Invisible Jane

Okay, I have a confession. I am bit of a literary snob. I enjoy reading the classics, or good quality literary fiction, or well written psychological thrillers. What I don’t read is chick lit. If a book has a pink cover, I do not buy it.

However (this is the confession) the first book I ever wrote is – chick lit. I guess perhaps because my life was overloaded stress when I wrote it, and I couldn’t cope with anything too real, too nasty. So I wrote a ‘nice’ book, an “enjoy it on the beach with an ice-cream” sort of a book, something you might find serialised in your mother’s weekly magazine. A girly story, all about love – with some “snort your tea everywhere” funny bits. Deeply embarrassing.

I wrote it by hand, on the back of bank statements and Ocado receipts, then laboriously typed it onto my computer; and left it there. It was way too embarrassing to show people. Husband read it (he wanted the bank statements and wondered why I had used them as writing paper), and he said it was funny. But he loves me, so I didn’t really trust him.

For several years, the book has sat on my computer. Many times I have looked at it, snorted out my tea at the funny bits, and tried to change it – to make it less ‘girly’. I have tried murdering one of the characters, or introducing a villain, or having aliens land in the garden; but it doesn’t work. It is chick lit, and as chick lit, it works rather well. I (secretly) enjoy reading it. It tells the story of a young mother, with two young children, and it’s a love story. It doesn’t have strong, realistic characters (like my other books) because sometimes a girl wants a tall handsome stranger with a nice smile.

So, several rewrites later, I have decided to publish it as a Kindle book. If you like good quality literary fiction or psychological thrillers, please read something else. I have written better books – or you could give yourself a treat and read something by John Le Carre. Yes, I know we are only supposed to be positive about our work, but I prefer to be honest, and this is so not going to be winning any prizes. It might make you laugh though. It might help you to escape from stress for a few hours. I suggest you read it with an ice cream.

The children in the story are happy, with their future full of choices. The children I saw in the red light district of Mumbai don’t have this luxury, and I cannot forget their faces and stories. So any money I receive from the sale of Invisible Jane will be sent to Tearfund. (Though, I think we are talking about £1.99 per book, so it’s not going to solve the problem, but it might make you feel better about reading a girly book.)

At present, the book is only available from Amazon. You can buy it from whichever country you live in, or if you are signed up to the Amazon special deal, it’s free on Kindle. I have also used the KDP service to produce it as a paperback. So, find a beach and an ice cream – and tell people you are reading Dickens…..