This week I started writing the first draft of my FIFTH book. It feels like a long time since I wrote a first draft. I’d forgotten how slow it can be, then how lightning quick, and how when you read back over what you’ve written the next day it looks like word soup.



But it’s also a mega-exciting time when the ideas start to really take shape. It makes me think of a sculptor, chipping away at stone until something emerges. First drafts are like that for me.

For my husband, it’s also when I stare off into the middle distance rather a lot, and he looks at me and says ‘Writing stuff?’ and I nod. Often I get so immersed it’s hard to come back again. My dogs, at least, are happy: a dog walk is a brilliant time for working through plot conundrums. And sometimes you just need fresh air.

What can I tell you about book five?070758e2

Well, it has a title (not a working one but a proper agreed with Faber one). It’s set in and around 1816 – the Year With No Summer- and tells the story of Mary Shelley’s writing of ‘Frankenstein’ from the viewpoint of a maid servant who meets her.

So expect thunderstorms, creepy old houses, strange noises behind locked doors. And missing chickens.

Now all I have to do is write it!



  1. Well that’s sufficient description to get me entirely excited by this new book already (though that was probably a given anyway based on how much I loved your first two). Happy writing!

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