Being awarded the Novel Prize has been a real boost to my confidence. The final revisions to the novel kept me busy throughout 2018, begging the question of how we ever know when a book is finished.
After that, I made a start on my current novel, also contemporary, set in the UK and Iran.
Then the pandemic arrived.
I remember back in March – and what a long time ago that seems! – being so terror-struck that I couldn’t write a word and feared I’d never do so again. Thankfully, life has settled down, for me at any rate, although we all know it will never go back to what it was.
Part of the new normal is walking around looking as if we’re about to hold up the nearest bank. But, on a more serious note, it has set me thinking again about the characters we create and how and at what stage we reveal the people behind the masks.
Aspects of ourselves will always remain hidden, of course, and our fictional characters are no different. This is both the charm and the challenge of our work– and a theme at the heart of ‘Flight Path.’
The book is now out in paperback, and as an ebook and audiobook, and I’m very happy with the route I’ve taken with Troubador. It’s so empowering to be involved directly in the publishing process.
I hope to have my current novel finished by the end of the year and remain very grateful to all at the Exeter Novel Prize for helping my development as a writer.
And as a final word: it was a lovely surprise to find myself on the same shortlist as Sarah Hegarty. We live within a few miles of each other and workshop regularly. I wish both her and the other short-listers every success with their writing.
What they did next...
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