Here we are at the beginning of another working week and half way through the first month of the new year. I hope like mine your start to this new year has been a positive one.
In 2012 I was lucky enough to be the overall winner in the Harrogate Crime writing Festival / Writing magazine Short Story Competition. My winning story was both published online by the Crime Festival and published in the Writing Magazine. I received some great feedback from readers who read my story online and from seeing it in the magazine. They all asked me the same question, when was I going to turn the story into a novel.
At first I had no idea how I could take a story of 1,800 word and make a novel. I felt the story’s impact would be watered down and lost. Secondly I realised what was left to the reader’s imagination was unworkable in a novel.
For about a year I kept telling myself, I couldn’t do it. Then a dear friend of mine put my name forward to do a reading of my short story at an art festival. Two things happened to change my life on the evening of the art festival. Losing my nerve I was unable to read my story for myself, so my friend step up to the mark and it for me. Secondly, I received more comments telling me how much they enjoyed the story, but wanted to know more about the main character and would love to read Roofscapes as a novel.
As the evening drew to a close my friend, Ivy, my husband, Russell and I were just getting ready to leave when a gentlemen asked me whether I was an artist too. I said yes, but I was self taught and hadn’t been to college. He said he guessed I was because of my descriptions in the story and that he hoped I would find a way to turn it into a novel.
Walking back to the car that evening, I promised myself two things, first the next time I was asked to do a reading I would overcome my nerves and read for myself. Secondly, I would write a novel based on the story.
In October 2014, I stood up and read for the first time to an audience in Swansea a short Gothic crime story of my mine called ‘The Gardener’ which was published by Parthian Books in their anthology A Flock of Shadows Yesterday, after two years of writing on and off, you know what it’s like life as it normally does, gets in the way of the creative process, I finally finished my novel, Roofscapes : Stone Angels.
Finally after much pondering whose voice I would uses for the novel I found it had to be the artist’s.
Now the next stage begins. I have sent the completed book to Debz, a dear friend who just happens to work as an editor, so she can critique it before I send it to a publisher who was keen to read it last year. I had hoped to have it ready for them much sooner, but unfortunately my Mum passed away, which meant my life was put on hold for a while.
Now its time to start on my next project as I wait to see how much work needs to be done on the novel before I send it off to the publisher.
Hope you all have a great week.
Catch up with you all soon,
Paula R. C.