Recently, at a family BBQ my brother-in-law asked me about my writing.
Simple question, “What sort of book are you writing?”
Do I give a simple answer?
No. I hem and haw and waffle about second drafts and change the subject.
If I’d been prepared I could have written up a suitable reply, polished it a bit and committed it to memory (note to self there). But that’s the thing. I’m far better at expressing myself on paper than verbally, and you can’t just nip off in the middle of a conversation to scribble down some notes in the loo.
I suspect I’m not alone. In fact, from reading other writer’s blogs, I know I’m not.
I recently watched the re-make of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. There was a moment when he (Walter) completely zones out, imagining some fantastic event where not only does everything work out perfectly for him, but he is understood. People get him. Then he snaps back to reality to find someone saying “Hello? Where did you go?” and I recognised my five-year-old son there (who is young enough to sometimes share where he’s just been).
I completely failed to recognise myself.
So, for the benefit of my brother-in-law (and anyone else out there), if I’m quiet or occasionally a bit random in conversations, it’s not that I don’t have anything to say, but more that I may not have the right format available.
And, for the record, my first novel is a paranormal thriller about a girl named Harriet Stone who, intent on ridding her flat of a ghost uncovers a twenty-six year old murder, which in turn is the key to a quarter century of corruption and betrayal that will affect not only her, but the past that she’s been running from.