So, I’ve just sent my Christmas novelette, The Silence of Juliet Mann, out to all my lovely mailing list subscribers, and I really hope they enjoy reading it. For anyone who didn’t manage to join up in time, the book will be available on Kindle nearer Christmas. (What do you mean, it’s only 3 weeks and 2 days away!)

SJM cover

I’m so glad I wrote this book, for a couple of reasons. First off, it was really interesting to see what I could do with the shorter form of the novel. Some stories – and I think this was one – just wouldn’t work over an entire novel, but short stories can be very restrictive as there’s just not enough space to develop a character, or get together much of a plot. I’ll definitely be exploring novelettes and novellas again in the future, and this has given me the confidence to carry on with a topic, even if I don’t think it’s necessarily going to make it all the way to a full novel.

The second reason I’m glad I wrote it is, it was quite cathartic. Upsetting to write at times – I had to mine my memory for some parts, and the feelings this produced were challenging to say the least! But when I got to the end I felt really uplifted. When you read it you’ll see what I mean – the ending isn’t your typical ‘magical cure’, and it’s nothing like the ending of The King’s Speech. It’s authentic, and I found it very empowering.

One thing I want to say about this story is that it isn’t about stammering. Well, okay, it kind of is, but in fact the speech problem is symbolic of any problem which stops a person from achieving her dreams. It’s a metaphor for the issues in life we run away from and brush under the carpet. Juliet’s journey is no different to the journey taken by anyone who has the courage – or is forced! – to finally face up to their fears.

Thanks again to everyone who signed up to the mailing list, I got over 40 new subscribers this month which is absolutely brilliant. And if anyone misses the old newsletter, don’t worry – I’m planning some competitions for the blog in the new year which look to be great fun.