Sunday, 20 September 2015

The Day I Typed THE END!


Today I am celebrating the moment I finally wrote THE END at the bottom of my novel. So how do I feel?

Proud, amazed, relieved and scared!

Actually, I can hardly believe I've done it - there were times, especially around the first quarter, when I wondered whether I would ever manage to write those two little words. 

There were several things that got me through the bad patches and the days of self doubt: my daughter in Germany demanding to read the rest after I'd sent her the first half (even though she already knew the story); my husband ignoring my calls of 'dinner's ready' (unheard of) as he was so engrossed in it; the editor at the RNA conference who asked to see the whole thing once I'd finished; the need to send something to my New Writers' Scheme reader; the three agents who 'favourited' my pitch in a #PitchCB Twitter event and last but not least, a good talking to every once in a while from writing buddy, Tracy Fells!

These were all real boosts but what ultimately kept me going was the fact that I really loved writing the story and had faith in it even when the going got tough. 



The novel is a contemporary romantic mystery/suspense and from the photos you'll see that it's set on a Greek island. The small island in my story is fictitious but loosely based on Alonissos in the Aegean. 

The novel started life as one of my published magazine stories but soon evolved into something very different - only the central theme, main characters and setting have remained the same. I've been on many Greek holidays (several mentioned on this blog) and used my memory of the places I'd visited, along with online research, to write the novel. I scoured the internet for pictures an island that best fitted my idea of the harbour and old town where my story is set and when I came across Alonissos I knew I'd found what I was looking for.

With this in mind, last week (with the novel in its final stages) my husband and I went to visit the island so that I could check details, take photos of the trees, flowers, beaches etc and ask questions. We had a fabulous holiday - staying in the small village of Agnondas on the island of Skopelos (next to Alonissos). We stayed in the lovely Lithanomon Apartments, 20 metres from the beautiful pebble beach with its three tavernas, and as it was out of season we had the place and the pool to ourselves. Lucky us! 

We swam, we walked, we looked in churches, we hired a small boat to visit deserted beaches and we took a boat trip to Alonissos to visit the old town on the hill which features in several of my chapters.
We even climbed the vertiginous 100 steps to the chapel of Agios Ioannis (the one featured in Mama Mia) on the North of the island. We expected there to be hundreds of tourists - but there was just us! I was fine until I got to the final steep part and then I looked down and froze. It took great willpower to climb the last part, but I really wanted to ring that bell to tell the world I was up there. 


All that was left was to come home and finish the novel. Luckily with my head full of sights, sounds and smells of the islands it didn't take long.

48 comments:

  1. Hi Wendy. Congratulations on getting to the end. Sounds like you've already generated a lot of interest in your novel so fingers crossed for you. It sounds like a fascinating read and love the setting and the photos! Good luck.

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    1. Thanks, Linda. Lots more work to be done on it but to write The End was liberating!

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  2. Congratulations! Sounds a great read.
    Alyson

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  3. Congratulations on finishing, Wendy. Gosh, those photos are so gorgeous!

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    1. That's only a fraction of them, Helen - I went a bit mad!

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  4. Congratulations on finishing! Next stop: publication.

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  5. Wow that's fantastic - congratulations! Good luck with the next steps & I'm looking forward to reading the published novel :)

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    1. Thank you, Elaina. Doing final edits now.

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  6. Lovely news, Wendy, and a really uplifting and absorbing post. Your pictures are beautiful too. Wishing you all the best with the next stages on the path to publication. xx

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    1. Thank you, Joanna. There was a beautiful picture around every corner.

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  7. How lovely those photos are. Congratulations on completing your novel. It will be a fantastic read I'm sure xx

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    1. Thank you, Sue. I'm really hoping people will like it.

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  8. Congratulation, Wendy. I heard the whoop in Ashington! Lovely hearing about the Greek holiday too - perhaps you should plan to launch the novel there? Good excuse for a jolly. And now you've finished does this mean we can talk about something else over teacakes,,, only teasing,,, you've listened to enough about mine! Now when do I get to read it?

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  9. You did it! Well done for sticking with it when it was tough. Good luck with the next step of finding an agent/publisher.

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  10. Well done, Wendy - you are an inspiration! How lovely to be able to go to the island for 'research' in the final stages of the novel too. Now, that's what I call planning! (*hmm, deperately tries to think of a plot for a novel set in Barbados, or perhaps Australia...!)

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  11. Well done. Hope my short story that is turning into a novel also finishes with me writing The End. Inspiring and hope your perseverance takes you further.

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    1. I short story is a good place to start from isn't it, Linda.

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  12. Wow! That was quick...? Well done, Wendy, and very good luck with your novel.

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    1. Still work to do on it, Frances, but might take a break and get some more stories written.

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  13. Writing those two words at the end of your novel must have given you a tremendous buzz, Wendy. Congratulations! I had a Greek uncle and have very fond memories of mainland Greece and some of the beautiful islands. Loved the photos!

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    1. That must have been wonderful - lucky you!

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  14. Congratulations, Wendy.

    That sounds like an excellent bit of research.

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    1. Someone has to do it... could I count it as an expense? :)

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  15. That is fantastic, Wendy! So pleased you enjoyed writing it. A wonderful achievement - congratulations.

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  16. Now THAT was a tweet that made me click the link....! Well done, I hope you do fantastically well with it, so that one day I can say 'I used to tweet with her...' :)

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    1. I'm getting better at the tweeting lark, Terry! Thanks for popping over.

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  17. Congratulations, Wendy, not least on overcoming the vertigo. I have quite a good head for heights; the only time I've felt a little odd was at the top of a windmill, and I'm not really sure why. And I quite understand why you had to go the island in the interests of research (ahem).

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    1. I actually got stuck at the top of a windmill and cried!

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  18. Well done, Wendy, and fingers crossed for a successful future.

    Great photos of your chosen location. :-)

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    1. Thank you, Carol - I was really pleased with them.

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  19. I am in awe of anyone who can write a novel, so to finish it must be so satisfying. Well done and Good luck.

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    1. That's what I thought last year. I never dreamed I'd ever do it myself.

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  20. That's brilliant news, Wendy, and the photos are gorgeous. I've no doubt at all that it's only a matter of time until your novel is published - love the setting!

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    1. Thank you, Rosemary - that's very kind of you.

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  21. Congratulations on completing your novel, Wendy. From those pictures it looks like a good place to write.

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    1. Didn't do any proper writing there, Keith - just notes.

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  22. I so enjoyed reading your blog and, having been privileged to see the beginning of your book, I'm really looking forward to the time someone takes it up (as they surely will) and I can read the whole thing. Good luck!

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    1. I forget how much I sent you, Natalie. the first chapter? However it gets published, I hope you'll be reading the rest in the not too distant future.

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  23. Wow! What a beautiful place, and congratulations on finishing your novel too. I'm sure it'll get taken up soon, and you'll be blogging about your next one!
    Thank you for sharing.

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