It’s New Year. The Christmas tree is in the hoover, the baubles and fairy lights are in the loft and the cards are in the recycling box. The fridge is devoid of any seasonal treats (verified by my bulging midriff) and Dry January has begun.
It’s January 2nd; which has a certain ring to it. Second. Second chance. Second coming. “I second that motion”. The motion to be happy, grateful, patient; traits that do not come naturally and which I must work at, eschewing melancholy, regret and irritation. Must try harder (as my school report was wont to say).
Second chance: another crack at writing – intelligent, entertaining, absorbing fiction. Something new, different, challenging. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I am categorically and clinically fond of my first two books Seeking Eden and Eden Interrupted – and grateful to Urbane Publications, who gave me my first break. I also know there’s a third Eden book to come; too many readers have begged for one to complete the circle, the trilogy. Ah, but to write something new – outside my comfort zone; it’s scary and exhilarating but it must be done.
Perhaps “The Godson” is my second chance. Or perhaps it’s merely a red herring – a transition. It’s my third completed novel (although I’ve started several others and have all sorts of partial manuscripts hidden in the bowels of my laptop).
The Godson is my first psychological thriller and a complete departure from my two published novels. It’s twisty, mysterious and dark in places. The premise is a simple one:
Three forty-something women borrow a friend’s villa in Italy for the summer, each having experienced upsetting life events. Desperate for a break, Susanne, Dale and Evie want nothing more than to relax and regroup in the glorious Tuscan sunshine. But the villa comes with a housemate: Harry, the owner’s Godson – a spoilt, wealthy twenty-four-year-old, ostensibly there to learn Italian while enjoying a final blast of freedom before starting a financial job in London.
Clever, handsome and manipulative, Harry has his own agenda: top of which is to flatter and seduce beautiful divorced-mother, Susanne. But lesbian drama teacher, Dale, is suspicious of Harry’s motives from the outset. Meanwhile, shy Evie remains neutral, keen to dispel tensions between Susanne and Dale, while nursing the recent loss of her mother in private. But as the secrets and lies escalate and Harry’s behaviour becomes increasingly bizarre, the women’s Tuscan dream becomes a nightmare.
And so, having taken The Godson as far as I’m able, I am looking for a publisher and the dreaded ‘querying’ process has begun. The publishers I am targeting form a select and revered list; I have either read and loved their books, or I’ve heard wonderful things from authors who already write for them. Having been through the process before, I know it will be a tense, frustrating and um, quiet period (I was amazed by the number of agents who simply ignored my emails three years ago, rendering the rejection letters a luxury).
So, maybe The Godson is my second chance. My second coming as a writer. But if not, it doesn’t matter; it’s only words on a page and I will moan, learn from the experience and move on – write something else. Because to a writer, there’s nothing more daunting or more exciting than a blank page.
Wishing friends, family, readers and the writing community a very HAPPY, HEALTHY AND PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR.
Let 2020 be a second chance for all of us 🙂