July 2014 – “Cry at Midnight” arrives

The wait between completing the manuscript and opening a box of 100 copies of my book seemed interminable. Now it’s here and the joy of reading it in book form is indescribable. I am thrilled with the cover. It’s exactly as requested – with the bonus of a perfect font that adds to the magic.

I recall the Arvon Course at Moniack Mhor where I discussed my ideas with tutors Cathy MacPhail and Linda Strachan.

Authors Linda Strachan and Catherine MacPhail were outstanding tutors on a Course entitled ‘Writing for Children’.

When I attended the Course I had just returned from Tiree with the germ of an idea. Over the week with Cathy and Linda it began to grow into a novel. At the end of every day we had to say, out loud, ‘I am a writer.’ I was desperate to be a writer, but at that stage it was still a dream. Now, with a published children’s novel I’m beginning to believe that it’s true.

Of course, that week was only the beginning. The really hard work started when I returned home. As a first venture into children’s fiction it was daunting and I was so lacking in confidence that even when I’d completed the first draft I let it lie for almost two years. When I returned to it I re-wrote whole sections but the basic story remained the same. I spent hours in re-reading, cutting back surplus words and adjusting the pace. I immersed myself in the story, felt the emotions of Merryn, my heroine, and allowed those feelings to lead the story into quite unexpected places. I grew so attached to the characters that I had to leave a ‘hook’ for another book. Thus Cry at Midnight became the first of The Hagstone Chronicles.

Over the last few days I’ve been busy signing copies for mail orders, but the biggest buzz came from the Colonsay Bookshop. They had almost sold out and I went over on the ferry to deliver more. As I went into the shop two children were buying the last copy. I signed if for them and I think I was even more delighted than they were.

Signing copies of “Cry at Midnight”.

Slate Voices: Islands of Netherlorn featured this month too. My daughter and my grandchildren, Joe and Cerys were with us for a fortnight so I did a reading for them together with a small group of friends. It was a lovely evening as can be seen from the view through my living room window.

Reading from “Slate Voices”.