Invisible Jane – confessions of an author

Okay, I have a confession. I am bit of a literary snob. I enjoy reading the classics, or good quality literary fiction, or well written psychological thrillers. What I don’t read is chick lit. If a book has a pink cover, I do not buy it.

However (this is the confession) the first book I ever wrote is – chick lit. I guess perhaps because my life was overloaded stress when I wrote it, and I couldn’t cope with anything too real, too nasty. So I wrote a ‘nice’ book, an “enjoy it on the beach with an ice-cream” sort of a book, something you might find serialised in your mother’s weekly magazine. A girly story, all about love – with some “snort your tea everywhere” funny bits. Deeply embarrassing.

I wrote it by hand, on the back of bank statements and Ocado receipts, then laboriously typed it onto my computer; and left it there. It was way too embarrassing to show people. Husband read it (he wanted the bank statements and wondered why I had used them as writing paper), and he said it was funny. But he loves me, so I didn’t really trust him.

For several years, the book has sat on my computer. Many times I have looked at it, snorted out my tea at the funny bits, and tried to change it – to make it less ‘girly’. I have tried murdering one of the characters, or introducing a villain, or having aliens land in the garden; but it doesn’t work. It is chick lit, and as chick lit, it works rather well. I (secretly) enjoy reading it. It tells the story of a young mother, with two young children, and it’s a love story. It doesn’t have strong, realistic characters (like my other books) because sometimes a girl wants a tall handsome stranger with a nice smile.

So, several rewrites later, I have decided to publish it as a Kindle book. If you like good quality literary fiction or psychological thrillers, please read something else. I have written better books – or you could give yourself a treat and read something by John Le Carre. Yes, I know we are only supposed to be positive about our work, but I prefer to be honest, and this is so not going to be winning any prizes. It might make you laugh though. It might help you to escape from stress for a few hours. I suggest you read it with an ice cream.

The children in the story are happy, with their future full of choices. The children I saw in the red light district of Mumbai don’t have this luxury, and I cannot forget their faces and stories. So any money I receive from the sale of Invisible Jane will be sent to Tearfund. (Though, I think we are talking about £1.99 per book, so it’s not going to solve the problem, but it might make you feel better about reading a girly book.)

At present, the book is only available as a Kindle book. I am trying to sort out the complicated process of also having available as a paperback. (My other books were ‘properly’ self-published, but as I said, this one is embarrassing.) You can buy it from whichever country you live in, or if you are signed up to the Amazon special deal, it’s free. So, find a beach and an ice cream – and tell people you are reading Dickens…..

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