Can a fight for her country fix her broken heart?
The Spark Girl is the first in a series of wartime sagas from author Fiona Ford.
To be released early in June by Orion Publishing, I am very lucky to have a copy to review over the Summer.
Today though I have Fiona join me with a fantastic post about being a writer and letting your baby into the wild.
Please do read on…
‘When its time to let your baby go’
by Fiona Ford
There’s no getting away from it, saying goodbye to your offspring is an emotional time. Like any parent who has nurtured, protected and cared for their child, the moment your baby is grown-up and ready to fly the nest, blindsides you like nothing else.
For authors about to see their books launch into bookstores across the land, the process is much the same. We’ve loved, cared for and treasured our creations, for months, years and sometimes even lifetimes.
From the very beginning when our books were just tiny little ideas in our mind’s eye they’ve become creations all in their own right. As our books have grown, we authors have been there every step of the way. We have revelled in our characters joys, shared their heartbreak and held our breath as they triumph when adversity comes calling. We have poured everything we have into our books, and yet just as with children, there comes a time when they need to be set free.
As in life, releasing our children into the wild (AKA the bookshop), is what’s supposed to happen. After all, it’s what all the writing has led to. But there’s no denying that when the moment of freedom arrives, it’s bittersweet. Suddenly, this gorgeous, wondrous, creation that is surely as big a part of you as any limb is suddenly about to be shared with the world. A million and one worries flitter through your mind. In recent weeks I’ve lost count of the questions I have fretted over. What if people don’t get it? What if they hate it? What if some unscrupulous soul pulls my poor baby apart and they just can’t survive?
I myself am just about to undergo this traumatic and exciting process with the launch of my very first historical novel. The Spark Girl tells the story of Kitty, who joins the women’s army with a desire to fight for freedom after learning of the death of her fiancé. But when bombs start to fall on her home town of Coventry, and supposed allies turn against her, Kitty must find the strength she never knew she had to save her family, fix her broken heart and help her country to victory.
This novel which has been three years in the making has been a labour of love for me. It really has been my passion project, something I have poured my heart and soul into. For so long now, it has been just me and my book, locked in our own private little world. It’s me that has raised my characters, put words into their mouths, listened to their problems and helped them overcome important hurdles. Now, my book is about to be unleashed on others and it’s both terrifying and exciting in equal measure.
As someone with a huge passion for the past, I have always adored historical fiction and its been the genre I have turned to most frequently. Whether I want comforting, something to curl up and escape with or a beach read, it’s the genre that has always satisfied. Now, my lovely little book is about to join the legendary names I have long admired. Will The Spark Girl thrive amongst such heavyweights as Annie Groves, Victoria Hislop, Kate Thompson and Elaine Everest? Will my creation hold its own and flourish alongside them or will it flounder, only to be returned to me in pieces with its heart broken?
Like any parent I only want the very best for my baby out there in the big wide world. Yet a part of me also has to accept that I have done all I can, the rest is up to my book. As an author I’ve made sure my novel has had the very best of everything. The Spark Girl has been given a strong foundation, a loving and supportive environment. I’ve also exposed it to the very best life advice it could possibly receive from a frankly superhuman and talented team of editors.
In short, its now time to let go, to feel the fear and do it anyway and watch the biggest love of my life venture forth. I’ll be there of course, hovering in the background, watching every move, ready to step in if my child needs support. But like any parent, all I can do is hope I have given my baby all the tools it needs, not just to survive but to thrive. My greatest hope for my child, is that it goes out into the world and is not only loved, cherished and adored but that it gives back like any decent progeny should do by bringing joy and happiness into the lives of book lovers everywhere.
Thank you so much Fiona for this beautiful and very honest guest post today.
For further details on The Spark Girls and on Fiona please see below…
A knock on the door early one morning wouldn’t normally be cause for concern but it is 1941, Britain is at war, and Kitty Williams’s fiancé Joe is far from home fighting Hitler with the Navy. As Kitty’s heart is shattered into pieces hearing the news she had been dreading, resolve kicks in and she becomes more determined than ever to do her bit for the war effort.
Signing up to the Women’s Army is just the sort of challenge Kitty needs and on meeting new recruits Mary, Di and Peggy, she is happy to learn that the challenge won’t be a lonely one. But it also won’t be easy and when bombs start to fall on her home town of Coventry, and supposed allies turn against her, Kitty must find the strength she never knew she had to save her family, fix her broken heart and help her country to victory.
Book Info: The Spark Girl is published by Orion on 1 June in hardback and ebook.
Purchase Link ~ The Spark Girl
Paperback available for pre-order and out 24th August.
Fiona Ford is a freelance journalist. She has spent the last 15 years writing gritty real-life stories, news and a smidgeon of celebrity tittle-tattle for national newspapers and magazines. Following a stint as a ghost writer, Fiona plucked up the courage to combine her love of writing and history to write a novel in her own name. The Spark Girl, is her first saga.
Originally from Bath, Fiona now lives in Berkshire and is married with two cats. Thankfully, both her husband and pets have all mastered the art of pretending to listen patiently as she begins yet another anecdote with the words, ‘during the war’. When she is not writing or researching World War 2, Fiona can be found running along the Thames Path, training for a half marathon of some kind and wishing she was sat on the sofa eating chocolate instead.