Monday, January 09, 2017

Have I lost my sparkle? (UK)  (US)
I am starting 2017 with a re-edited recycled book. Search For A Duke was once published by Robert Hale as A Suitable Husband. This was the second book I wrote for them way back in 2006 but I well remember Mr John Hale telling me, ' I love the sparkle in this story.''
I still love writing but I fear after 60+ books over the past eleven years my sparkle might be somewhat dimmed. I don't jump out of bed and rush to my study so I can continue with whatever book I'm working on. I am a writer - it's something that I have to do - but I don't think it's possible to maintain the same amount of  'sparkle' that all new writers bring to their book.
By improving my skills, learning my craft, I am now, like all professionals, producing a well-constructed book. Sometimes, I think knowing the things we shouldn't do, restricts us; new writers still have that wonderful freedom to express themselves.
I shall never forget the excitement of holding my first book in my hands. Now I publish and move on - write five or six new titles a year - and only when a reader contacts me to say how much they loved a title do I stop and think how wonderful it is to be a writer and how lucky I am.
Strangely, the harder I work the luckier I get.
Here is a short extract from Search For A Duke introducing the hero:

Up to that point Oliver Mayhew had seen and dismissed Sarah as a woman of medium height, reasonable figure, and ordinary features. He had already decided to refuse the job when it was offered; there was nothing to interest him at Rowley Court. This had been a wasted journey.
Then her smile transformed her face from commonplace to breath taking. Her eyes were an extraordinary mix of emerald green and darkest brown and he fell into their intriguing depths. He swallowed, twice, and forced his limbs to untense, angry such an experienced man as he had allowed himself to be floored by a pair of what had to be the finest eyes in England.
'Are you feeling quite well, Captain Mayhew? You have gone pale. I will order some refreshments. I expect you are fatigued after your long journey.' She stood up and pulled the bell-strap. Her actions allowed him time to recover.
'Thank you, ma'am, that would be most kind.' He hid his amusement well. Had she forgotten he was a veteran of the Peninsular? The thirty-five miles from town was a mere bagatelle.
She ordered a cold collation to be prepared and served immediately in the small dining room. She resumed her seat, and folded her hands tightly around her list, smiled again and Oliver swallowed again.

Fenella J Miller


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