Jenny Schwartz will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter.
One of the reasons I started writing Sky Garden was to prove to myself that I could write an 80,000 word novel. Tick!
I learned that writing to that length requires my brain to expand and hold a far more complicated plot than the short novellas I’d been focussed on. Novellas are about emotional punch and strong, focussed plots. Writing Sky Garden was about maintaining tension, multiple plot threads and revealing character growth. A wonderful challenge. Careful note-keeping was required.
Many of the lessons from writing Sky Garden were common to other writing projects:
- Write to a theme. Sky Garden’s was about belonging. Where do we feel at home? Where do we feel safe enough to be our true selves? Who will value our vulnerable self-revelation?
- Have a schedule for your writing. Life is chaotic, so schedules have to be flexible, but I like a weekly word count goal to keep me honest.
- Don’t forget to have a life outside of the book being written! This one was tough as I found Sky Garden all-absorbing.
- Write to genre conventions, or to put it another way, meet readers’ expectations. This includes being aware of similar books and authors.
- Don’t get hung up on minor issues in the first draft. Power through everything except major plot holes. Those have to be fixed! Everything else can be added, deleted, and improved in subsequent drafts. Don’t give your internal editor a critical veto power too early.
- Write with passion. If you’re not interested in what you’re writing, why on earth would a reader be?
- Rejoice at every stage! First line written. First draft finished. Cover. Blurb. Revisions done. Whatever the milestone, enjoy it. A sense of accomplishment is powerful incentive for future activity.
Researching details of London life was a bonus to writing Sky Garden. I’m now determined, utterly, that I have to visit Kew Gardens. It looks so beautiful online.
On the rooftops of London, you can be anyone.
A year ago, Lanie Briers escaped a serial killer. She grew up in a theatre family and her act was mediumship, but not anymore. Life, now, is a hidden retreat above a quirky Bloomsbury museum, where she waits and watches.
Nick Tawes is an unexpected intrusion. He's a landscape architect filming a television series on roof gardens, and he intends to build one in Lanie's aerial territory. He has his own demons, old family troubles, that lure Lanie out of her refuge and into living again.
But as summer progresses and the sky garden grows, Lanie's enemy is closing in--because some secrets must go to the grave.