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So I’ve finally managed to find time to get back to book number three, which is a blessed relief. When I’m away from it I fret that I won’t be able to get back into it, or that I’ll suddenly look at it with fresh eyes and think, ‘uh-oh, that’s terrible.’ Luckily, that hasn’t happened, and instead I felt a sense of having come home whenI began typing again.

I am, however constantly evolving the idea as I’m going along. The basic storyline remains a constant, but huge, sweeping changes are also being made. For instance, I’ve changed the main character from male to female! Currently, I’m wrestling with the idea of making a significant timeline change that will have a huge impact on the pace of the book. It’s a big decision to make: should the novel be a slow-burner, or a fast-paced sleigh ride?

This is both the agony and the ecstasy of the first draft. I often feel as if I am a potter who has been put into a pitch black room and asked to create something. I am running my fingers over the clay, trying to identify it blind. The miracle is always when the first draft is done, the light is switched on, and suddenly I see it whole for the first time.

  • Can YOU spot today’s Christmas-related reference in this blog? If you can, email it to invisibleauthor@outlook.com to enter my competition – and YOU could have a character named after you in my next novel!

MORE WAYS TO WIN! Three lucky people will have characters named after them in my next novel. They might be a baddie, or a nosy neighbour, they might even be bumped off, who can say, but they could have YOUR name.

To be in with a chance of winning this unique prize, all you have to do is take part in my Christmas countdown search. Every day for a fortnight I’ll be hiding a Christmas-related reference in a post on this blog, or somewhere over on my website www.barbaracopperthwaite.com All you have to do to enter is email me that days’s reference (e.g., I might randomly mention seeing ‘three wise men’) at invisibleauthor@outlook.com

You can enter as many times as you like. The more days you take part, the more entries you’ll accrue – so the greater your chance of winning!

I’ll also be running similar competitions across Twitter (you can follow me @BCopperthwait) and my Facebook page (www.Facebook.com/Author BarbaraCopperthwaite) and you’re free to enter those as many times as you like, too.

Over on Facebook, every day for a fortnight I’ll be posting a fun, easy question based either on Christmas, me, or my books. Just ‘like’ the post and leave your (correct!) answer in the comments section, and you’ll be entered into the prize draw. 

Over at Twitter, you simply have to retweet me using the hashtag #FlowersForTheDead. Each retweet is an entry and, again, you can enter as often as you want.

Good luck to everyone! 

* The winner will be announced on Christmas Eve

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