The Girl Who Disappeared | Five Favourite Things about being an #Author by James Lingard

Britain in the 1930s.

Emily falls passionately in love with working class Walter, despite fierce opposition from her class conscious father. She sees marriage as a partnership of equals and resolves to elope to escape such a male dominated society.

Emily’s actions will see her struggle to survive the subsequent devastation brought about by the war, as she and her four year old son are thrown into the midst of danger and death. The family experience rationing and the terror of bombing. Their air raid shelter is destroyed by a direct hit.

When Walter volunteers for the army, Emily and her son are evacuated to a rat infested cottage in a farming community near Hebden Bridge. The war changes Walter into an efficient army officer who demands to be obeyed. Emily worries that she might have a rival for his affections. How can she restore their loving relationship?

The Girl Who Disappeared is a moving love story about one woman’s enduring resilience, a story full of quiet humour and surprising twists and turns.

Release Date: 14th January 2020
Genre: Historical Fiction
Page Count: 200
Publisher: Clink Street Publishing
Goodreads Link:
Amazon Link:

Five Favourite Things about being an author
Guest Post by James Lingard

  1. Choice of Subject

An author can choose what his book will be about. Will it be fiction or nonfiction – I have written both. There is a huge choice of subject seemingly limited only by the writer’s imagination.

But then in the real world there are limits. No one wants to write about a subject no one else wants to read, though there are readers for all sorts of obscure topics. It is as well to know who you are writing for and to adopt an appropriate style.

Then again it is advisable to choose a topic you know something about unless you intend to spend hours doing research. I find it so much easier to write about places with which I am familiar.

Do choose a subject which interests you. If you become bored during the writing, pity the reader.

  1. Timing

Apart from deadlines imposed by impatient publishers (if you are lucky enough to have one), writing can be done when and where you want. Some authors set themselves the task of writing a set number of words or for set hours each day and then wonder why they get writer’s block. I prefer to make a note when an idea occurs to me but to do the actual writing only when I feel like it.

Ideas about the story occur at all times including the middle of the night – though these may need to be rejected when fully awake – or in the bath. Make a note of them then you can think about something else.

Using my method it can take a year or so to write a book but space is available to do many other things and live a life.

  1. Development

Enjoy developing the original idea. I start by heading twenty pages in my notebook with the title of a chapter and then filling in the page with a brief note about what that chapter should contain as ideas occur to me. This outline usually is completely changed during the writing process as new twists to the plot occur.

In the writing, remember that the blank page is the enemy of every author. Do not aim at perfection in every sentence in the first draft. Tell the story, knowing that there will be a complete rewrite later when the book is more advanced.

Seeing the book improve can be satisfying. Obviously, the dawning realisation that what you have written is rubbish is not but do not destroy the draft as parts of it may come in useful elsewhere.

  1. Marketing

Marketing is a challenge – find an agent if you can; if not find a publisher or self-publish. This process can be painful whilst it lasts but once achieved should be pleasurable.

Take care in choosing your publisher, some pay royalties out of the United States and you could end up paying American tax. Google what people say about the publisher and learn from their experience.

  1. Excitement

Once the book exists, an author has the excitement of discovering how the world reacts to it. This first manifests itself in the reviews which come in from complete strangers.

Some authors have difficulty in obtaining independent reviews especially now that Goodreads has been taken over by Amazon and ceased to allow author giveaways except by major publishers. A solution is to become a Library Thing author and distribute review copies to reviewers who use that.

When the reviews arrive, remember that nearly all books receive some bad reviews – even books which also receive five star reviews. Different people enjoy different books. When you have ten or more reviews, you will have a clearer idea of whether your book is as good as you think it is.

Reviews and sales are two very different things. The original James Bond books averaged three stars but sales soared because the public liked them. Equally, some four and five star books do not sell because they are not properly marketed. The major supermarkets only consider books from major publishers; Amazon will take anything it considers saleable and it knows how to sell!

James Lingard – educated at Dulwich College and University College London – became a leading City of London solicitor who specialized in banking law and insolvency.

A former Council Member of the Association of Business Recovery Professionals and of the European Association of Insolvency Practitioners, he became a Judicial Chairman of the Insolvency Practitioners Tribunal.

He was the founding President of the Insolvency Lawyers Association and also became Chairman of the Joint Insolvency Examination Board and of the Banking Law and the Insolvency Law Sub Committees of the City of London Law Society.

He is the original author of Lingard’s Bank Security Documents (LexisNexis Butterworths) now in its 7th edition and a number of other legal books. More recently, he has written Britain at War 1939 to 1945 (Author House) and now THE GIRL WHO DISAPPEARED.


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