I started my Sunshine in London blog many years ago, as a random collection of posts about job-hunting, living in and exploring London as a newly-arrived Zimbabwean/South African, and pretty much anything else I could think of. It was one of the best things I’ve ever done – not only did it give me a chance to write every day of the week, but it opened my world to the most beautiful, generous and wonderful community of fellow writers right across the globe. I learnt so much from reading your amazing writing every day – it was a fun and hugely valuable learning experience for me. Thank you to every single one of you.
So to bring us back to today – the final day of 2021 – I am thrilled to announce that I will soon be publishing my first novel! For more years than I care to remember, I’ve longed to write a book – I just never knew how to approach it, or where to start. And almost exactly two years ago, I just went ahead and started. I had boxes full of notebooks in which I’d noted quirky and random observations from the past couple of decades; the universe had served me all the characters and context on a silver platter! I just needed to find a hook and build my story around it.
I started writing, and I kept going. Not always forwards – often backwards, many times sideways, sometimes in circles, but always learning. I annoyed myself intensely many times. But I followed my nose and my instincts and I hope you’ll enjoy the final product – a feel-good comedy.
Keeping hold of all of my characters and story threads and plot-lines sometimes felt like I was doing all my grocery shopping without a basket or a trolley. I hoped like mad I hadn’t dropped anything and I’d reach the till with everything I’d set out to buy.
Having started writing at the beginning of 2020, just before the global pandemic began, I ended 2020 with my first draft and 2021 with my final manuscript. Morag, my main character and Sweet Charity’s narrator, is as nervous as a kitten to make her debut and hopes she doesn’t make an idiot of herself and everything. She feels exactly the way I did the first time I pressed ‘publish’ on this blog, and she really really hopes you’ll like her. I do, too.
Sunshine in London signing off for now, and wishing you all a blessed, beautiful and peaceful 2022.