Salvador Dali said, ‘Have no fear of perfection, you’ll never reach it.’ I can certainly relate to that.
Samuel Johnson’s quote is a little kinder. ‘It is reasonable
to have perfection in our eye that we may advance toward it, though we know it
can never be reached.’
Back in 2006 I started writing a novel. I’d been honing my
craft and writing skills on short stories for some time, and decided it was
time to start work on the characters and story that became Driftwood.
In 2010 I entered Driftwood into a competition for unpublished romance
novels, and to my surprise I won, and Driftwood was published. As I read it I found there were parts I enjoyed and felt proud of, but also parts I wanted to change. I have a huge streak of perfectionism when it comes to my writing, so strong it is often difficult to know when it's time to let go.
I kept the electronic rights for Driftwood, and decided as a goal for this year to read it and make some changes. It's been a good experience working on something I originally started six years ago, and I've tried to keep to Elmore Leonard's advice of leaving out the parts that people skip.
It has also been great fun working with Andrew of Design for Writers on the new cover for Driftwood. He's created an amazing cover which I loved from the moment I opened the email with the proof. He commented about his design thoughts. 'It is hard to escape that central image of the driftwood, but I wanted something more than golden sands and blue sky. This image is darker and suspenseful, hinting at that darker side of the book. It is also wistful in some way, like a memory.' I totally agree, and the image sums up the tone of the book beautifully.
If you'd like to look at Driftwood, it is now available as a novella through Smashwords and Amazon.
Juliet, the protagonist, is a strong character. She is passionate
about building her business, but uses it as a shield from emotional
involvement. Her strength comes from her past, and has grown as a defence
mechanism. On a work trip to Christchurch, New Zealand, she bumps into Luke.
She thought she had managed to forget him, but from the moment they meet again, her life is not the same.
Luke wants to renew their relationship, but Juliet has
strong reservations (to put it mildly), and tells Luke they can’t recapture the
Within days of meeting Luke, events escalate and Juliet realises
someone is trying to harm her. She is relieved to leave Auckland for Sydney to
work with a new client, but trouble follows her, and then Luke appears. Can she
trust him, or are his secrets more deadly than the ones she is hiding?
I have also included the opening chapters of Lives Interrupted, and the first four chapters of my new novel, Lies of the Dead, which should be published in April this year.
I've had a great time working on Driftwood, and I'm now looking forward to final edits on Lies of the Dead, with the help of good feedback and comments from my beta readers.