Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives 2020 – How long does it take to write a novel? by Janet Gogerty

Welcome to the current series of Posts from Your Archives in 2020 and if you would like to participate with two of your posts from 2019, you will find all the details in this post: New series of Posts from Your Archives 2020

This is the second post from regular contributor to the archive posts, author Janet Gogerty.

Janet explores a subject that relevant to all of us who have works in progress… and then find when we get around to finishing the project the world has moved on from the original start point, including events, locations and technology.

How long does it take to write a novel?

An image posted by the author.

How long does it take to write a novel? I am going to go for 2014 as the conception of my latest novel ‘At The Seaside Nobody Hears You Scream’. The character of Tobias Elliot Channing, the holder of a degree in psychology and registration as a private investigator, first appeared in a short story ‘The Ambassadors’ in Audio Arcadia’s audio book anthology imaginatively titled Short Stories Volume One.

It then appeared in a paperback edition An Eclectic Mix Volume One in 2015, with a wonderfully colourful cover. Toby’s actual birth had come about when our exercise for writers’ group was to create a detective character. The story idea came from Pete at my other writers’ group – write something inspired by the painting The Ambassadors by Hans Holbein the Younger which hangs in the National Gallery.

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In February 2014 the Valentine’s Night Storm gave me an idea for the start of A Story, but what the story would be I had no idea. Compared with other natural disasters in the world our storm in Britain was a minor event, but three people were killed. Our house shook during the night even though we are ten minutes walk from the cliff top, further along the coast, at Milford-on-Sea, a Valentine’s romantic dinner turned into a disaster movie; a ‘freak’ wave picked up shingle and smashed it through the panels that make up the front of the art deco building, the diners were eventually rescued by army vehicles. Metro: Dream Valentines Day meal turns to nightmare.

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The weather forecasts warned everyone to stay away from the coast the next morning; so we walked ( okay I dragged Cyberspouse, saying it would be fun to take the scenic route to the local shops ) to the cliff top to see high tide. It was exciting, no chance of being blown off the cliff as you could lean into the south westerly coming off the sea and taking your breath away. But as we clung to the low fence on the cliff top and peered over we got a shock, piles of smashed wood washed over by the waves, rows of beach huts reduced to matchwood. And that is when I had my idea; but you will have to read the novel to find out why Ellen Green was so afraid when she looked over the edge of the cliff that morning.

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Fed up with waiting for me to get on with writing the novel, Toby Channing drove his camper van into two very different novellas I was writing, which along with The Ambassadors are part of the collection ‘Someone Somewhere’ published in 2017. ‘Someone For The Weekend’ and ‘Durlswood’ became two of his strangest cases.

What has happened in the intervening two years? Lots of blogging and writing; strangely only five months pass during the novel and the passing of time makes no difference to Tobias Elliot Channing because he is firmly fixed in 2014. It is just as well this novel had a fixed starting point, because writing novels ‘in the present’ is just about impossible. How the world has changed in the past five years…

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©Janet Gogerty 2019

About Janet Gogerty

 

I have been writing frantically for 12 years and still enjoy being part of two writing groups. I am inspired by anything and everything and enjoy writing about ordinary people; but usually they find themselves experiencing strange events!

When I was encouraged to tackle a novel my daughter suggested I use my short story ‘Brief Encounters of the Third Kind’ as she wanted to know what happened to Emma, whose fate had been left in the air at the end of the story. The novel became a trilogy, Three Ages of Man and finally Lives of Anna Alsop, published in March 2015.

Quarter Acre Block was inspired by my family’s emmigration to Australia.

My new novel is called At The Seaside Nobody Hears You Scream. When Toby Channing’s girlfriend disappeared without trace he was the last person to see her…

I enjoy writing fiction of any length and have had many short stories published online.

Janet’s latest book, a thriller – At The Seaside Nobody Hears You Scream.

About the book

In the summer of 2013 Annette Bethany Brown went missing without trace. Her boyfriend Toby Channing was the last person to see her, the only person who knew where she had spent the previous days.

In February 2014 Tobias Elliot Channing, private investigator, was still roaming the country, a camper van detective specialising in missing persons; hoping to discover why so many people go missing. He was visiting every place that had a connection with Anna, there were still no clues to her disappearance.

Head over to buy the book: Amazon UK

And: Amazon US

A selection of other books by Janet Gogerty

A review for Quarter Acre Block

Anita Dawes 5.0 out of 5 stars History remembered and relived…

I can remember the winter of 1962-63, also known as the Big Freeze. It was one of the coldest winters on record for the UK. The temperature plummeted and lakes and rivers froze. The sea actually froze in a few places, something I never expected to see!
Blizzards and the freezing cold probably had most of us dreaming of living somewhere warmer. I know my mother did.

She had heard about this new scheme where you could travel to Australia to start a new life and all for £10. That must have appealed to many people after suffering through that particular winter. I was only a child then, and don’t remember why we didn’t go, so when I saw this book all about a family who did go, I had to read it.

I followed this family as they made plans, packed up their belongings and travelled all that way. I discovered what it was like to find yourself in such a vastly different environment to the UK, and found it all fascinating.
The early arrivals were given a quarter Acre block of land to live on, which is a substantial amount of space, practically unheard of in the UK unless you had pots of money.

I learned what their new life was like through the eyes of the youngest daughter. She described an enjoyable journey as they slowly came to terms with their new life.

This was a light-hearted and fascinating read about something that almost happened to me. I often wonder what my own life would have been like if my mother had managed to swing it...

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon UK

And on: Amazon US

Read more reviews and follow Janet on: Goodreads

Connect to Janet

Blog: Tidal Scribe WordPress
WebsiteCC Side Writer
Facebook: Beach Writer
Twitter: @ytregog

Thanks to Janet for sharing her journey to publishing her latest novel, and I am sure that like me you have a similar tale to tell… Thanks Sally

25 thoughts on “Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives 2020 – How long does it take to write a novel? by Janet Gogerty

  1. It’s so interesting to read about the evolution of a story idea. I also think it’s fabulous that Janet followed through with her story even though it didn’t happen immediately.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Pingback: Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – 16th – 22nd February 2020 | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

I would be delighted to receive your feedback (by commenting, you agree to Wordpress collecting your name, email address and URL) Thanks Sally

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