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  • Barbara Copperthwaite

How I went from a publisher’s party to being shut in a car boot: A look back at June #amwritin

We’re a week into July already, and I’m only just getting round to writing up what I did in June. Where does time go? Well, most of it’s going on writing, you’ll (hopefully!) be pleased to hear. I’m writing at a steady pace now, and although I’m far, far slower than I was able to write twelve months ago, I’m really pleased to be back at work full time. I’m sure I’ve mentioned before that I feel my life lesson is that of the hare and the tortoise – and I must accept that I’ve now become a tortoise. But, hey, look who won the race in the end purely by going slow and steady, so I’m happy with! I also keep thinking of the saying: The comeback is always stronger that the setback.

Photo by Art of Hoping on Unsplash

June kicked off with a live Facebook chat with the fabulous Facebook group The Fiction Cafe. If you’re not already a member then do check it out, as it’s as enthusiastic and friendly a bunch of book lovers as you could ever wish to come across, and it covers all genres. I’d never done a live video chat before, so it was another tick on the list of things to do that push me outside my comfort zone. My illness knocked my confidence, but I refuse to give in to that and so I’m trying to regain it by diving into some things that I’m initially tempted to say no to! Each time, I’ve been glad I’ve resisted that temptation – it’s good to push ourselves every now and again. The Fiction Cafe asked me some wonderful, probing questions, and if you want to check it out the video is still available on the group’s page.

Anna Mansell, me, Rona Halsall

Next up was the Bookouture Summer Party. My wonderful publisher stages the event every year, and it’s a great chance for authors, editors, marketing staff, and all the many members of the team who work to bring a book to you to meet up. As we authors work from home, it’s rare for us to have the opportunity to rub shoulders with one another. The air was full of book chat and laughter.

Lizzie Page, me, Sheryl Brown, and Jeanette Hewitt (J.M. Hewitt)

The month ended on a strange note. I’d been working on a scene for a few days when I looked up from my keyboard and announced to my partner: ‘It’s no use; I’m going to have to get in the boot.’

With Shalini Boland

Luckily, he knows me well enough not to be too freaked out when I say things like that! Though he did keep asking me if I was sure, I insisted it was the only way.

So that’s how Paul wound up urging me: ‘Get in quick, before anyone sees and calls the police.’

I hopped inside the boot and he put it down but refused to close it.

‘Go on,’ I insisted. ‘It’s fine. I need it shut.’

He wasn’t happy, but he did it in the end, and immediately kept asking me if I was okay. Luckily, I was – and I’d brought my phone with me just in case the boot got jammed, and we’d also undone the clasp that held the back seats in place, just in case I needed to get out quick. It definitely helped with my research, though, and added another layer to what I’d created.

Paul couldn’t open the boot up fast enough, and I was pretty keen to get back to my laptop by that stage. As he helped me out, we couldn’t help noticing the expression of someone on the opposite side of the road, when was parking their car.

‘It’s okay, I wanted him to do it,’ I called, laughing. Judging from their expression, I’m not sure that explanation helped…

So, now you know how my month went from parties to kidnap!

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