Writing in coffee shops

When I first applied for a career break from the ‘day job’, nearly two years ago, I did wonder if I was going to be able to fill my time given that the bulk of the writing I do is in November for NaNoWriMo.

Sitting here in Starbucks it’s curious to look back on that, and I find myself thinking about writing routines as a handy procrastination tool – since I should be writing. I have to kind of have a run-up to it. So think of this as my warm up (and it beats trawling through Facebook and Twitter). Additionally the people sitting next to me are having a loud conversation of the sort that’s impossible to tune out, and I’m wishing I had brought my noise-cancelling earphones. They are back home, in the shed, darn it.

Everything’s mad-busy at the moment. I’m finishing the first draft of book 5, which is the second book in the Briarstone Major Crime series. My deadline for this was 14 October, but my plot only just decided to show up the week before my deadline (75,000 words in) so I managed to negotiate a bit of an extension. I’m glad the plot DID turn up because it’s a cracker. *whispers* I think this book might actually turn out to be quite good. My new deadline is 28 October, and I want to be able to spend at least four days reading and checking before I send it off, so the writing deadline is actually 14 October.

As well as that, I’m working on a short story which will be released on e-book before the paperback version of Under a Silent Moon comes out, which will both (hopefully) promote Under a Silent Moon and provide a little snippet of insight into where the team are going for the fifth book. This needs to be done by December.

And you may have noticed that November is fast approaching, which means National Novel Writing Month again. This year I have two potential plots instead of one, and I can’t decide which one to tackle, so I’m going to be brave and try both. The likelihood is that one will fizzle out, but at least if I get stuck with one I can transfer to the other one. As much as I’d like to have two 50,000 word novels by the end of the month, and it IS possible, I’ll be happy if I manage two 25,000 or any combination.

As well as writing, lots of other things are going on too.

Under a Silent Moon was launched in the UK on e-book yesterday! Quite a lot of excitement (mainly from me) on Twitter and Facebook about it. It’s a different sort of book for me, which is always a bit of a risk, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed that people like it – especially as the nearly-complete book 5 is in a very similar style. The paperback version will be out in Australia and New Zealand in November, then over here in the UK and in the US and Canada in April 2014. It feels like ages away, but in a way I’m quite glad because I don’t think I could cope with a big paperback launch right now as well as everything else that’s going on!

As well as all this, lots going on at home too. My son is in Year Six at school, which in the UK means that he’s moving from primary school to secondary school in September next year. By the end of this month we need to fill in a form with our four choices of schools, so we have been busy visiting prospective schools, too. The pressure is extraordinary. When I went to secondary school there was only one place I could realistically go… for my son it’s a highly strategic venture taking into account distance, Ofsted results, whether the school in question is likely to be oversubscribed, how he’s going to get there every day, not to mention where his friends might be going…

Well, now I’ve got all that off my chest, I shall go back to inventing some fictional intelligence reports to slot in to my book. I love this bit. I am neatly burying clues for you all to find. It’s like wrapping Christmas presents.




  1. Hi Elizabeth, I love writing in coffee shops too, although I envy you with all that time off work, I’m still juggling home / kids / work at the moment. This will be my first year of NaMo and I’ve got a great plot for a paranormal thriller lined up. Looking forward to reading your latest!

  2. Hi Hi lovely Elizabeth, I have started under a silent moon already, couldnt wait for the paperback so downloaded it onto my kindle hurrah. Cant put it down already of course and that is a great review as I am not an avid reader and havent read a book since human remains. I love reading anything you write, not only is it so good but makes me feel close. Thanks so much and keep it coming. Of course you can do both ha ha. Loads of love and more. x

  3. I’m so pleased that Under a Silent Moon is available on Kindle! I found this out today and am just going to have to borrow my daughters! I could not put down the other books nor wait to purchase the next one. Thanks for the entertainment and welcome distraction from real life, even if it has made me check out the crime/ thriller section I’ve always been slightly wary of….!

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