I think most of us can say we have had a wonderful summer. (And let's hope it's not over yet!)
The weather has been phenomenal, even all the way up here in bonnie Scotland, and I have been fortunate enough to find myself in the position where I have lots of time on my hands. I'm decorating my house, you see, which has meant taking time out from my real job to build a new kitchen and redo my bathroom. I can't do this all on my own though, which is where workmen come in and I go out. To the garden!
I've spent a lot of this summer writing. Sometimes long-hand to avoid the glare from the sun which renders my laptop useless, and other times sitting under a big brolly with iced drink close at hand, typing away.
So far, I've managed to knock out an (almost)complete first draft of a novel I've been thinking about for a long time. It's working title is The Flower Farm - you can tell it's a working title, because it's rubbish - but it does tell you a bit about the story. It's set on a flower farm!
One summer, when I was a student at university, I worked on a flower farm. I can't say I enjoyed my time there, but it was certainly an experience. I wanted to use that experience and put it to some good use, and what better way to do that than by writing it into in a story?
I came up with the idea for a novel, centred around a young man who takes a job on a flower farm on the Hebrides in Scotland. It's a temporary job, and he only wants to work for a few months to complete his savings - he's going travelling in the new year, and everything is planned apart from the last few journeys to his destination. A little more money and he will be good to go.
And what about the whole, M/M erotica bit? Well, throw in a hot boatman, lots of long, lonely winter nights, and maybe when the time comes it won't be as easy for my main character to leave as he thought it would be!
I'm quite pleased with my flower farm novel, and I'm looking forward to getting back to it and working on a much longer second draft, but once the first draft was finished (sort of!) I thought I could use a break.
One afternoon, I was sitting in the sunshine and I thought I would revisit an old idea and try my hand at a little short story.
My last release was a short story - a 12k word M/M story called A Secret Love - about a couple forced to keep their relationship a secret from everyone around them.
A Secret Love was published by Evernight Publishing, a company I had never had the pleasure of working with before. I enjoyed my time with them so much - genuinely, they were just wonderful to work with - that I thought I might like to write another short story and see if they would like to publish that as well.
I had started a story a while ago - working title The Bothy - and on that hot, sunny afternoon I thought I would drag it out and go over it again.
I like The Bothy. The premise is simple. A couple leave the big city and head into the highlands for a few nights alone in a bothy. All I had to do was work out why. Why do they leave the city? Why do they go to the bothy? Have they been there before? Why do they need to go there again?
Those were the questions I started answering when I began work on the manuscript again. Unfortunately, based on the length of my first draft, I don't think this will be a short story anymore. A novella maybe. Somewhere around the 40,000 word mark.
I have a lot of work still to do on both of these manuscripts, but I'm excited. And I have another whole month of summer in which to - hopefully - get them both finished.
I can't wait to share these stories with you. I hope everything works out so that I will be able to. The writing process is not always an easy one, but what makes it so much easier is the thought that at the end, if you're lucky and if what you've written is any good, you will get to share your work with the world.
That, is a wonderful feeling. One that always keeps me coming back for more.