The Top Secret Project - REVEALED!
You remember that top secret project I mentioned in my last email? I am delighted to say that I can now present THE BIG REVEAL!
Back in April 2014 I had the germ of an idea for a story about a girl who wanted to become an investigative journalist.
In the early days I called it Write Club and my 14-year-old heroine - let's call her Flick Henderson, because that's her name - was the leader of a group of misfits who started their own underground newspaper at their school.
I put the project on hold while I wrote Into the Storm and The Pony of Tanglewood Farm, and then in February 2015 I sat down at the laptop and began Flick's story.
Of course I should have remembered that characters dictate their own destinies, thank you very much, and it soon became apparent that Flick wasn't interested in a tinpot school rag - she had much loftier ambitions than that.
She wanted to be a crime reporter on a national newspaper like her mum's glamorous best friend, Lexie Collins.
As the story unfurled I realised why Flick was so determined to spend the rest of her life uncovering truths and righting wrongs.
Her sister Kate had disappeared on her way to gym practice four years before and, despite a massive murder investigation, the killer was never found. And Flick had been searching for answers ever since.
Things got complicated when Luke Harper, the gangly son of the detective who led Kate's murder investigation, decided to join Flick on a week's work experience at their local paper, as there had never been any love lost between them.
And when a string of pedigree pets started going missing I knew this story had all the makings of a cracking good read.
I finished the first draft of the book in September 2015 and spent the next few months ploughing through several re-writes. This was no small undertaking - especially when I decided that the central plot was actually the sub plot and vice versa. Fortunately there was usually a cat on hand - often quite literally - to keep me company during the long hours at the laptop.
By New Year 2016 the re-writes were done and I finally had a finished manuscript in my hands!
You may well wonder why the book has had the same gestation period as your average horse, llama or sea lion - eleven long months. But the answer to that is a whole blog post on its own, so I'll save it for another day.
The important thing is that Flick's story is almost ready to be told. And I am SO excited! I don't have a publication date yet, but it won't be long, I promise. And, as ever, you guys will be the first to know.
So watch this space for news of THE FLICK HENDERSON FILES and join me on Flick's exciting adventure. I can't wait!