The Next Big Thing

Thanks to Ruth Dugdall, fellow Legend Press author and Luke Bitmead Bursary winner. She tagged me in the NEXT BIG THING. 

I have to answer ten questions about my writing and then tag other writers who will answer the same ten questions. And on and on…

Here goes:

What is the working title of your book? 

Bright Stars

Where did the idea come from for the book? 
It’s been brewing for a while. I’ve wanted to revisit student days in a Northern town back in the 80s.
What genre does your book fall under? 
Lit-lite, somewhere between literary and commercial fiction. The Generation Game and This Holey Life were about family relationships. This novel still has an element of that, but also has more peer relationships. As with the previous two novels, it also has a dual time frame. Just to make things more tricky for me.
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition? 
I have four main characters as students and then as 45 year olds. I’d like Helen Baxendale to play my female lead and obviously David Tennant. Because he’s David Tennant. He could play either of my men.
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? 
Four forty-somethings have a reunion and face the fallout of a tragic night twenty years before when they were students.
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency? 
I’m represented by Broo Doherty of Wade and Doherty
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
I’m halfway through and it’s taken me about nine months to get this far. I have the second half planned out, which is unusual for me…Though I know this could change. Sometimes I love it. Sometimes I don’t. But I am writing it word by word which is the only way.
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Clare Chambers, ‘Uncertain Terms’, David Nicholls, ‘One Day’
Who or What inspired you to write this book?
That’s hard to answer. The story has just been burning a hole in my brain for a while and this year has been the year to embark on it.
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest? 
There’s Ice Wine, Top of the Pops, and a prison on Dartmoor.
I’ve tagged the following writers to answer the same questions on their blogs. In alphabetical order:
Cathie Hartigan is a writer and creative writer teacher living in Exeter. She runs Creative Writing Matters and is a member of the RNA New Writers Scheme. She has winning short stories and flash fiction to her credit. You can follow her (and me, as I am now her partner in crime) at
Michelle Heatley is a writer from Brixham in Devon whose debut novel Fish Soup is published in 2013 by by Sunpenny Publishing. You can follow her at:
Geri Hellery is a writer from Exeter who is also one of the Apocalypse Girls. You can follow her at or check out her blog at
Amanda Saint is a writer who has travelled extensively and has recently settled on Exmoor. She runs day writing retreats in Devon so if you need some time and space for your work, you can look at And you can follow Amanda at
Ruth Dugdall

I Love Sir Brucie

What a treat of a repeat, seeing Brucie host Have I got News For You again last night on BBC2. What a legend. I love this man.

As I’ve mentioned once or twice before on this blog, Sir Bruce Forsyth was the inspiration for my novel The Generation Game. Just as I was writing this post, I had a photo sent to me by my husband, who’s up in Liverpool for the Labour Party Conference. He found time to go into Waterstones and saw my book there, wedged between Daphne Du Maurier and Stella Duffy and close to Ruth Dugdall, a fellow Legend Press novelist. So exciting to see it on the shelves….finally!

Luke Bitmead Writer’s Bursary

If you are a struggling writer and want to be published, then think about entering the Luke Bitmead Bursary for new writers. The award was set up shortly after Luke’s untimely death in 2006 by his family to support and encourage the work of fledgling novel writers. The winner will receive a publishing contract with Legend Press, as well as a cash bursary.

This is the fourth year of the award. Andrew Blackman won the first year with On the Holloway Road. Ruth Dugdall won the second year with The Woman Before Me. And I was astounded to be the third winner with The Generation Game which will be published on August 1st.

If you have an unpublished novel that you want to share with the world, then give it a go. What have you got to lose?