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HOKAI. Well, it’s been a while. I hope you’re all well and thriving.

Very briefly, I decided a couple of years ago that I had to, uh, get a JOB.

It’s a terrible state of affairs, but, with the dawn of the internet and the death of print media, peddling gossip and penning first person features about how disastrous my life has been thus far simply wasn’t keeping me in ice cream and vodka any more. So, long story made far less dreary, I went into full-time content creation for a brand. A wellness brand no less. Ha. (Stop sniggering at the back).

I’ve also been battling stress and depression in equal parts, on and off for, well, forever. It’s just one of those things, not necessarily caused by anything, it’s as unpredictable as a British summer. with the chances of rain equally likely.

Lately though, I’ve been feeling pretty good, so I’ve decided that I wanted to flex my fiction muscles. I’ve been writing a series of three short stories, which all tie together to make one long story. I did it just for fun, really, for the enjoyment of playing with words.

In the past when I’ve tried to write novels, I’ve always just bashed out what came into my head. Well, slightly edited for the reader’s benefit, but with no real structure (story of my life). This time though, I wanted to stick to a standard story formula, with a protagonist, antagonist, some kind of problem they have to solve and action driving things forward.

I’ve uploaded the first one, which you can download and read for free here if you want. If it sends you to UK Amazon, it may say it’s not available. Go to where it’s available on their Kindle section under “The Girl Lost At Sea”.

Parts two and three are incoming later this summer, then I’m doing a full-length memoir this winter, once I feel my writing muscles have been warmed up. I’m just working up the guts to do that. It’s like psyching up to jump off a high diving board.

I set this 3-part series before the history books began, right before ancient Roman times. This is purely because, as a former tabloid reporter, history is not my strong suit and I didn’t want to get snarled up in uh, pesky facts. I wanted to explore undiagnosed mental health issues, but heavily disguised behind a fictional setting.

All three will be completed to coincide with Mental Health Awareness Day in October and the first one touches on PTSD and the effects of repeated trauma.

It’s not quite the great British novel that I plan to write one of these days, but I’m making headway of the second instalment, so feeling motivated about the story is better than staring an empty page. I’ll get to that novel one day. Baby steps.

If you do have time to take a squizz, let me know what you think. Be brutally honest! (Not really!), but leave a review if you feel so inclined.

Have a lovely weekend.

Yours in vino veritas,

Jen xxx

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