I wrote the first version of Ghost Wife between June and September, 2017, five years ago. I wrote the first draft in four months, and I’ve been rewriting it, on and off, ever since. The initial idea and characters has remained constant throughout, although the novel has undergone many revisions and minor changes along the way until it developed into the final version which I have just published on Amazon kindle.
These are the facts, but they don’t reflect the reality of my writing process. The initial idea for Ghost Wife took root 50 years ago, and it has been growing since then.
Initial Inspiration: The Seeds
- My fascination with Jane Eyre started when I first read it in my teens and watched some film and TV series.
- Later I read Rebecca, another gothic romance with another Byronic antihero.
- Some years later, I read Wide Sargasso Sea the prequel to Jane Eyre by Jean Rhys, which led to a rereading and reinterpretation of Jane Eyre
- Later I taught Postcolonial Literature at the University of Córdoba, between 2009 and 2014. One of the themes I lectured on was a comparative analysis of Jane Eyre and Wide Sargasso sea from a feminist and postcolonial perspective. I wrote a chapter in Identities on The Move (2014), titled Sexuality and Gender Relationships in Jane Eyre and Wide Sargasso Sea. If you’d like to read it, just let me know in the comments.
An Author is Born: The Writing Begins
- In the summer of 2013 I started writing All Hallows at Eyre Hall, which was first published in 2014. It is the sequel to both Jane Eyre and Wide Sargasso Sea, because my sequel builds on the plots and characters in both novels. The original Trilogy was completed in 2016.
- The idea of writing Ghost Wife, a contemporary retelling of Jane Eyre started taking shape in 2017. I wrote the first draft between June and September. It was the bare bones of the novel in about 40,000. By the end of the year, I had written about 80,000 words and over the next two years it underwent many revisions.
- Following a conversation with my editor, Alison Williams, I realised The Eyre Hall Trilogy should become a series and between 2020 and 2022, I wrote Blood Moon at Eyre Hall, which was the new Book One in the series, I revised All Hallows at Eyre Hall, which became Book Two, and Twelfth Night at Eyre Hall, which became Book Three, and I wrote and published Thunder Moon at Eyre Hall, which is Book Four and Snow Moon at Eyre Hall. which is Book Five. Midsummer at Eyre Hall, which will become Book Six, has not been republished yet, as I am in the process of revising it. I have also written the novella, Resurgam: An Eyre Hall Series Novella. More information about the Eyre Hall Series here.
- Meanwhile, I decided to revise Ghost Wife yet again, and I sent it to two editors, and one beta reader in 2021-2022. I finally published Ghost Wife a few days ago, on 13th July 2022. More about Ghost Wife here
Reviews, Paperback, and Marketing
Now Ghost Wife is free from the confines of a folder on my computer and it is lodged out on a massive cloud on the Internet, called Amazon, for readers to like, dislike, criticise, praise, or ignore.
I’ve had plenty of doubts along the way. I enjoy writing historical fiction. I had never thought of writing a contemporary novel, and yet I’ve enjoyed the challenge and the process.
That said, I’m going to admit I almost didn’t publish it because of my insecurities, but in December 2021, I decided that this year, my word of the year would be ‘Dare’; Dare to dream, Dare to step out of my comfort zone, Dare to write what I want to write and publish it, so that’s what I’ve done!
I’ve published the kindle version, but there’s still a lot more to do. I hope to have the print version ready by the end of the summer, and I have the daunting chores of marketing to look forward to. I’m planning on booking blog tours, social media posts, and hopefully getting some help from friends, readers, and fellow bloggers.
Meanwhile, if you enjoy reading contemporary romantic suspense, with a gothic setting, I’m sure you’ll love Ghost Wife, and it’s only 0.99!