Image via Public Domain Images

After having written a series of non-fiction books, I decided last year to write a novel next.

For me, writing is a great way of switching off from the day to day and immersing myself in a project that uses my creativity, but with a clear purpose (which I’ve found is important to me, rather than simply making art for art’s sake).

The jump to fiction was going to be a leap for me, so to support me through the process I signed up for the superbly helpful, friendly and supportive Six Month Novel programme in 2015 to get me started. Then I used the output from that to apply for the Curtis Brown novel writing programme this year, which I’ve just started. In between I’ve also been on a few of the Urban Writers’ Retreats to get the writing done.

So far I’ve developed the story idea, plotted it out, and have written just over half of the first draft. From now on I’ll blog about my progress and learning too.

My Story

I’ve decided to write a thriller, based on the theme of mass surveillance via technology, our love of smartphones, and the rise of technologically-savvy enemies.

My current pitch (it will need lots of work in the coming months):

Entrepreneur Aila Grant lands substantial investment for her smartphone game, and moves to Silicon Valley to make her name. But then she discovers who is really behind the money, and what her app being on hundreds of millions of phones allows them to do. To save her life, and thousands of others, she has to fight to destroy everything she dreamed of.

I wasn’t able to make it to the first week of the Curtis Brown workshops, so I made a short video to introduce myself and my book:

The video was recorded in a hurry, in one take — so there is a correction: I started to want to write at about age 8, but wrote The Secret Trail when I was aged 9–10.

Originally published at

Writing A Novel

Starting to write fiction, and the big idea.