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About Me

Hi, I’m Jools. I’ve been writing since I was 23, but I took a break for about 20 years in my early thirties because my writing efforts were affecting my mental health. I also found I was running out of things to write about. This can be a problem when you’re still young, holding a full-time job during the day and writing during the evening.

Whatever your dreams, whatever your ambitions, you should never jeopardise your mental health for the sake of them. 

I resumed writing in my early fifties. Thus began my second writing period. In my first, I’d written three horror novels, published a couple of short stories and been signed up by two literary agencies, including one of the big London three. Despite this, my novels remained unpublished. 

The novels I wrote were in order, Bodyfreeze, Spiderella, and Better Off Dead. Of these, Bodyfreeze has been extensively rewritten and is shortly to be self-published (only the original first 20k words remain). Later, I hope to do something similar for Spiderella. As for Better Off Dead, this third novel showed I really needed to get a life because I was running out of interesting ideas. Better Off Dead remains better off unpublished.

I should mention that there were times I sat down and tried to write again in my forties, but the desire never came to me. I don’t believe you should attempt to write long fiction without that burning itch, that overwhelming desire to set your story down. During this barren period, I ghostwrote several children’s stories, which were available at the time on Amazon.

I always felt truer to myself while writing than with anything else. 

When I resumed, I wasn’t interested in writing fiction. I provided website content for a few years, writing about subjects as diverse as signage, refrigerated vans and quantum mechanics. I earned peanuts, but I became a better writer from blogging.

For a while, I’d considered dipping my toes into the new indie publishing revolution, but deemed it too competitive. When I felt brave enough to attempt another novel, I didn’t just want to go back to a novel I’d already written. I wanted to write something fresh.

That was how Ratstrike was born. While it was being edited, I started another, Raven Hill, my desire to write long fiction by now reawakened. 

My second writing period had begun. A new era. This time, rightly or wrongly, I’d decided I would not pursue the trad publishing route.

I was about to become an indie author. 

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