I love being at Anglia Ruskin and learning all about early childhood, alongside being course rep and a digital ambassador. But I think it is important to embrace other interests outside of university too, and for me, this is writing.
I love to write. I find writing things down really helps me to express my feelings and sometimes, especially when I free write, I uncover feelings and thoughts I didn’t know I had.
I have been incredibly lucky and last year, after ten years of slogging away at the keyboard, I signed a two-book deal with HarperImpulse (a division of HarperCollins Publishers). I write contemporary women’s fiction and my debut novel, The First Time Mums’ Club, has been put under the ‘chicklit’ genre. The publishers have introduced me on Amazon as ‘for fans of Giovanna Fletcher, Paige Toon and The Unmumsy Mum’. What an honour it is to be categorised with these women. I am a mummy to my ten-year-old daughter and so breaking into the 'mummy market' has been amazing. I write under the pseudonym, Lucie Wheeler, which is my maiden name.
In the story, we follow three women through their pregnancies, each one facing their own set of dilemmas. It is three stories woven into one. Great to read – a nightmare to plan for!
I use a variety of planning techniques when writing. Here is a snapshot of just some of them.
I use these for consistency in my writing. When I create a character I fill in a profile for them so that, at a glance, I can see all the relevant information about them. DOB, appearance, character traits and background are just some of the things I note down.
I also use a picture of a celebrity whom I will liken to that character. This helps me to visualise them more.
The scene breakdown helps me to keep track of things, scene by scene. By noting whose point of view each scene is written in, I am able to make sure each character has an equal amount of time on the page.
I have a section for the characters who are physically in the scene (and I put in brackets those characters who are mentioned in the scene either via text or phone call – this way I can keep track of who is being highlighted in each scene, even if they aren’t physically there). And I have a column for location, so I know where each scene takes place.
The timeline is incredibly important in my planning for this book, as I used it to keep track of how many weeks pregnant each character was in each scene. If I got this wrong, it would stand out like a sore thumb!
The First Time Mums’ Club is on Amazon now – for anyone who fancies a read.