TREAT YOURSELF. SPOIL YOURSELF. BUY A BOOK.
TIME & TIDE
This is the first book I published. For those of you who ask the question, How long does it take to write a book? It took 3 years to write this one. It was designed with the Millennium in mind. I know it's 16 years ago but to me it only seems like yesterday which is a sign of my own age. At that time there was much euphoria about the 'good old days' and all that had happened in the twentieth century and I thought it would be a good idea to take a character born on January 1st 1950 who would be celebrating her 50th birthday at the Millennium and create a family saga around her and those 50 years. I created the Stephenson family with Irene Joy born in 1950 and named Irene because the name means 'peace' in Greek. She was a symbol of hope for the future after the first part of the century had seen two World Wars. In addition to the narrative I gave Irene's mother the role of writing a diary but not just a personal one, one which included the social and historical events throughout the 50 years and it interspersed throughout the book in italics.
This book was self-published but it is still available worldwide on Amazon, and the Internet or from good bookshops. The ISBN is 9780953945108 and price £7.99 GBP. (paperback)
This book was originally written during the 6 week summer holidays in 1987 when I was still teaching. Only 6 weeks to write a book! The time taken to write a book is like the proverbial piece of string! It varies according to the author and the type of book. Writing must be about the only occupation where there is no set pattern for working; I have yet to meet two authors who work in the same way. It was originally titled Innocent Victim and a diary of a divorced woman and teacher throughout the year of 1986. At the time I denied the fact that it was cathartic but with hindsight! I was divorced then and teaching in the UK was not easy as the education system was undergoing radical change; I was thoroughly disillusioned with the entire system and wrote a rather dramatic line, 'one day someone will realise that education is about children'! Redeployment was everywhere and I found the majority of my colleagues to be more concerned with their own careers and promotions than with the children. I guess I was a cross between Jean Brody and Mr. Chips! I wrote it in diary format with each month being a chapter. I was pleased with the end result and attempted unsuccessfully to get it published in mainstream.
So, after learning all about self-publishing from The Citron Press, and publishing Time & Tide I decided to retrieve the Innocent Victim manuscript and rewrite it. I published a slightly longer version as No Regrets in 2003. All the characters are fictitious and any resemblance to anyone living or dead is pure coincidence. Dear Joanna finds herself in constant turmoil, 'The absolute lay on the table...'. She was divorced and had suffered the humiliation of her husband leaving her for a younger model. Everything had changed and all that she had taken for granted as a married woman had disappeared. She was now alone and must face financial, emotional, sexual and all the problems that life after a failed marriage brings. Life beyond her sanctuary continues regardless of her feelings or situation; she becomes a prey for every man in creation since Adam and learns to use sex to her own advantage...
This book is still available worldwide on Amazon, The Internet or from good bookshops. The ISBN is 9780953945115. Price £8.99 GBP (paperback)
STAY IN TOUCH
When I wrote this book I was proud to be able to say that I was an author and publisher of 'books' as opposed to just one book! It was also nice to be able to say that I was working on number 3. With this book I can confess to being an absolute hoarder and can justify never throwing anything away because it might come in useful one day. In the 1980's a friend had suggested that I write a play for a competition and it was at a time when I had met up with an old school friend. We had been communicating by sending postcards, birthday cards and Christmas cards with scribbled notes for many years and promising to meet up but had never managed to find the time. At last, we were in my home telling each other of marriages, divorces, and events throughout the fifteen years since we had left school. It was this incident in my own life which inspired me to write a play set in the café on Sheffield station. Two friends meet and tell each other of their lives in a hurried hour and promise to Stay in Touch but of course they both know they will not! That's Life!
As I was thinking about what to write next and looking through files I discovered this forgotten play and asked myself many questions of, What if? What if one is poor and one is rich? What if they both wanted what the other had? What if they would do whatever if takes to get it? What if they had set themselves goals to achieve in their childhood and decided to do them?
When my editor (a man!) read the manuscript I believe he was quaking in his shoes! He wrote the blurb for the jacket cover,
"Just what can drive a woman to murder? Or even three murders? Men. How can she become a serial killer, undetected and rich on the proceeds of her crimes? It all seems so simple for Christabelle after failed marriages to a homosexual and a bigamist. She confides only so much to her best friend as they recall their youthful wishes and dreams.
If you have ever written down 50 things you intend to do before 30,40 or 50 you will understand and marvel at this black comedy.
Marilyn L. Rice has written a story which races along with the pace of a thriller yet shrewdly observes the problems facing women today and a terrifying solution of how they can be overcome.
And when you have finished the book the story will stay long in your mind...whether you are a woman - or even more so if you are a man."
This book was self-published in 2005 and launched at the Hay Festival but it is still available worldwide on Amazon and on the Internet or from good bookshops. The ISBN is 9780953945122 and the price £8.99 GBP (paperback)
LOOK AFTER EACH OTHER
I feel that authors grow with their work and by the time I was planning my fourth book I felt I had reached maturity. This book, like all of my books, began with the ending. I'm afraid I always start by writing the final chapter and then I know what I'm working toward. It may sound strange, and I usually have to make a few changes, but it works for me.
The idea was to interweave three things. The inspiration came from events in my own life. I once had the misfortune to meet a gentlemen whose sole aim in life was to complain and find fault. I have always had a strong relationship with my father and thirdly, I have visited clairvoyants/mediums. What if? What if? Could I work with a plot involving these three ideas and a lot of 'what ifs'? After a lot of planning - it worked!
"Sofia Haslington is a 36-year-old mother and housewife kept under the thumb of her priggish, anal-retentive husband, Derek. Living by a second-to-second timetable and under strict rules enforced by her husband, Sofia decides to visit a well-respected clairvoyant, hoping for a bit of respite from her otherwise dreary existence. But what she is surprised to learn that day not only changes her life...it changes her.
Sofia, now planning to die on March 5th 2005, writes a "Do or Die" list and, with a renewed sense of spirit, unleashes the bad girl hidden deep down inside. From breaking the Ten Commandments to exploring the marvels of Tantric sex, Sofia goes on a liberating journey of body, mind, and spirit, relishing every last minute she has left on this earth. Women everywhere will laugh, cry, and cheer as Sofia counts down her final moments, making each one more memorable and enjoyable than the last." (Blurb from SBP edition)
I self-published this, my fourth book, and launched it at M.Roberts. Books And ?????? shop in Slaithwaite, Yorkshire on September 16th 2007, exactly 7 years since I'd received the copies of my first book!
Later, in 2009, it was republished by the American Strategic Book Publishers in hardback.
Both editions (paper/softback and hardback) are still available worldwide on Amazon, The Internet and from good bookshops. The paperback edition is ISBN 9780953945139 and price £8.99 GBP. The hardback edition is ISBN 9781608600946 and price $28.50.
This final book shows how dramatic and unimaginable events have changed the lives of everyone Sofia left behind at Haslington Towers. Even more surprising events occur that lead to devastating consequences. This stunning book series delves into karma, the afterlife, and more things in heaven and earth than you have ever dreamed! (Taken from jacket blurb) ISBN 978631353659 $18.00/ £11.00 softback/paperback
Thought for the week: Escape with a good book.
Love to you all,
Lady M (Sofia and Donald xxx)