When I was writing The Manservant I had no idea what I was doing. I had a great story in my head but I didn’t really know anything about the technicalities of writing a book.
The good news is that what I lacked in know how I more than made up for in enthusiasm. I wrote every day until it was finished but that alone wasn’t enough to make a book good enough to catch the eye of a publisher.
Thankfully I had a trump card up my sleeve and her name was Clare Cathcart. She was the only person I showed my manuscript to and the only person whose opinion I really trusted. She painstakingly read every draft and held nothing back when it came to making comments and recommendations.
Without her input I might have just written a first draft, put it in a drawer and forgotten about it like so many authors do but that was never going to happen on Clare’s watch.
She was bossy, feisty to a fault and would not accept anything less than my very best efforts. Its thanks to her that my tatty manuscript full of dodgy grammar and spelling mistakes got knocked into shape and became the thing I am bursting with pride about.
Clare died from an asthma attack in October 2014 so The Manservant is dedicated to her.
The picture below is of her with the other person it is dedicated to, my partner Alan – equally special and thankfully still with us.
Its a new year and a new web site.
I’ve got high hopes for 2015 not least of all because my debut novel ‘The Manservant’ comes out at the end of February. Excited doesn’t even begin to cover it.
Here is just a litle taster:
In this bitingly witty, saucy, acutely observed debut novel, Michael Harwood pulls back the damask drapes to reveal life among the modern aristocracy–upstairs, downstairs, and occasionally, behind stairs…
Anthony Gowers assists guests at a high-end London hotel with the kind of requests that can’t be filled from a room-service menu. His reward: lavish tips and a closet full of cashmere. Then a client’s after-hours entertainment ends in a tabloid scandal, and Anthony quickly becomes the city’s best-dressed unemployed person. . .
In desperation, Anthony takes a position in the countryside as personal butler to Lord Shanderson. As a former Royal footman, Anthony is well versed in the peerage’s peculiar ways. But Castle Beadale conceals an abundance of intrigue behind its stately doors. On the surface, Lord Shanderson is a model English gentleman–with a few personal interests that Anthony is sure the absent Lady Shanderson knows nothing about. But when the horrendously high-maintenance Lady Shanderson returns, tempers will flare, secrets will be exposed, and Anthony must decide whether the perks of privilege he’s enjoyed are worth the price he’s compelled to pay. . .
I don’t normally go in for New Years Resolutions but this year I’m making an exception.
I’m working hard on my second novel and I’ve resolved to have it finished by Easter so I’ll keep you posted along the way