Saturday, 1 December 2012

Gwen's last blog

As this is my last blog as a "resident contributor" I shall make no excuses for using parts from my own blog as most of the followers are different. I DO apologise if it is rather long though and with too much self promotion.
Here are some of the questions and my answers to the blog The Next Big Thing which has been circulating amongst RNA members
What is the title of your book?
It is called Darkest Before The Dawn
How did you come by the idea?
It is the fifth and last novel in the Home Series  following the fortunes of the Caraford family from the finish of World War ll to present day, so this is a natural follow on with the third generation.
What genre does your book fall under?
It is my first present day family saga. It could almost be a Young Adult in that it has the joys and uncertainties of two young people growing up, but it also has an older love affair. I didn’t expect this but I really enjoyed writing it.
Will your book be self-published or traditional?
Darkest Before The Dawn will be published in hardback by Robert Hale Ltd in May 2013 and as an E-reader in November.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
The first draft takes longest and is the hardest for me as I am not a plotter. It takes about three months for a first draft if it is part of a series and longer if it is a new series or a single new novel. At least two revisions follow.
Who or What inspired you to write this book?
It is the first time I have written a modern novel, complete with mobile phones, young car drivers and even a hint of drugs but I wanted to bring farming up to date as well as my characters. My son has recently installed robots for milking cows and my characters have similar debates and discussions before the youngest member gets his way with modernisation.
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
People who follow the Archers may be interested in the series. My novels are fiction but the farming and country life descriptions are authentic. In this particular novel - Darkest Before The Dawn - there are also problems of coping with a leg amputation and we hear a lot about these with so many injured young soldiers and the triumph of the recent Paralympics.

Look out for free downloads of my earlier novels. The Lochandee series has  been  divided into several parts for free downloading. The first book -The Laird of Lochandee by Gwen Kirkwood is now published by Accent Press in three parts available to download. I am learning a lot about the promotion of free books and the need for marketing of digital publications. The first part was free to download in November.

 The second part - A Maxwell Mourned - will be free to download from Amazon from 12 to 16th December and the third part will be free 2nd to 6th January 2013. Watch my blog for further free downlaods from the second novel - A Legacy for Lochandee at

I shall keep looking in here from time to time and I wish you all great success with your writing and with more interesting and thought provoking blogs.


  1. Sorry it's your final post here, Gwen, but I'll look out for your own blog! All the best with that new novel - it sounds a great read, as always.

  2. We're sorry you are going, Gwen, and we'll miss your posts which have always been really interesting. The new novel sounds like it's going to be a great read.

  3. Thank you Rosemary and Mary. Only time will tell whether I can write present day fiction or not. If it goes down OK I might try another. I enjoyed writing it better than I expected.
    Mary I shall be dropping by to read you all.

  4. I'm sure your new novel will be great, Gwen - I love the cover, so beautiful! And I like the sound of the story too, with two couples of different generations. Look forward to reading it!

  5. Thank you Christina. It seems a long time to wait until May for publication when it is all ready to go but I think Hale prefer just one a year. I see E.V.Thomson has died. He was quite prolific and published by Hale.

  6. I will miss you,'s been a pleasure to cyber-know you. Like Christina, I think your book covers are very beautiful and atmospheric.
    I have FB'd about this blog post so hopefully you will gain some more fans...:)

  7. You all make me sad I'm leaving! Sob, sob. I did see you on Facbook Linda and I commented but whether it appeared or not I don't know. I do appreciate it though. Also commented re Marcia Willett and book signing.

  8. Gwen, I've just realised that although I read your blog I was in such a hurry I didn't comment. Sorry! And so sorry this is your last blog. But I am really looking forward to the 5th 'Home' book, can't wait x

  9. Hope you will not be disappoined Gill. It is a bit different to my usual.

  10. We'll miss your blogs, Gwen - but not you, 'cos I know you'll be dropping in. Thank you for all your thoughtful contributions - and I look forward to reading your 'Maxwell' books.