It had been a long time since I had persevered with a book and then, 300 pages in, fell right in, and kept falling.
I spent three days either waiting to get back to my book, or reading my book. I updated social media to let people know I wouldn’t be around. The real world was not as vivid as the one within those 700 pages. When I finished, I was bereft.
I have a lot of ambitions as a writer, but even if I do not fulfill any (more) of them, it will be enough to have been given this gift. How to read. Of course I have always read and loved it, but before I wrote, I wasn’t pushing myself in my book choices. I read to relax.
And I wasn’t aware of what it takes to write a novel.
Book 2 has been delivered and what a difficult ‘birth’ that was!
My central character and crime investigator, Jacques Forêt, delves into the murky world of commercial sabotage for his next case. This is a place where people lie and misrepresent, where information is traded and used as a threat.
In Mende, in south west France, my fictional business, the Vaux Group, are losing contracts and money and Jacques is the go-to man to work through the complex web of the evidence. He finds more than he bargained for and his life is threatened. When the body of a woman is found, it appears to be suicide. But Jacques suspects there is more to it.
Who is behind it all…and why? Will Jacques find the answer before another person ends up dead?
Merle is published on July 5th. Read on…
When I was about eighteen
lots of people starting talking
about a book they had read.
‘It’s totally about you, Stella!’
They would say.
And I would be like
What? A total fuck up
like I am?
I can’t remember
where I got my first copy
or where I read it
or what I was doing at the time.
But I have read it so often
that I know it all
off by heart.
Words and phrases
from the book
remain in my vocabulary
‘happiness is … the pursuit
of attainable goals.’
‘I am going to cancel
and spend the evening
in a cardigan
with egg on it.’
Sentences structured without all words.
One of my favourite reviews
of my own novel,
said it was like ‘a younger version
of Bridget Jones.’
Today I have been thinking about … storage.
As the laundry basket finally empties after a full month of overflowing, my thoughts turn to storage.
I don’t have enough storage.
I have just about enough for my clothes, unless the laundry basket is empty. Books operate on a strict one in, one out policy. DVDs are regularly culled; thank goodness for Netflix. The CD collection is bizarrely exempt. In terms of work space– we actually have a hot desk in our house. I have press coverage and a contract and nowhere to put them.
But of course I’m going to say ‘but,’ and be grateful, for if I didn’t have a surfeit of items, how could I complain about storage? I’m also going to add a ‘let’s not hold on too tightly to our stuff.’
It’s not people. It’s only things.
Reader, it was the day of my book-launch party.
Excitement was replacing anxiety, bolstered by a pretty updo and the decision to wear that dress. The box of books had been arranged by friends into an enticing display as I’d emptied the bins.
Gathering, greeting, performing, signing – signing! and finally, dispersing.
I’m used to coming home, thinking ‘I should’ve said this thing, I shouldn’t have done this thing.’
I’m not used to going home deeply happy, having sold all those books on the display. Books of a story I wrote. Signed copies going home with new readers.
Once the venue had been tidied and swept, corks had been popped and the night was nearly over, I got into bed, and read. I always do. Someone else’s story, a world they had created.
I can’t wait to see what happens next.
For as long as I can remember the paranormal has fascinated me.
As a child I preferred darker stories and devoured Ruth Manning-Saunders twisted fairytales. I also had an appetite for horror films and loved nothing more than cosying up with my family to watch a scary movie on the box!
Although I kick-started my writing career in the romance genre, I switched to paranormal as it’s where my heart lies. I’ve also had a lot of knowledge passed down to me from my mother who has an intellectual interest in the Occult, so in a way I’ve grown up with the paranormal all around me. It simply makes sense that there’s a spiritual world as well as a material one.
Regarding fellow authors, I’m inspired by the greats such as Shirley Jackson, Susan Hill, Stephen King, and Dean Koontz.
Imagine Esty’s childhood.
Prayers, rules, blessings before everything, thanking God. Sharing a bed, hardly any toys, endless chores. Father out studying or praying. Mother always busy.
No television, no cinema, no computer. Sabbath: no driving, pressing switches, tearing paper.
Glimpses of another life, so near yet so far. Are those people good or bad, sad or happy? Covert skimming through a discarded newspaper provides an inkling or two. Esty begins to envisage herself in that other world.
Escape. That’s the easy part. The months ahead will determine whether Esty can acclimatise to this new life. Can she ever feel completely at ease? Will Mark wait for her?
Miriam’s Book: Neither Here Nor There is available from Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, iTunes and elsewhere.
Miriam Drori can be found on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Pinterest, Wattpad and on her website/blog.
The first line of a book can be as mouth-watering as a ripe fig, and you don’t want to finish it all in one bite. Here are some delectable examples.
The young boys came early to the hanging. (Pillars of the Earth, Ken Follett);
Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again. (Rebecca, Daphne du Maurier);
Dennis Lenahan the high diver would tell people that if you put a fifty-cent piece on the floor and looked down at it, that’s what the tank looked like from the top of that eighty-foot steel ladder. (Tishomingo Blues, Elmore Leonard);
Four months to the day he first encountered the boy at Walmart, the last of Phil Pendleton’s teeth fell out. (Sour Candy, Kealan Patrick Burke).
And my offering: I wake on the beach and discover I’m naked. (The Second Path, Virginia King).
Today I have been thinking…about my novel.
As if I’ve been thinking about anything else for the last two months. It feels wrong, somehow, talking about this on the blog. I’m supposed to have a tinylife, how can that include insurmountable, unbelievable, incomprehensible ideas like writing a novel? Let alone having a novel published.
And yet, this has happened to tiny me. I wrote and wrote a story I believed in, then I sent it to lots of people who publish books, and one of them said ‘Yes.’
Clearly the last 23 words do not in any way communicate what it was like.
So now there is a whole novel out there in the wide world,
doing its level best in a world full of novels.
I wrote it. I’m proud of it. I really am a writer.
Today I have been thinking about…big life.
What happens when someone or something steps into your tiny life and offers you a glimpse at a big life?
Several Sundays ago, I got a life-changing email.
It was a good, life-changing email, but nevertheless, when you like your life pretty much how it is, thanks, the idea of going out into the big wide world again can be unsettling.
Here’s a quick seven ideas on how to maintain a tinylife in your big life.
- It’s OK to not know what you’re doing,
- It’s OK to be scared,
- It’s OK to ask for help,
- Try to stay grounded,
- Nature can soothe,
- Keep coming home, and…probably most importantly…
- Work out, and then remember who is in your circle. They’ll be the people that hold you through the craziness of big life.