Lockdown, writing and cotton wool brain

I wrote an article for The Bookseller about my experience of writing and promoting my books over lockdown. You can read it here:


Whilst my brain is less cotton wool like and my son is back at school I am still as busy as ever. The line edits for my eighth psychological thriller Her Last Holiday have arrived and the ARCs for my second young adult thriller The Island are due to arrive any day. We are also gearing up for the paperback publication of Strangers so I’ve been writing articles and answering Q&As and still have a short story to write.

I am desperately hoping that things will quieten down soon because I need some time and brain space to start thinking about my ninth psychological thriller. Like Her Last Holiday my contracted deadline for the next book is 1st June and I really need to give myself plenty of writing time so I don’t feel the pressure of ‘I must write 1,500 words a day to hit my deadline’ hanging over my head. The only trouble is, I have no idea what book nine will be about.

I mean, I have a few vague ideas for books jotted down in my phone but none of them ignite a fire in me. The ideas are unformed because I haven’t had to time to think about them (thinking is such a big part of writing). They’re not bad ideas but I haven’t yet come up with a premise that makes me go, ‘This! I NEED to write this. I cannot write anything else!’ And that’s because I need some time off to recharge, to watch films and read books, to go for walks with a (near) empty brain, to think. What I need, as Julia Cameron said in her book ‘The Artists’ Way’, is to ‘refill the creative well’.

My line edits for Her Last Holiday will take me to the end of September and my copy edits will arrive at some point in October. In December I will probably have to start doing some PR for The Island (which is out on 21st January 2021) so let’s hope November is quiet so I can spend some time thinking about book nine. I might even have to put an ‘Out of Office’ on my email account to make sure!

The paperback of Strangers is published on 1st October 2020.

To pre-order a signed copy of the paperback of Strangers, made out to you, order from Max Minerva’s who can send books internationally.

Unsigned copies can be pre-ordered from Waterstones, Amazon or your local indie bookshop.

The paperback of The Island is published on 21st January 2021

To pre-order a signed copy, made out to you or any person you choose, pre-order from Max Minerva’s who can send books internationally.

Unsigned copies can be pre-ordered from Waterstones, Amazon or your local indie bookshop.

Her Her Holiday will be published in hardback, ebook and audio on 29th April 2021. More details, and a cover, coming soon!

3 thoughts on “Lockdown, writing and cotton wool brain

  1. csheldonblog says:

    looking good, I can totally relate with the looking after children bit and trying to write. I am waiting edits on book 2 atm and as for book three, i’m struggling with it. Try and take some time off to rest and our birthdays are here soon to. x

Leave a Reply