December 2016

I am dropping two photographs in as I write. Can you work out what they are?

I have finally, finally, finally… finished a draft of my new book and am happy with it. I will still read it through once more before I send it to my agent, but after three years and a lot of hard work, I am now really pleased with the ‘upgrade’ I’ve given the Granny Rose. She is no longer a quiet mouse but a feisty campaigner who waves protesting bill boards and shouts about what she believes. I love the new Granny Rose! She has never spoken out before but now has a view on everything that is going on around her. She’s grown from a cub to a roaring lion and beware anyone who doesn’t treat her with respect!

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I don’t think I’ve ever made such a drastic character change before. I liked Nana in Us Minus Mum, but Granny Rose in this book is better crafted and has more details to bring her alive. It was Penny, my agent, who suggested changing Granny Rose. Fantastic advice!

So now, Dangerous Friends, as it’s working title is, is printed off and my husband will read it and be super-critical. He is a film-maker, sees everything as if it is a scene in a film and will help me  make the story even better. He’s a bit like when a  teacher reads your stories and suggests ways to help you get better at writing.

Meanwhile, I am having a whole month off writing to give my brain a break. To start this I went to The Imperial War Museum in London to their exhibition called Real to Reel – A Century of War Movies. I was struck by the incredible details movie directors write down before they started filming. They know their characters as well as I try and know mine.

So – back to the photographs. A friend had sprout pizza (yes, you did read that correctly) after we watched Fantastic Beasts (loved the special effects) and another friend had these letters in Scrabble to make words out.

Happy New Year when it arrives!