Tuesday, 20 November 2012

The Next Big Thing

Note: comments left on this and the previous blog will be eligible for a free prize draw download of The Laird of Lochandee. 

Kate Jackson, author of Secrets and Promises, a two novel series, has invited me to take part in the blog event THE NEXT BIG THING – a series of questions and answers relating to my next book. You can read more about Kate’s own success at http://katejacksonwriting.blogspot.co.uk/

What is the title of your book?
It is called Darkest Before The Dawn
How did you come by the idea?
It is the fifth and last novel in the Home Series which follows the fortunes of the Caraford family from the finish of World War ll to present day, so this is a natural follow on with the third generation.
What genre does your book fall under?
It is a family saga even though it is modern. It could almost be a Young Adult in that it has all the joys and uncertainties of two young people growing up and getting to know each other, but it also has an older love affair which I didn’t expect but which I have really enjoyed writing.
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
The beauty of a new dawn often follows the darkest of nights as the joy of true love overcomes doubts and fears.
Will your book be self-published or traditional?
Darkest Before The Dawn is my twenty second novel and it will be published in hardback by Robert Hale Ltd in May 2013 and later in the year as an E-reader for downloading. It’s predecessor Another Home-Another Love is now available as an E-book.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
The first draft takes longest and is the hardest for me as I am not a plotter so I like to take time to get to know my characters. I would say about three months for a first draft if it is part of a series and longer if it is a new series or a single novel. At least two drafts follow.
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Although the background and settings are very different the exploring of the different generations and relationships is similar to some of the novels written by Anna Jacobs and Freda Lightfoot but they are both more prolific than I am
Who or What inspired you to write this book?
It is the first time I have written a novel right up to present day, complete with mobile phones and even a hint of drugs but I wanted to bring farming up to date as well as my characters. My son has recently installed robots for milking cows in his own herd and my characters have similar debates and discussions before the youngest member gets his way with modernisation.
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
People who follow the Archers may be interested in the series. Even though my novels are fiction they can learn about robots for milking cows, and my descriptions of farming and country life are completely authentic because it is my own background. In this particular novel - Darkest Before The Dawn - there are also the problems of coping with a leg amputation and we hear a lot about these with so many injured young soldiers and the triumph of the recent Paralympics.

Thank you to Kate Jackson for asking me to take part in this blog event.
The following authors will pick up THE NEXT BIG THING baton next Tuesday, 27th November when you can visit their blogs.

Jean Bull   'self-published writer of one historical romance, Gypsy Moth, with another on the way http://jeanbullswritingblog.blogspot.com/

Paula Stanley writing as Christina Hollis author of 17 novels for Harlequin Mills & Boon  http://www.christinahollis.blogspot.com  

Linda Hooper writing as Sarah Mallory historical romantic adventures for Harlequin Mills & Boon http://onebellesstrategem.blogspot.co.uk/




  1. Darkest Before Dawn has a beautiful cover, Gwen. I look forward to reading it.

  2. Thank you Kate. I like the cover too and it fits the title but I didn't have any say in it so I can't take the credit.

  3. What a lovely cover, Gwen - you must be delighted. I like the sound of the story and want to congratulate you on your 22nd novel.

    Janice xx

  4. Thank you Janice. Yes I do love the cover. I have taken your advice and booked a roast and toast party too! The first available date is Friday 22nd February so thanks for that too. I might need you to serve the food and wine - ar at least to sample it!

  5. I'm awed and amazed at the number of books you've had published, Gwen! I really like that cover.

  6. I love the cover too. Don't be awed. I only write novels where as you are more versatile than I am Rosemary.

  7. Lovely cover, Gwen. 22 novels? As the song says, this is what you've done (today) to make you feel proud. Congratulations!

  8. Thank you Joan. I can assure you 22 novels don't count when it comes to really dedicated writers. Kate Walker has written 61 and several authors on Romna have written a great many, but I must admit I have to enjoy my writing to do it, and it has to fit in with whatever demands life makes.