Thirty-four-year-old Kitty Bennett is trapped in a loveless marriage to criminal barrister, Dan, who’s gradually isolated her from her family and friends. Until the day she (literally) bumps into her first love, the handsome and easy-going Ollie Cartwright – someone she’s done her best to avoid for as long as she can remember. Looking into Ollie’s eyes awakens feelings for him she thought she’d buried deep years ago, and he clearly feels the spark, too. As she walks away, Kitty can’t help but wonder what might have been… Dan senses that his marriage is on shaky ground and knows he needs to win his wife round. He turns on the charm, skilfully using their two children, Lucas and Lily, as bargaining tools. But Kitty’s older brother, Jimby, and her childhood best-friends, Molly and Violet, have decided enough is enough. For years they’ve had to watch from afar as Kitty’s been browbeaten into an unrecognisable version of herself. They vow to make her see Dan for what he really is, but their attempts are no match for his finely-honed courtroom skills and, against her better judgement, Kitty agrees to give her husband one last chance. But, all-too-soon, a series of heart-breaking events and a shocking secret throw her life into turmoil… Will she stand by Dan, or will Kitty be brave enough to take the leap and follow her heart to Ollie? Life is anything but peaceful in the chocolate-box pretty village of Lytell Stangdale, where life unravels, and hearts are broken. Full of heart-warming moments, this book with have you crying tears of joy, laughter and sadness.
I have the greatest pleasure in hosting a guest post from Eliza today, over to you Eliza…
THE BEGINNINGS OF A STORY
Hi there Wrong Side of Forty, thank you for taking part in the publication day blog tour for The Letter – Kitty’s Story and thank you for having me on your blog. I thought I’d share with you how I get the beginnings of a story, so here goes:
I never know when the idea for a story is going to strike, so I almost always carry a notebook and a pen with me wherever I go so I can scribble it down before it disappears! They can pop into my head in the most unlikely of places and, on the occasion I don’t have a notebook to hand, I’ll whip out my phone and tap my thoughts into the notes section before they float off out of my head.
From that simple jotting, the outline can grow quite quickly and sometimes my writing struggles to keep up with my thoughts as they come spilling out of my head! I tend to write these by hand in an A4 notebook (this is the only stage of a story when I don’t use my laptop) and it’s almost as if, once those first words are on the page, the story takes on a life of its own and just blooms and grows.
Once the bones of the story are down, I then start to think of about my protagonists, and I usually have a pretty good idea of what they look like, their mannerisms what they’re called and what their personalities are like. This is such an exciting time and, to me, it’s like getting to know real people.
After this, I’ll move on to the setting and, again I can visualise this pretty clearly and see how all the characters fit into it, whether it be a village or a town. I also have a clear idea of what their homes are like.
The next thing I do is create a spreadsheet of the characters which includes every detail about them: eye colour, hair colour, where they live, who they live with etc. I find this really useful and knowing I’ve got it to refer to helps de-clutter my rather messy mind. I print this off as I like to have it handy to flick through beside my laptop whenever the need arises, though it usually ends up covered in scribbles as I add things!
I’ve had the outlines for several stories like this for quite a few years, and once I get a few of the Life on the Moors stories out of the way, I’ll turn my attention to them. After all, they’ve been waiting very patiently.
I didn’t, however, use the above method when I was writing The Letter – Kitty’s Story. Well, that’s not strictly true, I did have a handwritten outline, but when I sat down at my laptop and started typing, a completely different story emerged! It turned out to be huge – like I’d just vomited words onto the pages! – and I realised that there were actually three separate stories in it: Kitty’s, Molly’s and Violet’s. I’m currently working on Molly’s story which is proving to be even more heart–wrenching than Kitty’s. And poor old Violet faces some pretty tough times in hers, too. I’ve saved the original outline for when it’s ready to be written – if at all.
Thank you for letting me share this with you on your lovely blog.
All About Eliza
I live in a village in the North Yorkshire Moors with my husband, two daughters and two black Labradors. When I’m not writing, I can usually be found with my nose in a book/glued to my Kindle, or in my garden. I also enjoy bracing walks in the countryside, rounded off with a visit to a teashop where I can indulge in another two of my favourite things: tea and cake.
Where To Find Eliza
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