Reasons to celebrate…

If you’re reading this in the US, happy Independence Day. If you want a reason why this blog has been rather sparsely populated recently, that’s because our own ‘independence day’ (someone else’s words) was announced on 24 June and after that shock there was been one political earthquake after another. I have been glued to the news and the pace of change shows no sign of letting up. Just when you think nothing else can happen, some new twist emerged. What I find frustrating when you study real life is that when I write fiction, I have to make it believable…

Still, back to the writing stuff (technical term). On 1 July, it was one month to He’s Gone being published. It will be hitting the world at a time when the issues trans people face are making the news (even despite the politics). On the one hand, the US military ends the ban on trans people serving but on the other, they face being checked for gender when they go to the bathroom in North Carolina. Here in UK, as a second series of Boy Meets Girl, a series with a transgender heroine starts this week, another BBC channel harks back to stereotypes you’d expect to have been left in the 1970’s.

So, much more to do. If my book has a small part in introducing people to a trans character and being able to see through their eyes, then that is another reason to celebrate…


Hatred is hard work…

If you had to sum up this awful week in one word, you could choose ‘hatred’. Hatred caused one man to attack the LGBT+ community in Orlando and another to murder an MP outside a library.

When you look up the word hatred, you find this:

the feeling of one who hates; intense dislike or extreme aversion or hostility.
And that is the crux of it: hatred is extreme. When I think about it, hatred is very hard to do. There are things I think are horrible (beetroot, for example) and things that make me angry (don’t get me started on discrimination and lack of curiosity) but nothing I actually hate. This is largely because to hate something takes so much effort. You have to constantly keep feeding it, firing it up, otherwise it will fade away.That leads onto the paradox that haters will have to actively seek out the things they hate, to keep reaffirming their hatred.
At this point, my head starts to hurt. I’m also left with a sense of frustration about what I as an individual can do to make a positive difference. I’m starting with channeling some of this desire to act into my local women’s network and planning to link up with our fellow network for LGBT+ and doing some joint campaigning because the first step to dealing with any problem is making it visible. So the other thing I’m going to do is keep writing my books, because there may be things we’re all doing we’re doing that make things that bit harder for other people and if we stop, then that’s a bit less hatred in the world…
Getting published, Writing

Putting the world to rights

Today, I met my girlfriends for lunch. We all used to work together (more years ago than we care to remember) . Now, we’ve all gone our separate ways but we try to meet up around quarterly to catch up, which means chatting for around four solid hours with lashings of cheap rosé. Over the years, I’ve talked (a lot) about my writing and they’ve been kind enough to ask about how progress was going each time they saw me and to say positive things in the face of rejection and the other obstacles facing writers.

These people aren’t writers. I don’t discuss plot points or Oxford commas* with them. No, we talk about life in general and laugh like drains. And it struck me today that one thing a writer really needs is a support network of people who can remind you that life is fun. Writing can be a very solitary pursuit but given that the focus of most writing is human interactions, sometimes you need to step away from the keyboard and talk to people.

* I’m allergic to Oxford commas.


Getting published, Uncategorized, Writing

It’s happened…

Yes, it’s happened. On World Book Day, Impress Books announced that they would be publishing my novel, He’s Gone’. It’s been three years since I first put finger to keyboard, nearly two years since typing ‘the end’ at the bottom of the first draft. A lot of people have helped me get here, from reading the drafts; giving encouragement or buying me wine at appropriate moments. I’m reading the final proofs of the book and I’m very, very happy…