Wednesday, 21 February 2018

A Fortnight is Not Enough - Guest Post Rosemary Goodacre

How exciting to add another RNA writing friend to my list of guest bloggers. Today, it's the turn of Rosemary Goodacre, whose debut novel, A Fortnight is Not Enough, was published this week by American publisher, Books to Go Now.

Wanting to find out more about her book, I asked Rosemary a few questions.

Can you remember where you were and what you were doing when the idea for A Fortnight is Not Enough first came to you?

Often, during a memorable holiday, I enjoy a fantasy about not returning home.

You’ve met me in an elevator. Can you convince me to buy your novel before it reaches the ground floor?

Have you ever enjoyed a holiday so much you couldn’t bear to go home? When Imogen meets Jules in Provence her three days there extend to a fortnight, and then she deliberately misses her flight home…

How long did it take you to write?

I had the initial idea for a long while before I decided how it would end and chose the setting. Once I had all the ingredients it only took a few weeks, as it’s a novella of about 20,000 words.

Are you a planner or a pantster?

I find I need an outline plan before I start. I generally do a chapter breakdown, to decide if there’s enough story, and have an idea how it will end. I’m not an obsessive planner, though, and you need to be prepared for the characters to suddenly develop and take you in a new direction.

What was the hardest scene to write?

Imogen has an old boyfriend, Luke, who wants her to return home. She was attracted to him, but now she has met Jules she becomes aware of the flaws in Luke’s character.

When you write a character, do you have an image of a real-life person in your head?

Sometimes I do. It can help you begin a story but in different circumstances the person might take unexpected actions.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

When I’m not actually sitting at the computer I enjoy belonging to writers’ groups, for social events and to keep abreast of industry developments. I belong to The Write Place creative writing school and the New Writers Scheme of the Romantic Novelists’ Association. Both provide stimulation, advice and encouragement.

I also do voluntary work one day a week for a charity which trains disabled adults. I take a monthly half day walk with a group through the attractive local Kent countryside. I also belong to Friends of the Earth, because I’m very concerned about what we’re doing to the planet, and anxious we don’t spoil it for future generations. I love travel, particularly to the continent, and enjoy classical music.

What does your family think of your writing?
My husband doesn’t normally read novels, and my sons are more likely to read action-packed ones than romance. They’re impressed that I’ve been published, though. My husband read my novella just before it was released and found a mistake in the spelling of a place name, luckily when it could still be corrected.

What next for Rosemary Goodacre?

I have recently completed a full length novel entitled The Day of the Dolly Bird, which is a romance set in London in the Swinging Sixties. It has received a largely encouraging report from a professional novelist. I am currently working on a romance set in World War I.

Thank you so much, Wendy, for inviting me to your blog. The visit has been very enjoyable.


Rosemary Goodacre has worked in the computer industry and teaching, besides raising a family. She loves writing and has had short stories published, besides her novella, A Fortnight is not Enough.

Her historical novel Pleasure Train Polka (set in an Austrian spa town in summer 1914) was shortlisted in the 2014 Write Time competition run by Corazon Books.

Rosemary has recently completed a romantic novel set in the 1960s entitled The Day of the Dolly Bird. Currently she is working on a historical novel set in World War I.

Rosemary belongs to the New Writers Scheme of the Romantic Novelists’ Association. She is interested in travel, languages and classical music. She lives in Kent, England.

Thursday, 15 February 2018

The Week that Changed My Life

Each year, I approach this week in February with mixed feelings - for it was in the half term week of 2011 that my life was to change in a way I couldn't have predicted.

This blog post I wrote two years ago, gives more details.

The Day My Life Changed Direction

In a nutshell, the end of the school holiday would see my teaching career come to an abrupt end after the sudden closure of the school I was teaching at. On the following Monday, when the new half term began, instead of walking into my classroom and starting the day's English lesson, I would find myself walking my dog along the river bank, wondering what on earth I was going to do with my life.

That day, as Bonnie and I stood watching the swans that had gathered at the edge of the water, I remember how adrift I felt. I was no longer a teacher but it would be another year before I could call myself a writer. 

Of course, on that first day without a job, I had no idea that an exciting new phase of my life was about to begin - that misfortune would turn to opportunity and that it would be the start of a new career. All I knew was that something I'd loved had come to and end. I felt let down by the way the closure of the school had been handled and I had difficulty coming to terms with it. 

If only I'd known, as I looked for answers in that flowing river, that it would all turn out just fine.That, seven years on, I would be writing fiction for some of the best national women's magazines. Not only that but I would go on to write two novels (one of which would win a major competition) and publish three story collections of which I'd be immensely proud.

These are my two stories in The People's Friend Spring Special, which is in the shops as I write.

But, of course, I didn't know any of this at the time. it was something yet to come. 

As with most things, the new path I've taken hasn't always been a smooth one. Just last year, I had a major setback that shook my faith in my writing. I had two choices. I could let it get me down or pick myself up and use it as an opportunity to make something even better happen... just as I did before. I did the latter.

I'm glad I did.

My novel is now with agents and publishers. It might lead to something big... or it might not. Whatever happens, it's another turning point.

And it's exciting.

Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Ten Things You Learn Once You've Finished Your Novel

1. The writing of the novel is only the beginning.

2. Everything takes a very long time. Not easy, if you are impatient by nature.

3. You will doubt your ability over and over again.

4. You must expect setbacks but find the strength to stay positive.

5. You will start to wonder if the story that's been in your heart and mind for months will ever be read.

6. You will find it hard to settle to anything until you know your novel's fate.

7. You will be eternally grateful for your supportive writing friends.

8. Your email will become both friend and foe.

9. You will compare your novel to everything your read.

10. You will wonder why you ever embarked on this route.


You'll also learn that you're totally unprepared for the enormous sense of achievement you'll feel after you've typed THE END.

Enjoy that feeling... you've earned it!