the writer is a lonely hunter

writing by Gail Aldwin and other Dorset writers

The String Games has found a good home

I’m delighted to share the news that my contemporary novel The String Games has been accepted for publication by the lovely people at Victorina Press. It’s been a long journey to reach this point which has involved all sorts of creative and academic diversions. Little did I know that when I started writing the novel, I would end up being awarded a PhD in creative writing!

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The String Games tells the story of the abduction and murder of a boy from the viewpoint of his older sister. Rather than a crime novel, The String Games focuses on the legacy of loss for the protagonist, as she moves from childhood to the teenage years and into adulthood. This three-part structure is rather like a triptych in that it allows the protagonist to look back on her younger self and struggle to recognise the child she once was. It is by engaging with her personal history that Imogen is able to address issues of unresolved grief and integrate the loss of her brother.

Here is the opening page to prick your curiosity:

2013

An idea strikes. Imogen turns around on the stairs wanting to hurry back, but strangers stand like prongs. She battles through to reach the office where she jostles for projects and promotions. Heaving the door open, she sprints to her desk. Heads turn but Imogen ignores her colleagues. Her fingers slip on the keyboard and she has to retype the password. Breath churns from deep in her lungs and her heart beats like a hammer. Why didn’t she think of this before? Turning the screen, she doesn’t want anyone to see what’s she’s doing.It’s a private matter. While she waits for the homepage to load, she glances through the rain-stained window and onto the Thames. Water rucked like a crinkled cloth brings to mind a recurring image from her childhood. A little boy with wet hair shivers, wearing only his trunks. She wants to reach for him, press her arms around his shoulders, draw Josh into a hug. A big sister should keep her brother safe.

Typing his name will bring up the usual lilac lettering that tells Imogen she’s used the same search term time and again. Her stomach clenches and is knotted like a ball of string. Gathering confidence she enters the name of the girl she used to be into the search bar: Nim Mashard. Clasping her hands, she waits to see whether this will locate new information about Josh’s case.

The String Games will be published in May 2019 and I look forward to working with Victorina Press to make this novel the best it can be.

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Best of CafeLit 2012

Product DetailsWhen I received an email on New Year’s Day from Debz Hobbs-Wyatt saying that my story The Shallows had been included in The Best of CafeLit 2012, I was delighted. Now I’m looking forward to receiving my copy of the anthology which is available through Amazon. The ezine CafeLit is a fantastic place to submit stories up to 3,000 words. Each year Debz selects 15 of the stories she’s most enjoyed for inclusion in a trade book and contributors receive a share of the profits.

I’m really pleased to see my work appear alongside that of Patsy Collins. Patsy has had considerable success in having her stories published in women’s magazines and now has a number of print and ebooks available. She writes regular blog posts which are well worth reading and you can find the link to her blog here.

Interestingly, Patsy was made redundant earlier in the year and I’m taking inspiration from the writing she’s undertaken since she’s been liberated from paid employment. In the meantime, the date of my dismissal through redundancy approaches and I’m making plans for a refocused future. When everything is confirmed, I’ll let you know more.

 

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