My writing journey began when I was about eight year old.
I began writing little stories and turning them into little books for which I would stitch covers. I have pretty much been writing ever since. At post-primary school I would write my school pals’ English essays in return for them doing my maths homework. I do words not numbers! I went on to have a number of short stories and poetry published in various magazines, but my dream was always to have a book published.
That dream came true in 2017 when The Last Lost Girl was published by Poolbeg. The book was seven years in the making. I was working full time at a very busy legal secretary job and had to find time in the evenings or at weekends to write. I am also a very erratic writer, I write in bursts and then might not write again for weeks, sometimes a couple of months. But when the mood is on me, I want to do nothing else, so it was very hard to have to spend my time doing a job I did not enjoy, when all I really wanted was to immerse myself in my fictional world. My father died in the course of the writing of the book too, and as I had based the father character in The Last Lost Girl on him, I found myself unable to continue with the book for some time. The father in the book dies too, and when I did return to it, I found that the way I wrote of grief had changed utterly.
Anyway, I finally finished The Last Lost Girl. It’s about a teenage girl, Lilly Brennan, who goes missing during the long hot Irish summer of 1976. Thirty years later, her sister Jacqueline finds a postcard which just might help her solve the mystery of Lilly’s disappearance all those year ago. The book is really an exploration of grief and how families and individuals come to terms (or not) with great loss and the torture of not knowing what has become of a loved one. I submitted a synopsis and three chapters to a number of publishers and quickly heard back from Poolbeg who wanted to see the full MS. Before I knew it, I was being offered a book deal and my dream of seeing a book I had written in the window of a book shop had come true.
My second book, On Bone Bridge, was published two years later, also by Poolbeg. This time, I did not have the luxury of spending seven years writing it, and I tried to be more disciplined, but again was working full time. The book is about what happens when three little girls go for a walk one day and how the events of that day shape their lives forever after.
My latest book, Bad Sweet Things, is published by my new publisher, Spellbound. It is my first police procedural and features DS Tina Bassett, known to colleagues as The Hound – once she picks up a scent, she doesn’t let go. I actually self-published Bad Sweet Things, having struggled to find the right home for it. I had never self-published before and I had no idea what I was doing. Luckily for me, a weekend after it went live on Amazon, I was contacted by Spellbound’s Sumaira Wilson who told me she had read Bad Sweet Things and loved it. Spellbound wanted to publish it. The rest is history and I have now signed a contract for a series of DS Bassett mysteries. I am currently working on Book Two of the series, A Killing Heat. It is due for publication in December of this year.
I still work four days a week as a corporate governance assistant with a lovely company, so I do struggle to find time to write, but when it’s your passion, you find a way, although I look forward to a time when I can retire from ‘work’ and spend all my time on my writing.
But in the meantime, I am also working on a literary novel. So no pressure!
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