October has been one crazy month, filled with Halloween, gale force winds, rain and the odd day of sunshine. Not to mention a little bit of writing news…

As well as enjoying or dodging the weather I’ve been busy. I bit off most of my fingernails as I waited to see what the reaction would be to my latest book – Christmas in the Scottish Highlands, which I’m happy to report has been positive (thankfully my nails look better now).

If you want to know a bit more about the story, just click on the photo to the left. This is the third book that I’ve set in Christmas Village, so if you enjoyed Christmas in the Scottish Highlands or Snowflakes and Secrets in the Scottish Highlands, I’m sure you’ll enjoy it. There are some familiar faces and plenty of new ones.

It’s a funny thing though, because while this book is only just out in the world, I finished it months ago and have been immersed in the next one. Book 13 lived up to its reputation and has been an uphill battle. I think I deleted more words than I wrote and went around in about a hundred circles.

The cure? Simple. I had a break and let my brain relax a little. After a few weeks I came back to the story and immediately worked out how to fix it – typical, hey? I don’t usually have to rewrite my books significantly, so this was a first. But I added chapters and deleted huge chunks of what I’d written, then I replaced those words with a shiny new plot. I’m happy with the story now and it’s with my editor so I’ll see if she feels the same way. If she is, it’ll be published next year.

What’s next? That’s easy. I’m plotting book 14 and this time I’m going to try to make sure I know a little more about what happens. I’m not a plotter, more a pantser (which means I fly by the seat of my pants when I write). I tend to know who’s in the book and roughly what happens, and all the secondary characters. But how they get from A to B is a mystery until I get typing. Wish me luck!

October also saw the publication of translated editions of Christmas in the Scottish Highlands in both the Czech Republic and The Netherlands. Check out the covers! If you click on the pics you’ll see them in all their glory on the publisher website.

Talking of weather – last month was filled with walks. I love to head into my local woods and fields with my headphones on alone – or with my writing buddy Jules Wake/Julie Caplin. It’s a good way to talk or think through plots and characters, and to unpick where things may be going wrong. This is one of my weekend walks and I remembered to take some pictures for a change.

That’s it for my October news! Have a good November and I’ll post again next month.

Donna xx

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