Blackbrooke share their town with the Creatures, or the Crits as they are known. Grotesque and roaming the streets at night looking for food, their presence means humans have to live by The Rules, keeping them indoors and forbidding them of basic desires.

The most important Rule?

Don’t go out at night.

Don’t be a ‘Walk Out’.

Straight-A student, Liberty Connor hates the Crits and the endless Rules she and her tight knit group of friends have to live by.

Planning her new life on the Outside with handsome boyfriend, Gabriel, Liberty whiles away her days waiting to turn 18 so they can leave and be free. That is, until the world she thinks she knows begins to unravel…

Her friends start Walking Out. Or so she’s told. However, something’s not right.

Things don’t add up.

Together with her childhood friend, Cassius, Liberty faces a race against time to figure out what’s going on with the Creatures of Blackbrooke and whether its actually them she has to fear or something much closer to home.