Whatever Next By Gina Kirkham @GinaGeeJay #GuestPost #AuthorTakeOver

Posted June 12, 2020 by Zoé in Author TakeOver, Guest Posts / 0 Comments

It is the day before the last day – I want to cry! I thought it would be awesome to finish on whatever is next for Gina….so here we are!

Over to Gina!


WHATEVER NEXT…..


Sheesh!
So you see, I was never going to go out quietly, well behaved and ordinary.
I was, as I will always be – with Polyester Thong on show to the whole world….
Mavis Jane Upton
Mum
Wife
Police Officer
Colleague
Idiot
Feckwit
Melt
Friend
Badd-ass cousin…
… and a total bloody shit-magnet!
THE END
…or is it?…
(Blues, Twos and Baby Shoes © 2019)

Those immortal two words. The End. The two words that will always make any writer feel a myriad of emotions that range from achievement to relief, from elation and love to sadness and a sense of mourning.


In all honesty, it’s not really the end. It’s just the bit where you’ve managed to get all 86,000 words down, in a semblance of order that will maybe, just maybe, make a decent story without you going completely bonkers in the process….….once you’ve done several read-throughs yourself then shoved it under your poor hubby’s nose demanding that it be appraised immediately even though he’s engrossed in a Wales v England rugby match.


After he has reluctantly obliged, you then spend hours picking up on and altering all the bloopers, spelling mistakes and predictive text howlers, swap chapters around, delete chapters, create paragraphs, delete paragraphs, wake up in a hot sweat when a dream has uncannily mirrored reality and shown you a very gaping and obvious plot hole at 3am and then finally you have to endure the agonies of discovering one of your main characters who started out as a Frank in chapters 1 to 18 has now somehow morphed into a Fred from chapter 18 onwards!


I don’t think there ever is an ‘End’, not even when you have finished and you hand your ‘baby’ over to your Publisher and their team for them to work their magic. There will always be something you pick up on five years later that you wish you had included or even worse, should have deleted. Such is the angst and uncertainty of a writer.


In the book scribbling world, we all suffer at some point from what is called ‘Imposter Syndrome’ which is quite simply our inability to believe that we are worthy of our standing and do not deserve the title of author. I was told that you cannot possibly have this syndrome until you have published your first edition of blood, sweat and tears, as before that point, there is only you or your mam/dad/nan/bezzy mate (delete were applicable) who after copious bribes, will judge your work. Once it is out there for the unrelated world to see, the doubts begin to craftily worm their way into your soul. As soon as someone refers to you as duh duh duh…..


An Author


….you are doomed for all eternity and beyond to suffer The Syndrome, usually in solitary silence as you would be further mortified and ready to drown yourself in a vat of gin/vodka/wine if anyone elsewhere to know the fragility of your confidence.

Recently I had to divulge my occupation. This has never been a problem for me before. As a Typist in the 1970’s I could rattle off a mean 86 words per minute and was pretty hot on the old Pitmans shorthand. I was quickly promoted to Secretary/PA to the Managing Director so was more than happy to loudly declare my standing whenever asked. In the late 1980’s I became a Police Officer. Oh the pride I felt in having that title, I had worked so hard to achieve it and loved every minute of my career. If I could have shouted from the rooftops that I, Georgina Jane Kirkham was an Officer of the Law (said in an Inspector Clouseau accent) I most certainly would have.

It is now 2020 and suddenly, even though I feel such privilege to be in the position I am in to have three books published and a current work in progress, Imposter Syndrome has smacked me around the back of the head once again.

Gulp!

“What is your occupation, Mrs Kirkham?” A discreet head tilt from the Bank
Manager followed her question whilst she waited for my reply.

“Err, I’m an…. auth…hrrrmph…” I breathed out heavily, smothering my mouth with my hand as I faked a cough.

“A what?”

“An autho…rmphmfffff…” Another cough, this time caught in an old shredded tissue I’d hastily recovered from my jacket pocket that had a half-sucked Fishermans Friend dangling from the edge.

“An Auditor?”

“No, I’m an auth…..oh dear, erm a writer….I mean…” Another wipe with the tissue to muffle my mouth lest the word ‘author’ should coherently leave my lips.

“Ah I see….” she smiled, or maybe grimaced as she quickly scribbled her
understanding of my occupation on the form in front of her.

Clutching my paperwork some ten minutes later, I was mildly amused to see that I had, for the purpose of an overdraft facility and without any training in hospitality or food preparation whatsoever, suddenly become a ‘Waiter at the Arautha Restaurant & Bar’ situated on our local High Street….

So, here I am, four years down the line, three books under my ever expanding belt (blame those damned biscuits again) and work has commenced on my fourth novel along with an even bigger dollop of Imposter Syndrome. This has been uncomfortably nurtured by the fact I have decided to put my dear Mavis into an induced coma whilst I spread my motheaten wings on something a little different.

Taa Daa….

I present to the world…. well to my long suffering hubby and a few special friends and to you on the QT – I’m sure nobody will ever know I’ve told you….

‘Murders at the Winterbottom W.I – A Prunella Pearce Mystery’

I love this cover!!!

My latest foray into the world of penmanship (but on a typewriter) has been well and truly inspired by the wonderful ladies of the various Women’s Institutes around the UK, in particular the Cheshire Federation and their branches. I have been so fortunate to have been invited to speak at their meetings over the last three years, and yes it is true, they bake fabulous cakes and are the most welcoming, fun and kind hearted ladies you could wish to meet with the added bonus of a great sense of humour – which is just as well knowing me!

I am halfway through my manuscript and having a wonderful time killing people off, something I haven’t had to experience before. I have become a sort of elderly female Cato Fong from The Pink Panther films, jumping out on my poor unsuspecting hubby trying to murder him in an array of humorous ways. He is distraught and his pacemaker is continually in emergency mode although he did admit that due to being on a diet, having his face shoved in a Lidl Lemon Drizzle cake to see how long it would take before he suffocated was the highlight of his year so far.

I won’t spoil the plot but the tagline of ‘What wouldn’t YOU do to be the next President…’ might give a hint.

It is different to Mavis and her escapades but I’m becoming very fond of my new protagonist, Prunella. She is a survivor, sassy, funny, a little bit mischievous and a Librarian with a deep love of books to boot – so what’s not to love.

Fingers crossed; you lovely readers will adore her too!


Gina x


I am so excited to read more of Pru, I have managed to read a snippet of the book and I love her. I really can not wait to read more of this book!!

Hope you loved this as much as me!

Until next time xxx

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