Tom and Maggie were special characters but at first I wasn’t sure if I was up to writing their story and at that stage I didn’t even know what genre it would be. I decided to just write the story so I could free up some headspace. The Library was an absolute joy to write and I think it will always have a special place in my heart. I loved how their friendship developed and how this unlikely pairing found support and kinship. Their shared love of reading is what brings them together and their love of their local library gives them something to fight for. The plight of their library is sadly one that is mirrored up and down the country and something I wanted to spotlight.
I'm a big planner so I stuck to the three act structure which I usually use for my novels although it was slightly different in places as this wasn't a romance. But that said key elements were the same - my characters needed to meet and whilst it wasn't a romantic 'meet cute' it was still entertaining and a little unusual. The point where it all looks like it's gone horribly wring or dark moment was basically the same. And whilst there's no key romantic scene towards the end there was an emotional one. I'm used to writing in four parts which provides three key plot points or cliffhangers and this worked well for this story and the character arcs.
When I’d finished a first draft and given it a bit of a polish I sent it off to my agent. After having a mild panic that I was switching genres completely she was reassured when I explained that The Library was a one off, I would definitely still be writing my rom coms but I felt this story had to be written. She believed what I had written would appeal to book clubs and was known in publishing as inter-generational uplit – who knew?
I had no idea if anyone would want to publish my manuscript but I was still happy to have spent time with Tom and Maggie. My fab agent took the story out on submission and we found the perfect home for it with Aria, Head of Zeus. The only problem was that they wanted me to write more books in the same genre – argh! Time to panic.
I had one idea which I pitched and thankfully they loved it so I signed a two book contract and I’m happy to say I’ve loved every minute of my little venture outside of romance.
The Library ebook is currently on offer at 99p here! The paperback is out on 6th January 2022 and is available to pre-order here.