Today’s guest blogger is a new follower here at The Write Stuff, and I’m looking forward to getting to know her better. Hope you are, too. Here’s Janet Gogerty to share a bit ab0ut herself and her writing with you, and I hope you’ll pass it along to your friends and followers. Thanks for joining us here today, Janet.
A little while ago we were searching in the loft for something completely different and I came across a box of notebooks. My teenage self had read that would be writers should write; anything and everything; diary, poetry, descriptions, feelings….
Each notebook had the first few pages diligently filled, the rest in their virgin state. But one was different; twelve pages of my first novel, neatly written with no crossings out. I recalled my twenty year old self having a vivid dream that inspired me to start writing the very next day….
I never got any further and it was many years before I started writing seriously. When I joined a writing group we had to write and read out a new piece each week; short stories tumbled onto the page, but when our tutor suggested I start a novel, so my characters had a chance to develop, I felt I had no big idea. My husband suggested I write about my family’s experience emigrating to Australia; this idea became ‘Quarter Acre Block’ and if you want a safe gentle read stop here.
If you like reading something meatier and stranger; if you enjoy tackling Life’s big questions, read on.
My daughter wanted to know what happened to Emma, whose fate was literally left in the air, at the end of a short story ‘Brief Encounters of the Third Kind’. And so I started writing my first novel. What happens to ordinary people when the extraordinary happens to them? The first thing that happens, especially if they are English? They don’t tell anyone, they doubt they will be believed and the longer they keep their dreadful secret to themselves, the harder it becomes. Susan Dexter lives in Ashley, a suburb of London where nothing much happens until the day she is hanging out her washing. For thirty years Susan fears her daughter Emma is not human; then new events lead her to meet others seeking the truth.
This novel evolved into the ‘Brief Encounters Trilogy’. In ‘Three Ages of Man’ a character who walked into the first novel uninvited tells his own very different story. ‘Lives of Anna Alsop’ follows on from the first two novels. Anna was another unexpected character and she narrates the third book.
Meanwhile in real life I’m currently writing a new novel ‘At The Seaside Nobody Hears You Scream’. I also still enjoy penning short stories; some have been published in anthologies and I have published two collections on Amazon Kindle; ‘Dark and Milk’ and ‘Hallows and Heretics’. My husband provides financial, technical and moral support. When he discovered it cost nothing to publish on Amazon Kindle he was happy to help, expecting we were only going to do one book.
‘Quarter Acre Block’ is not autobiographical, but was inspired by our experiences as ‘Ten Pound Pommies’. I was eleven. At twenty I came back to England on the traditional ‘working holiday’ and I’m still here! So I have lived in some very different places and although I have not yet achieved my ambition to live in a windmill, lighthouse or isolated island, we do now live a short distance from the cliff top with views of the Isle of Wight. To make up for not actually living with a sea view we have a beach hut; only a six foot box, but it has the essentials; a Calor gas stove to make coffee, a changing hut for swimming and stacks of recycled paper for writing.
With several career disasters and staying home when the children were young, I have notched up a variety of jobs and voluntary work; a wealth of interesting people and places to write about, I shall never run out of ideas.
I have been writing frantically for nearly nine years and am writing my fifth novel, ‘At The Seaside Nobody Hears You Scream’. I still love writing short stories and have had them published on paper, in audio and in all corners of the internet. My novel ‘Brief Encounters of the Third Kind’ was originally a short story and eventually became a trilogy with ‘Three Ages of Man’ and ‘Lives of Anna Alsop’.
I love paper books and I’m sure they are here to stay, but in an uncertain publishing world, especially for new writers, I love the idea that we can just go ahead and be independent.
I started a clockwork website several years ago and it took on a life of its own. Visit to read about my books, my local area and my travels. There is an illustrated Beachwriter’s Blog, regular new fiction and a picture quiz. http://www.ccsidewriter.co.uk