It’s morning. It’s daylight. The clock says three a.m. I roll over in bed my mind buzzing. I’ve got a scene from my book in my head. There’s something there I hadn’t thought of before and it excites me. I play it over in my mind. Yes, that will work. My character is showing me a new flaw in his personality. That’s exactly how he would behave given that set of circumstances. I’m wide awake now and I know I won’t sleep again for ages. I get up and after a trip to the bathroom, I make a cup of tea.
It’s lovely and quiet in my kitchen. I once read that Mary Higgins-Clarke wrote her first book between five and six thirty in the morning before the family got up. I’m with you there, Mary. Four-fifteen finds me putting the finishing touches to the scene in my rough note book. It was worth getting out of bed. I’ve worked out a nice twist as well. I always know the ending of the story as I begin a new book but I go on the same journey as my reader and I love it when my characters surprise me. I yawn and climb back under the sheet. I’ve got it on paper so I can relax now. I wake at seven forty.
After breakfast, I’ll write up the notes. By eight thirty I’m ready to roll. That’s the plan but life doesn’t always work out that way. My daughter phones. Her car has broken down and she needs to get the kids to school. Family comes first, so instead of writing, I’m doing the school run. I get to the computer later that morning. While I was out, I thought I might as well do that bit of shopping. At lunch time, I stop to eat with my hubby. The scene is saved and backed up but it has evolved into something richer, more engaging. I love it when my readers complain that they get into trouble because they can’t put the book down.
I don’t work so well in the afternoon. All those early mornings catch up with me, I suppose. I may do a spot of gardening or some cleaning (oh joy…) or meet a friend for tea and cake somewhere. Those lovely Worthing tea shops would go out of business if I wasn’t around. The school run again and my grandchildren, hubby and I go to our beach hut for a while. They catch crabs. Hubby sleeps in the chair. He’s not been well but the fresh air will do him good. I make tea and relax until it’s time to take them home again. Between seven and nine I’m beavering away. By the time I flop in front of the telly, I’m done. Hope there’s something good on. A drama or a film. I see some of it, but I’m fighting my eye lids. Off to bed. Another day and a few more words on the page. I’ll sleep like a log tonight… unless I wake up with another brilliant idea of course.
Always in My Heart by Pam Weaver is out now from Pan Macmillan (£6.99 paperback)