Tuesday, 30 November 2010
What do I do for the next four years?
For the past four years of my life I have been writing my Hayling Cycle of three novels. I'm not sure when it turned into a cycle, but sometime during the writing of the first novel, Hidden, I had a wonderful idea for a second novel. At that point I decided that two was too symmetrical and I had to write three. So sometime during 2006 the ideas for the three novels were born. The inspiration for the second novel was a minor character, Lindy, who I felt had an important story to tell. So Lindy became the major character in the second novel, Illegal. During the writing of the second novel, another character, Jess presented herself as having a lot more to say. Jess is the main character of the third novel, Stuffed. In this way my cycle was born, all set on Hayling Island and featuring a rotating cycle of characters.
Peppermint Ward came out in 2006 and has gone all round the world, helping children and their families understand a diagnosis of cancer. Its one of the publications I feel most proud of.
You can find out more about the book at this link.
Samir arrives at Heathrow as an unaccompanied asylum seeking child and is taken into care. He writes his diary to try and understand what has happened to him. The anthology was shortlisted for the UKLA Award, 2008.
We meet Samir again in Hidden. He is four years older but still an outsider in England. He becomes friendly with Alix, an English girl. Together they discover an illegal immigrant washed up on a Hayling beach and hide him to save him from being deported.
Tony Bradman has told me that over 15 of his anthology authors have gone on to publish novels. How lucky we were to have the support of this generous and talented author.
David O'Connell. This time I had to learn how to write comic style - a completely different way of writing a story. Our booklet has gone all round the UK helping people with special needs understand how to cope with the nationwide change to digital.
It has taken me four years to complete my Hayling Cycle. I have a great agent, Eve White and excellent publishers, Meadowside. I just have to plan what to do next, I suppose.