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.