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Monday, 1 December 2014

The Psychopath Versus The People's Friend

I'll begin this week's blog with some lovely news. I won second prize in the Greenacre Writers November Competition judged by crime writer, Bettina von Cossel, who said this about my story: 'The story begins harmless enough, but bit by bit we learn that the narrator is a psychopath with a reasoning of his own. A killer who has the 'grace' to announce his plan but no mercy for those who fail to understand the announcement. I really enjoyed reading this story, it is a beautifully portrayed insight into a killer's mind.'

These comments meant a lot to me, as I do enjoy writing crime and I'm pleased that I can successfully get inside the mind of a male psychopath - certainly enough to make him a convincing character. The narrator character was inspired by a rather obnoxious man who was holding forth at the bar in a little pub in Worcestershire back in 2012. We were staying there as part of my 50th birthday celebrations. To say he spoiled our 'quiet' after-dinner drink is an understatement! He was harassing a girl of around eighteen-years-old (he was middle-aged) so much that we nearly had to say something to him. Instead my husband and I retired to our room and drank champagne.

I've had news of another competition success this week. I won a Highly Commended prize in the Erewash Writers Short Story Competition, which consisted of a free entry into their next competition. This competition was judged by Malcolm Welshman, so it was quite an honour.

To prove that writers collect more rejections than acceptances or competitions successes, I had three women's magazine rejections last week. Two of those were from the infamous Maureen Street at Woman's Weekly. One story was considered 'too downbeat' and the other 'more than a little weird'. I did laugh when I read the latter! I had another rejection from Alison Cook at The People's Friend, but she sent such a lovely, chatty email and said that I wrote very well and they'd like to see more of my stories. I do find it difficult to tune into The People's Friend readers. I'm much more comfortable writing about psychopaths!