‘As I read a novel, I like my reader to quickly empathise with the main character and find poignancy in their story. And when they get to the final page, think Ahhh… and feel good about life.’Gill Buchanan
Where do my ideas come from?
Is the main female character me?
These are the questions I mostly get asked.
Of course, a writer does draw on their own life experience, but my personal story doesn’t exactly fit any of my characters.
I usually say, that ‘I have lived a little’ and this is what I mean.
I have been the Queen of disastrous relationships. How did I get it all so wrong? Looking back, I think they picked me, rather than me picking them. I wasn’t being true to myself or thinking about what I wanted.
At the same time, I had a career in marketing, never staying with one company for too long. There were highs as well as lows and being a woman in a male dominated environment was not easy.
Looking back, I am proud of the fact that I maintained my independence throughout. It struck me when I was a teenager, that many women felt tied to their marriage for financial reasons and it meant that they put up with a lot.
In 2009 I took the plunge and set up my own social events business. Hurrah, I’m in charge! What was I thinking? I have to admit there were some incredible moments and much to love about it, but in the end the pressure and the stress were too much.
By then I had written two novels and published the second one. It was increasingly obvious that this was where my heart was.
I remember the turning point in my life very well.
It was on a summer’s day in the village of Sedlescombe on the High Weald. My good friend, Katie Day, and I snatched a precious hour or so out of our busy lives to meet for lunch at a pretty pub, The Queens Head, on The Green.
Katie and I always shared lively banter and lots of laughs. It always felt like a little oasis in a sea of turbulence. As usual I was offloading all my troubles and then the conversation went like this:
Me: ‘If I could just click my fingers and the business disappeared, I’d do it.’
Katie: ‘Why don’t you then? Just close it down and move on.’
Hearing someone, I have a lot of respect for, say those words made the impossible possible.
Life with The Grey
By then I had had finally met the right man, my husband, The Grey, as he is known in my blog. (In case you are interested, his name came about because A.A. Gill always referred to his partner and dining companion as The Blonde in his restaurant reviews.)
We moved to Suffolk and I started a new life as a writer and author. Now I am living the dream.
I have always loved meeting new people, especially if we have shared experiences. Or alternatively if they are a little bit different, eccentric even. It makes for a richer life and feeds my creative mind.
Roger is forced out of his job at 60 and finds himself in his home village, in rural Suffolk, where he hasn’t taken much notice up until now. Whilst his ego takes a battering, his lovely wife of 33 years, Ellie, embarks on a new career working for the local big wig, James Addington.
The Long Marriage will be published on 7th August.