Tuesday, 30 September 2014



September has been a busy month getting things on track after the summer holidays.

This week, I can say that I have crossed another hurdle. 

My report from the RNA NWS on The Last Year of Childhood was positive and promising.

This makes me happy, because I have worked for a long time to get things as right as they could be, so that readers would appreciate and enjoy this book.

Good comments from a total stranger, and a body such as The Romantic Novelist's Association, are not to be pushed aside, so I am not going to be too modest about it on here. Well maybe only very slightly...

Here are some of the comments from the critique:

- Greatly enjoyed it
- A most unusual story
- A location and community about whom many readers will not know
- characters are very well defined
- I particularly congratulate you on they way you have captured the dialogue of the characters
- use of their indigenous words also works well
- the context is clear
- I could hear them talking
- The scene is set very well
- Your description of the locations is also very vivid
- All in all, this is a splendid story

My next task is finding a suitable literary agent, who would want to represent such a novel.

The main theme of the book is around ARRANGED CHILD MARRIAGES, and the disaster to young lives when parents ignore the facts of the world in order to preserve cultural traditions. Whilst this novel is set in 1917 Trinidad, the problems of Arranged CHILD Marriages are many, and are happening today in various parts of the world, INCLUDING THE UK.

For many, this is a very current issue, and the rest of us need to think about it and act on a solution, because whilst the world gears towards creating better opportunities for children and young people, child marriages actually halts childhood, in a mentally and physically intrusive and destructive way.

The Last Year of Childhood, tries to demonstrates how tangled knots develop from this one action in parenthood, which instead of enhancing young adults, it actually destroys them. For those young people who face this problem, they need to be empowered from others outside the family who are in a position to help them.  

Thank you for reading! Will keep you posted on progress!

Love, Marilyn xx

Friday, 5 September 2014


Finally, I have gotten round to writing my blog. I never forgot you!

Sorry to all my readers and followers who have been disappointed by my lack of attention to my blog this year. But this year so far has been a rollercoaster of incidents, happenings, occasions, celebrations, shocks, and surprises, from the death of my brother, to the birth of my first grandchild, conferences, writing courses, illness, getting my last daughter through her GCSE's and reeling with joy at her fantastic results.... and so much more.

One thing I have learnt from it all, is that whatever happens in life, is not a reason to give up or give in. Because once you do, you are on a very slippery path to destruction.

Last night I completed the last edit of my novel - The Last Year of Childhood.

It stands today at 466 pgs long, and 119,725 words.

I cannot tell you the relief I feel. Of course that is just a milestone to being published, whether the book is traditionally published or self published.

My next goal is finding an agent I can work with, who will believe that my novel will interest enough people, who will buy it, so it will be worth a traditional publisher taking it on.

That is where you, my followers come in....

Personally, during my final edit I enjoyed reading it so much that I forgot that I had written it. There were places where I was so pleased no one was in the room when I burst out in tears. Another day I was in such hysterics I really couldn't stop laughing.

It is a multicultural novel about two young girls who spend their last year of childhood in self-discovery. The novel spreads across many serious issues about people and how they relate to their environment. But it is also about relationships between friends, husbands and wives, parents and children, finding love, making decisions, who influences you, reaching your goals, and so much more. When you think the novel is over, there is more - another twist and yet another. I hope I have tied up all the loose ends, whilst still leaving the reader thinking about the human condition.

If you want to know more, please follow me on twitter www.twitter.com/outofthecocoa

And I promise the next post won't take that long!

Bye for now

Marilyn x