I've sometimes been asked, when I give talks about writing, which were the most exciting moments of my writing career. So far it's been quite easy to answer. There was the day in the early 1990s when I went to a posh event in London to receive an award and very nice cheque for being the 'Winner of Winners' in a national short story competition. Then, of course, the day in 2002 when I got the email from a publisher telling me that there was a contract in the post to me: my first novel had been accepted. That was the best moment of all! It was exciting, too, when my editor suggested, on accepting my sixth novel, that she'd like me to take on a pseudonym (Olivia Ryan) for a series of three books. And it was also exciting (if a little nerve-racking) when I decided to start self-publishing.
Now I'm approaching another of those moments! In less than four weeks I'll be publishing another new book on Amazon (as a Kindle ebook) - and for the first time it's NOT contemporary fiction, NOT a RomCom - in fact it's something so different from all my previous books, it's almost like I'm starting a brand new career!
YESTERDAY is set in the 1960s - one of the most exciting and socially interesting periods of recent history, and the heroine of the story, Cathy Ferguson, is an ordinary teenager growing up during the years of the Beatles and the Mods and Rockers.
Cover image for YESTERDAY - publication 17 April
The publication date will be 17 April - this Easter - to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the first violent clashes between the Mods and the Rockers at Clacton-on-Sea, which took place at Easter 1964 - and there will be more information about the book on this blog over the next few weeks.
But why did I choose to change genres - and why choose the 1960s? Well, I was given a piece of advice a few years back my an ex-editor of mine - that I should try writing historical fiction. I laughed. I've got so much respect for my author friends who write historical novels - they love what they do, and the amount of research needed is unbelievable. But history has never been my 'thing' and I couldn't imagine doing it.
- 'Only if the 1960s ever became history!' I replied to the editor at the time.
- 'It is, already,' she said.
I was quite taken aback. I was a teenager during the Sixties and it doesn't feel like history to me!
Me during the 1960s
But the conversation kept coming back to me, and the idea of writing a novel set in the Sixties became more and more attractive until I couldn't resist it any longer!
I've been very lucky that my contemporary books have been popular and I have many loyal readers who might be surprised by my change of direction. So, at the same time as promoting the new book, I'm letting everyone know: it's going to be different! And I really, really hope my readers will enjoy the change as much as I have!
Watch this space for more info about YESTERDAY.