Since both my novels have a large dash of fantasy about them, and since I’m known to family and friends as a person with both feet grounded firmly in reality, I wasn’t too keen to reveal that in another life, I’d happily join the summer solstice brigade at Stonehenge.
But the secret’s out and in a way I’m relieved, as finally I can justify the back garden masquerading as the Borneo jungle, and no longer have to answer questions like ‘You’re not coming down the pub for a drink/don’t want to come shopping/watch a film - what are you up to?’ with an ambiguous ‘Oh this and that.’
Although most have been supportive, though a little bemused, I sometimes find myself fielding a new set of questions.
‘You? You’ve written a book?’
‘Yes li’l ol’ me.’ And you needn’t sound so surprised.
‘What’s it about?’
‘If you’re interested, there’s a synopsis and reviews on my website. Then if you’re still interested, you can follow the links, download and read the book.' Which will be easier than me trying to recall all 72,000 words in order.
‘How long did it take you to write?’
‘No time at all.’ Not in comparison to weeks of researching, months of rewriting, weeks of editing, waiting for readers to get back to me, so re-rewrites could begin, and a new round of editing, not to mention formatting, deciding on a cover, bumbling around until something resembling a website emerged, composing synopsis, did I mention re-writes and editing? Because to do that you have to re-read, and straight away paragraphs and characters you were perfectly happy with previously somehow seem flawed. Let’s just say, not much change from two years for the second book. The first book has been around in one form or another for the last decade or so.
‘Where do you get your ideas from?’
‘You’d be surprised.’ Said tongue in cheek, while eyeing the speaker up and down as if measuring for a costume fit.
‘When I get time, I’m going to write my book.’
‘Really?’ No. You are not. If there is no time, you’ll make it. Even if it means setting the alarm for five in the morning and working way past midnight.
‘Actually, I might let you write it for me.’
‘Oh joy.’ But unfortunately, I’m washing my hair that night. Either that or there’s something really good on telly.
Finally an awkward silence. Then:
‘Imagine that! You - an author!’