I’ve not blogged for some time and instead have been adding updates on Facebook. Journaling is  useful for personal development and it’s a great way to check on my progress – so I’m back at it.

This year I have worked on the final edits to Holly’s Hub – the first book in my romance series, set in a fictional Somerset village. I am now half way through the first draft of book two, which has the working title ‘Jaz’. It is about Holly’s best friend who is a career woman, on a mission to make her first million, when her life is turned upside down and she has to face her past. I really liked the character of Jaz and she added light humour to Holly’s Hub – although this is trickier now she is the main character and she’s having troubles of her own. She also swears a lot – so I am having to deal with that without having pages full of blue words. Which I am sure would put a lot of readers off. I’m placing her in positions where she is not able to swear.

I am also thinking about book three and introducing characters, which will have a key part on the third novel.

The actual writing has not been as easy during lockdown with the family at home and I have had a week off while I decluttered the house. Now everything is tidy and in its place I am getting back to it. I usually write outside of the house at Weatherspoons or Brewers Fayer so have now claimed our second lounge (pictured above) as my writing space. The door is closed because hubby has taken to playing his vinyl and early Queen is reverberating through the house. My daughter is above me having a hip hop Zoom dance lesson so the light fitting is shaking. And the cat was clawing at the door until I let her in. However, I am determined to get the words down.

Wish me luck and I will update my blog with my progress.

Let me know below how your lockdown writing is going.


Happy New Year


Reflecting on 2019 I am pleased as punch with all of the words I have written. For 2020 I want to start thinking about publishing, I will be looking for an agent and also will consider the self-publishing route. My first novel is currently with beta readers and whilst that is being looked at I have started the second novel in the series. Having already invented the location and included known characters from the first book – it has been easier to get off of the ground. In December I attended my second meet up with the Imagine course Novel in a Year and the exercises Jenny Kane set in that workshop enabled me to flesh out some ideas. Although I have not written for two and a half weeks due to the Christmas period – I am already 8,800 words in. I am hoping that this novel will be completed a lot quicker than the first, which has taken me two years and I expect at least two more rewrites before I am happy to write out to agents. 

I would also like to write some short stories and articles this year and maybe send off a couple of poems I have penned. Also planning on attendant the London screenwriters festival. Having spent a few months at my desk I have let my health deteriorate a bit and piled on the pounds…or should I say stones – so I have set up a health blog to keep me motivated. Writing the health blog first thing in the morning will also get me in the writing mood for the rest of the day.

So that’s where I am at  on this day – 1 January 2020….what are your goals? 

Any biggies for 2020?

Suz xx

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com




As per my previous blog entry, I finished my Nanowrimo challenge, which resulted in the first draft of ‘Left in the Woods’. This will be the prequel to my cosy mystery series ‘Becky Palmer Psychic Detective’. I have been working my way through the manuscript, changing it from first person present tense, to third person limited (two points of view). 

I love churning out words so I thought that at the same time, I would start book 1 of the series, which I have called ‘Left in the Canal’, based in Bristol. However, after about two thousand words I decided to stop. I’m a bit of a pantser, but realise this might not be the best approach for tackling a murder mystery. It could end up way too messy and the thought of going back later, sticking in clues makes my head hurt.

I decided this is definitely a job for the writing program ‘Scrivener’, which is great for organising projects. I started by writing out a synopsis detailing why and how the murder happened and who did it. I then added a further five characters for the suspects list. I have listed out a brief profile of each of the six suspects and detailed how they knew the victim and why they may have wanted him dead. This is where I am at today.

Next I am going to start listing out as many clues as I can think of, which will divulge information about the suspects for the sleuth (Becky) to find and of course clues which will lead her to the murderer. I’ll also be thinking up a few clues to lead her off on a tangent as well. I am thinking in terms of a maze…go down one line, hit a dead end – review the information at hand, then back track etc. I am also open to the idea of changing the murderer if I feel like it when I start writing. I rarely stick to a plan 100%.

Once I have all that down I’ll be ready to get back to the writing. Can’t wait 🙂

December will also be the start of the third draft of my romance, with the current working title of ‘Loveland’s’ (previously Holly’s Hub). I wanted to let it sit for a month to distance myself from it. I’m itching to get stuck in and start crafting it now that I think (hope like mad) that I have the plot tightened.

I’m still learning the art of novel writing as I go, but am working on the basis that if I just keep writing, something will happen…eventually 🙂


NaNo Nutter



Phew NanoWriMo done  – 50199

I have had a bit of a marathon. I know NaNoWriMo is supposed to be a month but I got a bit carried away and did a fortnight.

As already mentioned – I have a second draft of a romance awaiting the next rewrite – I wanted to get on with another book, but didn’t want to write in the same genre, in case I started getting my characters in a twist – so I went for a supernatural thriller. 

I started it a few weeks before Nano and had got ten thousand words down. I decided to use NaNo to push it up to sixty. I’ve really enjoyed it but I was writing in first person present tense and after a while got sick of my own voice, droning on about rubbish. I also found it a bit limiting and found myself nearing the end of the story, when I was aiming for 90K. I thought that it would probably be better to change to third person past tense (my usual form) so that I could add in a different point of view. I had sent off my first few chapters to the brilliant Jenny Kane as part of her novel in a year course and I was pleased when she came back and suggested that I might want to try third person.

I started to rewrite it in third person and as I did, the genre changed from supernatural thriller to ‘romance’ – I just couldn’t help myself! ❤ .  I guess romance is in my heart. I have always wanted to write series books in the ‘cosy mystery’ genre, which often have a romantic element. I feel thrilled that I now have characters that I am developing and a first draft which exceeds  60K. Although, of course, this is a very shitty first draft – especially with the POV changing part way through – I feel I have something I can work with. As a series book I may be looking at a shorter word count…something to research over the coming weeks.

Although I haven’t achieved what I set out to i.e. ‘to be a cool thriller writer’. I am excited about my new characters and the adventures they will be going on…


I really must clean my house ha ha

Dance Mom


Back in  Brewers Fayer – in Bristol. When my daughter left school and started college I thought I’d get my life back – and indeed I did for a few weeks. She originally went to college in Bridgwater (an hour a way south). For five days a week, she left home at seven thirty and was back starving for dinner at six. It was great – all of those hours in the day to write. No school runs, and with no extra mess making activity, the place was tidy and for the first time in years I felt…dare I say it ‘organised.’ However, she was accepted into a competition team in Bristol (an hour away north) and subsequently changed to a Bristol college. I am now a full-on ‘dance Mom’ ferrying her to and from Bristol two to three times a week. That’s just for her classes – college is a 2 1/2 hour public transport experience for her and she gets out of bed at 5:30 a.m.

Although I’ve lost that sense of freedom, I’m so pleased she has a passion. I think that’s something that we can have knocked out of us. I’ve always encouraged our kids to follow their dreams. They may not be the wealthiest of individuals but there’s nothing worse than all those regrets…’I could have been a drummer’ ‘I could have been a dancer’. Do I worry about how she is going to make her way in the world? Yes of course, but I think it’s better to follow your dreams when you’re young. These days there’s an emphasis on lifelong learning – she can always go back and study accountancy later on – if she decides wants to follow that sort of career.  Indeed our eldest daughter has just graduated at thirty and is embarking on a masters degree as a mum of two.  Anyway – here I am in my fifties, I left school got a succession of good jobs then at the age of forty-nine with the big Five Ohh looming I thought ‘I can’t do this any more’ so handed in my resignation on impulse and decided to focus on my studies and my dreams. I graduated recently so now I am focussing on the writing and my duties as ‘Dance Mom’.

So this is why I am in Brewers Fayer so often – whilst Daughter is at her class – I come in here for my refillable coffee, warmth and free WiFi. I may have less hours to myself as she only goes to college three days a week, but I do get a lot of time alone where there is nothing to do other than write for three hours and drink coffee.

Brewers Fayer is my new office!

Happy writing.