Books, Writing, and the pull of Penny Dreadful

So here we are in July already! I fully intended to write a post a week ago, but it’s been a busy time, what with the writing, family stuff, and the day job. It was my birthday (twenty-one again), and my husband’s birthday (much, much older!) so that preoccupied us quite a lot. And there have been some really good television programmes on lately. I’m not keen on most of the stuff that they churn out, I have to be honest, but I’ve thoroughly enjoyed The Syndicate lately, and I’ve been captivated by Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell. Not to mention my addiction to the amazing television programme, Penny Dreadful.

Penny_Dreadful_S2_Cast-16x9-1What a weird and wonderful show that is! I mean, on paper it sounds fantastic initially. Take the characters from those old gothic stories and mix them all up together in Victorian London – or is it Edwardian? Anyway, populate the dark and gloomy streets of London with Dr Frankenstein and his creature – a tortured, beautiful monster with the soul of a poet; Dorian Gray – utterly perfect, physically, but capable of truly dire deeds; a werewolf (with the surname Talbot – a fabulous homage to the Lon Chaney Jr Wolfman films); an explorer who has lost his daughter Mina to the dark forces; and a woman who seems destined to become the bride of the devil himself. Then, when you think about it properly, you wonder how it could ever work. Especially when you add in evil witches, vampires, The Bride, and a house of wax. Ridiculous, eh? Maybe. But it’s mesmerizing and I love it!

Anyway, I haven’t just been watching Penny Dreadful. Oh, no. I’ve been reading a lot, too. Some of the books have been purely for pleasure, as you can probably tell if you follow this blog regularly, since I’ve posted a flurry of reviews lately. I’m also reading a lot of books for research. Because…drum roll…I’m immersed in writing again!

After a bit of a lull, I’m currently working on two books together. The first is the third Kearton Bay story, and it’s taking shape very nicely. The second is something completely new, featuring a whole new setting and a brand new bunch of characters who are slowly but surely winning me over. It’s a new experience, writing two novels simultaneously, but it seems to be working out well at the moment. The nice thing is, I can choose each morning which story I’m in the mood for pursuing that day, and it’s fairly evenly matched right now. Maybe writing two at a time is the way forward for me. I often have two books that I’m reading at the same time, so why not writing? It seems to see off the “writer’s FZVQfx_B_FHq5Mc5XuvOdg_rblock” anyway.

In other news – not entirely unrelated, I suppose – Book Two in the Kearton Bay series is now with the editor, and we have a publication date. A Kiss from a Rose will be released on 26th September. Yay! I’m so looking forward to sending it out into the world. I had a lot of fun writing it and I really hope you enjoy it. It follows the fortunes of Rose MacLean and her relationships with her mother, her two daughters, her best friend Eliza, and the rather gorgeous Flynn Pennington-Rhys – a hero I fell totally in love with.

If you remember, I mentioned that I’d completed a forty thousand word novella. Well, that’s been cb7accepted by The People’s Friend as a pocket novel, and will be on the shelves in supermarkets and W H Smith in October! I was very excited about that!  When I was a child, I used to spend every Saturday in W H Smith, browsing the shelves for a pony book, my one pound pocket money clutched in my eager little hand. Now, a story that I’ve written myself will actually be on those shelves. It’s an incredible feeling. I never would have believed that when I was trying to decide between Jill’s Gymkhana or Punchbowl Midnight, I can tell you! It just shows, you never can tell what’s in store for you. And as Penny Dreadful reaches its finale this week, I’m biting my nails with anticipation. After everything those characters have experienced, what can be in store for them? What can the writers possibly have come up with this time? Ooh, I can’t wait!

Have a great week xx

6 thoughts on “Books, Writing, and the pull of Penny Dreadful

  1. I was a Jill’s Gymkhana fan too and dreamed of writing about horses too, although I knew nothing about them. Luckily the urge wore off. Good luck with writing two books at a time. Sounds like fun!


  2. Ooh, congratulations on your new book, I am still pursuing the dream of seeing my own books on the shelves in WH Smiths… I keep meaning to watch Penny Dreadful, but my children are keeping me busy at the moment so my priority is #CampNaNoWriMo, which seems to be working out so far. Have fun with your new projects!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh good luck with CampNaNo! I did the November NaNo in 2011 and 2012 and won, but I failed 2013 and don’t think I attempted 2014. Or did I? Crikey, I can’t remember! Anyway, best of luck. When it’s over, take a look at Penny Dreadful. It’s very – er – different! 🙂


  3. Thanks, Jessica. I’m really delighted to have had the story accepted by People’s Friend. It’s such a household name. Thanks for your support, as always. Lots to talk about when we meet up! xx


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