My writing in the 2020 Lockdown

It’s still fresh in everyone’s minds, months of forced isolation. Sounds like a writer’s dream, right? Wrong. I found writing at the start of Lockdown hard. I didn’t have the headspace to put finger to keyboard. I was too busy worrying about my family and friends, working my full-time job from home, and feeling utterly isolated from my normal day-to-day. Not being able to write was a massive blow to me. Throughout my life, my writing has been where I go to feel good, and not being able to do it when I needed it the most was heart breaking.

To keep my mind engaged, I spent my time plotting future books. I could still use my imagination, but it wasn’t the hard graft of getting down 100,000 decent words of a first draft. 20+ synopses later, I felt better – I still have to write them all, but I had a roadmap ready for me for when I felt like writing again.

Then I got an email.

Although having a publication history in horror and YA, I’d longed to write a thriller. I love true crime podcasts, and when I heard one had solved a cold case; I was impressed, but my dark mind whirled – what if a podcast caused a crime by revealing a secret best left buried? The story and characters quickly came together. I loved writing this book and the first draft was complete within a month; it took a few years of editing while working full time, completing a distance learning degree and well, having some semblance of a life, but at the end of 2019 it was ready. I sent my debut thriller Little Bones into the open submissions of Harper Collins’ imprint Avon. When the pandemic hit, I pushed thoughts of this out of my mind; that is until Bethany Wickington, an editor at Avon, emailed and asked if the manuscript was still available. Weeks later I had a contract and a publication date of Halloween for the eBook and 10th Dec for the paperback and audiobook.

Beth and the rest of the team at Avon have been amazing. Supportive, engaged and dedicated; I’m not surprised they won Imprint of the Year at The British Book Awards 2020. Currently, we are working on extra podcast content for the audiobook, so readers who enjoy Little Bones can find out more about the characters, and discover the last twist.

Having this amazing opportunity happen in Lockdown was surreal. I couldn’t celebrate with my family and friends, or even get my full writers’ group together to tell them in person. Even now I still have to remind myself it’s happening.

I’ve been writing for most of my life, and throughout have had times when I felt like giving up. Everybody feels this way at some point, but I’m here to tell you that you have to stick with it. Whether your dream is to be an author, to run a marathon, or study for a new career – don’t give up. And if you are a budding writer, take time to check out the Avon submissions page – as of the date of this blog they are open.

And if you’re looking for a Halloween thriller to get your teeth into, you can pre-order Little Bones right now. Click here to find the purchase link that’s right for you.

Published by Nicky Peacock - Author

N V Peacock is an author of thriller books. She also writes YA and horror as Nicky Peacock She has been published in 5 countries and has worked with over 20 publishers.

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