I have a bit of a problem, one I have been trying to get a handle on for most of this year.
Despite many approaches and different methods, I always seem to end up back at square one with too many irons in the fire or balls in the air, whichever rocks your boat.
My recent ploy was to tackle just one thing every day, and although jobs were getting done, the effect on the pile of jobs was minimal.
On a good day, I can manage to clear quite a few jobs, which has me feeling inordinately proud of my achievements.
I seem to be quite efficient at the day-to-day routine tasks; it is everything else that I have trouble with.
All of this is what I call the snowball effect, and most of you will probably know what I mean. How just drafting a book can unleash a never-ending stream of jobs that keep on coming. Calling it marketing is how the experts describe their prowess, but this is something I haven’t been able to master. Maybe I never will.
I have read all the advice on this problem, like giving up social media for a while or checking emails, but I need a long-term solution before I get too old to know what I am doing.
I want to super streamline my working day, so looking for help with this, if, of course, there is any. Maybe this happens to all writers/bloggers… and I am not the only one struggling?
I just wandered outside for a quick look around before the heat builds up, and the Myrtle cutting that I showed you last week, has flowered. The flowers are tiny compared to the parent plant, but so sweet.
They say we might get some a thunderstorm later, so that is something else to look forward too…
unable to speak or move after a brutal attack by her ex-husband.
Her brain has shut down, refusing to remember her dark and disturbing past.
A past that conceals a web of painful secrets.
Can she gradually piece her shattered life back together,
Or will she discover that her nightmare is far from over?
Excerpt from Out of Time
Kate sat at the table in the Vestry with her head in her hands. She couldn’t believe Jack had found her again, in spite of all the Snowman’s security. She kept seeing the ivory roses, blood dripping from the petals, laid on the altar like an offering. Only Jack could have thought of something that macabre.
The blood reminded her of what had happened to her beloved Dylan, her silver tabby. Jack had ripped him apart in her kitchen, strewing blood and fur all over the floor for her to find. At least this time, she wouldn’t have to clean up the mess.
Why had Michael gone outside?
She knew he was having trouble coming to terms with the fact that their relationship was over. After all this time it must have been a bitter pill to swallow. But going against David Snow’s specific orders was foolish and irresponsible. Maybe his depression had grown bad enough to warrant taking such a risk. Or had he wanted to die?
The voice disapproved. ‘I did ask you to try and be kind to him, Kate. Even though you couldn’t love him, you, of all people, should have treated him better than that…’
It was true; she could remember feeling that bad. Jack had that effect on most people. Just knowing he was out there somewhere had made her suicidal in the past, and the feeling wasn’t too far away at the moment.
The Snowman should have let her see Michael; her imagination couldn’t be worse than the real thing. Right then, it didn’t seem real, and she kept expecting to see him come through the door at any minute. She wished with all her heart that she had run away the first time she suspected Jack was back on the scene. Michael’s sudden reappearance had reawakened all her old desires and dreams, rendering her incapable of thinking straight.
Fate was too cruel. Why had it conspired to bring Jack back into her life at that particular time? If he hadn’t arrived when he did, her brother would not have died, and the chain of destruction would have broken.
She wanted to run away but suspected there was no point. Jack would find her wherever she went. The knowledge sunk in that none of them were safe anymore if they ever were. What would it take to be rid of Jack for good?
Kate heard a door open but realised the noise came from the wrong side of the room. She raised her head to investigate, and a damp, sweet-smelling cloth covered her face. As she struggled against it, the room went dark and faded away…
Sarah Hilary, Theakston’s Crime Novel of the Year winner and author of Fragile, returns with Black Thorn, another compulsive psychological thriller that questions how much you know about the people who live next to you . . .
‘An astonishingly gifted writer’ Marian Keyes
Blackthorn Ashes was meant to be their forever home. For the first six families moving into the exclusive new housing development, it was a chance to live a peaceful life on the cliffs overlooking the Cornish sea, safe in the knowledge that it had been created just for them.
But six weeks later, paradise is lost. Six people are dead. And Blackthorn Ashes is left abandoned and unfinished, its dark shadows hiding all manner of secrets.
One of its surviving residents, Agnes Gale, is determined to find out the truth about what happened. Even if that truth is deadlier than she could have ever believed possible . . .
Sarah Hilary’s new novel BLACK THORN will be published in summer 2023 by Pan Macmillan. Her first standalone FRAGILE came out in 2021. Mick Herron called it ‘a dark river of a book’ while Erin Kelly said, ‘Timeless, tense and tender, Fragile will worm its way deep into your heart.’
Sarah’s debut SOMEONE ELSE’S SKIN won Theakstons Crime Novel of the Year 2015. It was a World Book Night selection and Richard & Judy Book Club pick. The latest in her D.I. Marnie Rome series NEVER BE BROKEN was published by Headline in 2019.
An intense and interesting way to tell a story, alternate chapters from before and after the disaster. It seemed to be a natural disaster, but why didn’t it feel like that?
You get to learn about the people involved. How they were before, and how they are trying to survive such a terrible tragedy, along with all of their own personal demons, and there were more than enough of those.
Black Thorn is billed as a crime story, but at first, I thought this must be wrong. Little by little, the sinister truth crept into the story, creating chills that ran up and down my spine as I read.
For me, Agnes Cale is the lead character. The black sheep of the family, she struggles to find the truth, and I was with her every step of the way, willing her to succeed to enable her family to find closure.
A difficult story to tell, complex and complicated with so many human emotions, Sarah Hilary has left no stone unturned in this story to reveal such a hard truth.
The relief for me, when I finished reading, reduced me to tears…
It was reading Sarah Hilary’s first book, Someone Else’s Skin, that encouraged me to step into my writer’s shoes and take the most important plunge of my life…