Over the past few years there have been over twenty murders in my house.
The police were never called; no one was ever arrested, and all the cases were all solved very satisfactorily with the help of a good dinner and rather a lot of wine. Yes, these were murder dinner parties (very popular in the late eighties and early nineties).
Now, none of these murder mysteries came out of a box. Instead, I had enormous fun writing them all. I can remember driving home from the very first one I had been invited to thinking "Well, I can do better than that!" I started plotting the next day and three weeks later sat down with seven friends for an evening entitled "No Mark of Drowning" (a misquotation from The Tempest).
Why am I telling you this? Not because I want to brag, but rather the opposite. I have a confession to make. Ever since I was thirteen I have wanted to write slushy romance stories. Some aspire to great works of literature; not me: I just want to write the soppy stuff.
Up in the loft are half a dozen started and abandoned stories, in my head are a hundred more but none of these have seen even one word onto pc screen or paper.
Why? Because I'm scared. Unlike the murder parties I have no sense of "But of course I can!"
I'm scared they won't come out the way I see them in my head. I'm scared that they will all peter out in chapter six; that my characters won't want to play with me; that my readers will sneer at me; that, in short, this will be yet another dream at which I've failed.
And that would be depressing: overwhelmingly depressing because it's such a precious dream.
But at fifty, I've realised that there's more writing time behind me than ahead; that if I can consistently write a blog a week then I do have the discipline to write a full length novel; that publishing has never been easier; that I don't want to die with my stories still trapped inside.
So I've taken the risk and started. Yes, it's terrifying, but it's only words after all.
So what do you think of "75 Hues of Purple" as a working title?
A Moodscope member.