Saturday, 7 August 2010

My First Book: The Story

When I decided to sign myself up for NaNoWriMo, I didn’t really know where my story was going to go, but I enthusiastically entered some text in the synopsis box. This is what I wrote:
Sam Hendry is not looking forward to starting at her new school. Things go from bad to worse as the day of truth arrives and all of her fears come true… and then some.
The main character, Sam, is eleven years old and just about to start at senior school. She’s a gentle, happy soul but she is quite shy. That’s all it takes for the stronger and less pleasant characters in her class to single her out and bully her.

During the course of the book, Sam finds some really good friends who help her to deal with the situation that she is in, and encourage her with her more positive pursuits. She also has some very positive adult influences in her life, which lead her down a path that is both character building and exciting for her. Although the subject of bullying can be intense, the overall story in the book is a positive one.

The book is aimed at the 9-12 age group. I was originally intending to write for an older readership, and have Sam move schools after settling in at one, but as I wrote it, I decided that I would prefer to write it for children who are just leaving primary school or are in the early stages of senior school. If they take anything from the story, I hope they realise that it is not good to be a bully. Or, in the case of being a victim, that there are things you can do to help yourself out of the situation. They may also enjoy the part about it being good to follow your dreams, but I won’t say too much about that, as I don’t want to spoil the story for you completely!

Bullying is a subject that is close to my heart as I have been a victim of it myself and I know what a huge impact it can have on someone. It is only recently that I have developed more confidence and decided that this subject matter should be the basis of my first book, as I wanted to "put it out there". It is by no means a "how to..." guide, but it will hopefully raise awareness of things that may happen.

I know many people who have been bullied, at school as well as at work. It’s so common, and it impacts on people’s lives. I feel so passionate about this that I will be donating a percentage of any profit I make from this book to Bullying UK.

My second book, by contrast, will be women’s fiction. I have a main character in my head and the book will form itself during November 2010.

If I have any time between the two, I will continue to write flash fiction, and work on another novel (again, women’s fiction) that I have been gradually writing for a couple of years.

I would be very grateful for any comments. Especially if you know of anyone who may want to read my book when it is published.

Thank you for reading this. I really do appreciate it.

For further details on my writing process, please see my blog post: My First Book: The Process.


  1. Bk 1- a great premise for the story. I've been bullied at various stages in life and confidence issues remain even though one tries to hide that fact. Hope everything goes all to plan & well done for support of Bullying UK. Await fruition of Bk 2 no less eagerly x

  2. Sounds like you've been working hard since the NaNoWriMo. Good luck with selling your novel. Have you any publishers in mind? It might help if you pitch it to them with more than just the bullying as an issue. Publishers are always saying how things have to be a bit different in 'today's overcrowded market'.

  3. I want a copy of your children's book for N3S! Looking forward to NaNo-ing with you this year. I'm going to write women's fiction again.

  4. Hi and thanks for all the comments. Rosalind, I am happy to say there is another major part of the story which I haven't even touched on here. I want to keep that under wraps for now though...

  5. It's exciting and encouraging to know that your novel grew out of NaNoWriMo and I'm looking forward to NaNo-ing with you and Denyse later this year.

    I think you're pitching your WiP at exactly the right age range. Going up from primary to high school can be frightening enough, without also having to deal with bullying, as some children have to do. And you couldn't have picked a better subject. Bullying seems to be more and more prevalent these days. Sadly.

    I would have thought that you'd be able to do school visits with your book, workshopping bullying with teachers and their classes in the target reading ages.

  6. Ha, just read this post back again and it turns out my second novel is also for children, but 10-14s. I find myself really enjoying writing for younger readers...