Hello *waves* remember me?
In September 2021 I started a new, monthly, blog series ‘Diary of a Novelist’ to document my progress on my latest book.
I haven’t posted an update for months.
Life took an unexpected turn, as life often does, in February 2022 after I developed a health condition that, as yet, I haven’t learned to manage. Although I’m on medication, I’m still waiting for further tests and we know how stretched our poor NHS is (and you can read about my experience calling the emergency services for an ambulance here).
As a result of my condition I’ve felt exhausted, unable to think clearly or focus. Unable to make decisions for myself, let alone my characters, writing fell by the wayside. Last October my 10th book was published and although my publisher still has a couple of thrillers I’d already written to bring out over the next couple of years, I felt that my career was over. Everything I worked so hard for, gone. Although my publishers are lovely and supportive I tied myself up in knots worrying I wouldn’t be able to stick to the editing schedule. That I’d let them down.
I’ve been absolutely devastated.
I’m a very private person and it’s difficult to open up, to be vulnerable, but by the beginning of this year I’d also been diagnosed with depression and health anxiety. My mind full of worry about my diagnosis, what else the tests might reveal. I became somebody I no longer recognised. All traces of the author, gone.
Then, things took a turn for the worst. My specialist increased the dose of my medication and I felt a little better. A little clearer. Something happened that hasn’t happened for a long time.
I wanted to write.
It was terrifying to sit in front of a blank page, to even think about beginning a new book, but little by little, over the past 4 weeks, I’ve begun to build a story. A thriller which I think may be my best book yet. More importantly, I’ve enjoyed it.
Stepping back into my writer shoes is exciting, daunting, exhilarating and anxiety inducing but I’m so grateful that I’m building a world I can transport myself into, to lose myself again in something I love so dearly.
Progress is slow, but every word, every sentence, is a sign that I’m moving forward.
Longing to feel like myself again, and immensely looking forward to April’s publication of my 8thpsychological thriller, ‘The Fall’ I’ve booked a few events to speak at because I’ve missed connecting with readers and writers. I’m mindful of my energy levels, and I’m not taking on too much (I hope!) but I’d love it if you can join me at any of them.
Tonight, at 7pm GMT, I’ll be over on Instagram chatting to the Squad Pod about all things bookish. You can find us here.
On Thursday 2nd March I’ll be at Leicester Writers Club. You don’t have to be a member to come along. Details are here.
On Saturday 4th March I’ll be at Towcester’s very first book week at 2pm. Details are here.
On Thursday 9th March I’ll be at Earls Barton library at 19.30 which has been saved from closure by a wonderful group of community volunteers. Details here.
I feel incredibly nervous about being out there again, wish me luck!