I've never sought the fame of a pop star or actress. Never wanted the paparazzi outside my front door, never craved the attention of strangers. But recently, as a writer, I have sought a certain kind of fame. If a stranger now said to me "that was a fabulous story, darling!" I'd be delighted. I'm not there yet, not by a long shot, but recently I experienced step one when I went to the book launch of As We See It: Hong Kong Stories. This book is a collection of short stories by members of the Hong Kong Writers Circle (HKWC) and it contains my first ever published short story!
I went to my first HKWC workshop in October 2010, which I thoroughly enjoyed and I've attended nearly all of the workshops since. In January 2011 I joined, so that I could submit a story to the latest anthology. The deadline for first draft submissions was July 2011. For those of you who don't know me well, I got married in August 2011 and was in the U.K. from the beginning of July. I thought I'd have plenty of time to get my first draft ready. I was wrong! Not only was the lure of morning coffee, lunch, afternoon tea and/or dinner with friends and family too strong, but there was the small matter of final arrangements for the wedding to take care of. To sum up, I did barely any writing and the one and only time I sat down with any real intent to do anything, I discovered that I'd brought the wrong notebook halfway across the world, so saw it as a sign and gave up. I contacted the editors and they very kindly postponed my deadline until September.
Up until that point my writing style had been:
1) open the notebook (I write all my first drafts by hand)
2) pick up a pen
3) start writing and see what happens.
That's a great method for getting ideas and getting a feel of your character, but not always so great for finding an ending. This proved to be an extremely difficult task. I wasn't sure about it and each time i changed the ending, other elements throughout the story also had to change. This meant a lot of rewrites! Luckily I have a very patient husband (who read every single draft in return for nothing more than cups of tea) and the support of the HKWC members.
If you're interested in buying a copy, it is available as an e-book from amazon (UK) or Amazon (US). If you would like a 'real' book, please contact me directly.