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“[I] am much struck by the rapid haphazard gallop at which it swings along, sometimes indeed jerking almost intolerably over the cobbles.” 

Virginia Woolf was talking about her diary. She could just as easily have been referring to her books. She often had a haphazard relationship with both. As do I. Although, unlike Mrs Woolf, I keep a sparse diary these days. More a daily, brief note frankly. My writing style is equally random. All over the shop to be honest – rarely linear but it works for me, so onward & sideways…

My third story is out on submission. It’s time to show up & write another. And so I bought myself a new notebook. Partly because I need one & also because the focus for #Book 4 has shifted hugely. It already exists in a complete first draft. The writing of it has happened over a period of several years. It’s been a thread, winding in & out of Ghostbird, Snow Sisters, a story about a fire-ruined house & #Book3. (Don’t ask – I’m terribly superstitious & until/if, too terrified to reveal the title.)

#Book 4 then kept getting eclipsed. I wondered at one point if it was one of those stories that wasn’t meant to be written at all. But I kept going back to it & to Grace, the central character. Grace is unlike anyone I’ve written before. She’s older for one thing. I’m very keen to write an older woman protagonist & I’ve been thinking about Grace a lot over the past week or so, wondering if I can finally write her & do her justice.

arthur-rackham Fair Helena

There will be a selkie too, although not in the way most people imagine. Mine bears very little resemblance to the ‘conventional’ selkie myth & she’s never been near the sea…

The distance between my original vision for this story & being ready to write it properly means it was inevitable that aspects would change. And so it’s proved. This is the best time of year for me to write. Darker evenings, lush morning mists, nights drawing in… So yes, bought myself a new notebook…

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