Les jeux sont fait

My first book, The Dating Detox, is in shops ahead of schedule.

This fills me with pride (the clever little thing, it was always advanced for its age) and nausea (you mean people are actually READING it?).

I realised yesterday that I hadn’t prepared for this bit. Everything has been geared towards publication. Typos and inconsistencies and PR, oh my. And now it’s all done, and I’m mildly surprised every time I look at the book. I’m like one of those mothers-to-be who obsesses about the gestation and birth and then goes home with a tiny baby and thinks ‘what the hell am I supposed to do with THIS, then?’. All I did was have sex, I mean, all I did was start writing something that I thought was amusing and suddenly it’s a book.

So, perhaps I’ll just say this. If you’ve read it: I hope you liked it. And if you didn’t like it, please don’t tell me. I’m allergic to criticism. It brings me out in cigarettes.

In fact the whole thing makes me knotty-tongued. So instead of focusing on The Dating Detox, I shall talk about the second book.

As I keep saying, it’s called The Late Starter, or perhaps, The Dating Virgin. I have even more trouble with titles than I do with names (see: www.namethatbastard.com for details on the trouble I have with names).

It’s not about the same characters, though I do love The Dating Detox characters and hope to revisit them in another book soon. (I have some extremely fun plans for them, the little scamps.)

The plot: after the demise of a long-term relationship, our heroine, Abigail, must learn how to be single. I went through this, so did an awful lot of my friends, and the truth is that readjusting to single life is strange and hard and funny and sometimes horrible. You have to learn how to socialise as a singleton, to flirt, to spend time alone, to (hopefully) pick up, deal with a one night stand, survive a bad date, enjoy a good date… It’s a skill.

No, it’s an art.

So. Abigail navigates the tarry bogs of single life in London with the help of her flatmate, a notorious bastard and lothario called Robert. He teaches her how to date like a man, or more specifically, like a bastard. And that’s when things get interesting.

I’m going to knuckle down over Christmas and really nail this puppy, so the first draft will be done in the next two or three weeks. If you have any thoughts on what makes adjusting to single life surreal or difficult, please get in touch, I’d love to hear from you. My email address is gemma@gemmaburgess.com

Exeunt, stage left, bowing deeply.

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