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I knew I was keeping some distance between Daisy and myself when I started writing my novel in 3rd person omniscient. It was deliberate, and without that distance I might not have been able to continue.

Re-writing it in first person, saying ‘I’ did this, feels much more intimate. From feedback I’ve received I think Daisy’s story is stronger.

I’ve had time to get used to the story, so the intimacy that was at first scary, is now manageable. Daisy’s life already feels familiar. Stepping into  her point of view, as if I am Daisy, does feel intimate, but I am not Daisy. To have written about ‘her’ first, changing it to ‘me’ later, seems to have granted me some distance that now allows me to write from Daisy’s heart.

Stef Nalton thinks it works, and I’m incredibly grateful for his thoughtful feedback. I’ve already made changes on his recommendation. I’ll soon re-load the new manuscript to Harper Collins’ authonomy website. Comments and reviews from other writers and readers will be welcomed!

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I started writing Daisychains of Silence in 2003, and the first four thousand words were lost in the depths of an old hard drive, under the inauspicious file name of ‘Stitcher’.

I opened the file early this year, something about it clicked and I carried on writing. In March, I uploaded the first 10,000 words onto Harper Collin’s website, and to my shock it flew up the charts, rocketing to number 12 in just three weeks. I was told it was the fastest rising book ever. It was thrilling and frightening – I knew it wasn’t ready to receive a review so I removed it to carry on writing.  It’s now a finished manuscript – a completed novel of 80,000 words.

I sent it to Hilary Johnson’s Advisory Bureau for their thoughts. They described Daisychains as ‘a sensitively and intelligently written story’, which I found very encouraging.

I’m also the copyright holder of all my father’s works. Alistair Mair was a successful novelist in the 1960s and 1970s and was the Scottish President of PEN from 1965 – 1970.

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Daisychains of Silence

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The Ripening Time

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