Monday, April 14, 2014

Christina Hollis: This Writing Life...
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I've written here about the importance of getting someone else to read your creative writing, to give you a different perspective on your work. On 31st March I stepped up and took the challenge myself at a workshop arranged by the local chapter of the Romantic Novelists' Association. You can read about that in more detail here. Seven of us met to discuss our current projects, and it was invaluable. If you get the chance to do something like this, grab it with both hands. I wasn't sure what to expect, as I submitted the first pages of a manuscript that's undergone a radical reworking, but it was fine.

Everyone liked the revised version, thank goodness! The Survivors' Club is a contemporary romantic novel whose heroine, Eden, is a victim who learns to stand up for herself. Adam is a burned out executive who forges a future by slamming the door on his tumultuous past. They need each other, but the past threatens to tear them apart. Why is Iolo the mysterious drifter so obsessed with Eden's home at Owl Farm? And why has the place always been known as The Ghost House?

I hadn't been sure whether or not to include the supernatural element in The Survivors' Club. The workshop convinced me to go ahead and do it. This is a complete departure from my normal style, so here's a short extract from The Survivors' Club to whet your appetite:

Iolo woke with a smile on his face. 
There’s change in the air, he thought. I can hear movement inside the house. Maybe today’s the day for Owl Farm. 
His optimism didn’t last. As he worked the life back into his feet, the weight of ages dropped onto his shoulders again. Without opening his eyes, he stretched his neck. There was no point in going out yet. It felt too early.
Down on the floor, Bran thumped his tail against the dusty floorboards. Iolo opened his eyes, blinked once or twice, and yawned. He stretched again. Then he listened, hoping to hear a Northwesterly rising from the direction of Horsgrave Wood. Strong winds used Owl Farm like a reed, softening their cries in the chimney throat. When that happened, Iolo could pretend they carried Julia’s voice. 
That wouldn’t happen today. The air was still as a sepulchre. He shook himself, then closed his eyes again.
At times like this, the woman he loved felt further away from him than ever.

If you'd like to keep up to date with the progress of The Survivors' Club, drop me a line at and I'll sign you up for my occasional newsletter. 

Christina Hollis writes both contemporary and historical fiction - when she isn't cooking, gardening or beekeeping. You can catch up with her at, on Twitter and Facebook, and see a full list of her published books at

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