On the corner of Worship St

9 06 2014

I tweeted the other day (@hhcoventry) about the title of a story which came to me whilst walking through Shoreditch in London. It whirled around in my head with various ideas slotting into place. Some I discarded as derivative e.g. where we first met, where she died, where I was born. Some I discarded because they were just a bit shit.

I am a chick-lit writer. It’s in my soul. But there has to be more. My drawer of ideas fills up regularly and so perhaps it is time to consider other genres, other foci and then do a bit more than just consider them. Chick-lit isn’t dying but tastes change and readers are looking for something different.

Chick-lit will continue to be the bread and butter of my life but why not try a different flavour of jam. Suspense, thriller, psychological nightmare horror. All are in the mix but for Worship St I am thinking about a heist.

I do detectives in my chick-lit novels. Chick-lit-dicks as I have called them before. But now it is time to jump to the other side of the fence and stay within the law when solving a mystery. I see a police detective – a woman of course, it’s what I know – with a snitch who hears something about Worship Street in the wind. A half heard conversation. A hard nut vanishes for weeks only to be seen in Shoreditch. Why Worship St? Just a quiet backwater or a cut-through for a security van when the high st is closed for repairs?

I like the idea of fitting a story to a title. That’s why so many competitions do the same in the writing world.

Now I need to decide which one of my creative minds I will task to bring DI Sheila Cooper to life. Make her breathe. Make her strong. Make her love. Make her real!



29 07 2013

Take a book.  A new book by an untried author.  I read one the other day – I won’t give away the title now because it still needs a bit of work – let’s give it a pen-name “ GW”. GW is a book that could be slotted into a number of different genres, sitting in the gray borders of thriller, crime, psychological suspense.  But for an agent or a publisher it is useful to package it up for a specific market.  Should a new author be worried about this?  Should he (for it is a he) look at the finished whole and think it needs improving so it better fits into the world’s view or, more to the point, finds the right shelf in Waterstones?

If he is writing just for fun, for himself, then no!  If he’s written the book he wanted to write then the world can like it or lump it!  However, if he is writing for profit, for recognition, for accolades then he should listen to all the professional advice he can get.  The key word there is professional.  He’s been hot-housed with that novel for years, he’s pruned it, nurtured it, loved it as much as any pigeon-fancier has his birds. Can he see what an outsider sees, does he have the experience to see what else can be done to give it a better start in life? 

Professionally recommended edits do not detract from his worth as a writer.  Yes, the book may be different as a result but it will hit the audience harder from a clearer direction and achieve its results.  If he wants to retain a ‘director’s cut’ in his cloud he can always do a retrospective on the 20th anniversary of publication but for now he should be grateful that there’s airspace for his pet to thrive within.