Writing ‘The Green Hills of Home’ by Emma Bennet

I certainly didn’t find writing my first romance, ‘The Green Hills of Home’, a quick and easy task! It was very much a labour of love, but one that I was absolutely determined to finish.

Before starting ‘The Green Hills of Home’ I’d written a few short stories and some stuff for children in my spare time, but obviously writing a whole novel was going to be a real challenge. However, I had a great plot in mind and couldn’t wait to get stuck in.

The words came easily to begin with, mainly because I was so excited about my characters and I loved writing about my setting of rural Wales. Almost before I knew it I had more than half my word count down. I was thrilled, until that is I read through it: oh my goodness, what a mess! In my excitement I’d been rather free and easy with my planning, and wrote whatever scenes I felt like at the time. Whilst it had been lovely writing all my favourite bits and showing off my protagonists in their most exciting moments, nothing fitted together and the whole manuscript was full of inconsistencies. What this meant was that it actually took me about three times as long as it should have to finish the story. But all my mistakes stood me in good stead for when I wrote my second novel ‘His Secret Daughter’, which came together in a much more organised fashion! When it came to writing my novella ‘Just Desserts’, I found that being rather stricter with myself while both planning my work and writing my book in chronological order, made the whole creative process a lot smoother and quicker.

However many romances I go on to write, ‘The Green Hills of Home’ as my debut will always be very special to me: I’d carried one of my ideas through to a completed novel, and I learnt an enormous amount writing it. The many positive reviews and the lovely reader comments have made all my hard work feel very worthwhile!


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