Tag Archives: Fiction

A great start to 2016

I’m having a wonderful start to 2016.

If that sounds complacent or boastful, trust me, it isn’t. It’s relief and joy. I had an up and down (more down than up) 15 months leading up to the New Year, so to be able to say with confidence that the first 10 days of the year are good is a remarkable feeling.

Facebook cover

I published my first novel on 30th December. After two years of sitting on it, too scared to put it out in the world, I realised that I wasn’t going to be able to move onto ProjectP (as novel number two shall henceforth be named until I publish it!) until I had released ‘The Broken Heart Repair Plan’ into the world.

January 1st dawned with a nice handful of sales and a heart-warming and loving reaction from friends and family. Then, on my first day back at work, I made it onto the New Year Woman’s Hour phone in, which focused on big changes that we women were planning to make in 2016.

Having taken five years in total to produce Novel Number One, I have resolved to write, edit and publish ProjectP within the year and it felt amazing to say that out loud, live on air to circa 4m listeners. It made it a commitment, not a resolution, and that feels different; more solid, more planned, much more achievable.

Yesterday, I put that commitment into action. I went to the first Writers’ Circle brunch of the year and wrote the first few paragraphs of the first chapter of ProjectP. I read them out to three friends later in the day and the reaction was wonderful – ‘more please!’ It doesn’t get much better than that.

And today, here I am, starting my writing day with a new blog post, which will be the first of many and regular ones.

So for what it’s worth, here’s my New Year’s advice for any writers who might be struggling to turn a resolution into a commitment:

  1. Join a writing group. The support is tremendous and the encouragement to keep writing is regular and a vital top up.
  2. Just write. Kevin, one of the guys in my group, said he writes at least 500 words each day and he works full time like I do. If he can, I can. Make it a habit.
  3. Publicly voice your commitment to your writing project – put it on Facebook, Tweet it, tell all your friends, blog it, write it in capital letters in your personal journey. Commit to it publicly and you increase the chances of making it happen.
  4. Write. Even when you feel dull and lacking in inspiration, just write.
  5. If you don’t have a specific project, then find competitions to enter. Even if you don’t send off the finished piece, you will at least have a rich source of writing prompts to choose from.

Happy New Year to all writers, everywhere around the world. Here’s hoping 2016 is a stellar year for all of us.

A new departure

I have sorely neglected my blog for many months. But there’s a good reason. I have been finishing up a project that has taken over five years to complete – my first novel.

I fell in love with Jordan way, way back in 1994 and the inspiration was so deep than when I turned to writing, I knew that my first novel must be set there. If you love the country, I think you’ll enjoy the descriptions of Petra and Wadi Rum, two places that stole my heart and still rate as my favourite in the world.

And if you love a good, easy read with a splash of heartache and love, then ‘The Broken Heart Repair Plan’ will make a nice New Year read for you.

If anyone has been to Jordan – either recently or in the past – I would love to know what you think of the descriptions in the novel. If you haven’t been but are toying with the idea, then I hope it might provide a bit of inspiration to start off 2016 adventure-planning.

And if you have travelled there in the past couple of years, I would dearly love to hear what this gorgeous country is now like. Did you receive a warm welcome? Is Petra still the beguiling, mysterious, beautiful place it was? I hope so.

Above all, I have to start my first day as a published novelist with a plug – please do buy the book. If you like it, please recommend it to your friends!


Sharing my latest short story: half way through


I am a ‘not-so-secret’ fiction writer. I would love to share more of my work on this blog but most of the short story competitions I enter preclude entries that have been published, even on a personal blog.

As for my novel, well, apart from the extract that invites readers to walk into Petra, I feel that it should stay well under wraps until I have explored its potential fully.

I noticed a competition a few weeks’ ago, for which the brief was something along the lines of ‘your protagonist receives an unexpected telephone call. What happens next?’ I had a spare ten minutes while waiting for a friend in a café and so I scribbled a few words.

What do you think should happen next? The obvious path is that the news creates a terrible rift in her family but I’d like to think of something a little bit different and I’m open to ideas (excluding science fiction – that’s just not my thing!).

Here goes:

Out of the Blue

I wasn’t expecting the call. How could I when I had no idea that a different past existed?

The first warm and sunny Saturday of the year had called to me and I had leapt out of bed, eager to drink in every last drop of liquid light.

It was early, just six thirty. I strode up the canal path towards the woods. The only other folk about were the dog-walkers, that polite breed of people who nod in recognition to others of their kind. I wasn’t one of them but I always waved a cheery ‘good morning’.

When I took the call I was two hours in, sitting on a bench in a delicious sun trap, enjoying the country silence – bees waking up from winter, birds twittering high above and a light breeze tickling the unfurling spring leaves. The harsh jingle of my phone broke the peace. I was tempted to ignore it and looking back, I wish I had. I didn’t recognise the number.

“Serena Ducasse,” I answered.

“Miss Ducasse, you don’t know me. I’m calling regarding rather a delicate matter. Is now a good time to talk?” The voice intrigued me. It sounded European.

“As good as ever. How can I help you?”

If I had known the destruction this man would cause, I would have left the phone untouched and the call unreturned. Curiosity is a powerful drug and one I have never been able to resist.

The caller’s next words left me reeling. “Your brother has been in a car accident and has died.”

“I’m sorry, Mr…”

“Sorry, Mr Marchal, I should have introduced myself.”

“Mr Marchal, there has been a mistake. My brother died forty years ago of meningitis. He was just 18. You have the wrong family.”

“Robert Adam Ducasse, born 2nd July 1948?” A note of hesitation quivered at the base of Mr Marchal’s voice. “Does that mean anything?”

“Nothing. You have the wrong Ducasse.” My voiced tailed off. A feeling of dread began to percolate through my body.

“I admit this is strange but I am Mr Ducasse’s lawyer and he very specifically mentioned you when we drew up his last will and testament some years ago. Are you Serena Michelle Ducasse, born 2nd July 1953?”

“I am but I didn’t have an older brother. Do you know his mother’s and father’s names? I’m sure we can clear this up.” I was snappy with tension.

“I do. I have his birth certificate here. Margaret O’Hara…”

I interrupted him, relief flooding my voice. “No. My mother was Imelda Mary McGuinness.”

“And your father?” asked Mr Marchal in a low, grave voice.

As I uttered the name ‘Jean Alexandre Ducasse’ Mr Marchal spoke at the same time.

“I think we should meet, Miss Ducasse. Mr Ducasse has left you a very significant estate.”

© Carole Scott 2013

All ideas welcome!

Natural Fern Garden
The perfect spring day was ruined. (Photo credit: Distant Hill)

By Carole Scott