This post was originally published at Novelicious.com and is now at WritingTipsOasis.com. WritingTipsOasis.com acquired Novelicious.com in June 2022.
Are you writing something that you’d love to get some feedback on or perhaps feel like it needs nudging in the right direction? We’ve teamed up with Quercus Books to bring you the perfect competition!
Hilary Boyd, author of the bestselling Thursdays in the Park and Tangled Lives will offer her writing expertise to one lucky writer in a private writing class. Her latest novel, When You Walked Back Into My Life publishes on 10th October.
Hilary will be on hand to help anyone who wants to discuss a piece/pieces of their writing in a one-on-one writing class held at Quercus’ office in Baker Street, London. For two hours you will be able to ask any questions and raise any queries about your work with Hilary, who will offer practical advice and helpful hints and tips along with personal experience.
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Please note the writing class will be held in November.
Five runners up will also receive a signed copy of When You Walked Back Into My Life.
If you’d like to enter this competition all you need to do is read the following extract from When You Walked Back Into My Life and answer the question below. The competition closes on 17th October 2013. (Travel is not included in the prize.)
For eight years Flora’s love affair with Fin was a whirlwind of fun and spontaneity – but when Flora wanted to settle down and have children, Fin vanished.
Life moved on and Flora’s world filled with other people, other cares. But then suddenly, shockingly, Fin reappears. He’s a changed man, he says, and her wants her back.
Here is the extract:
She had slept without meaning to, then woken with a start. As soon as her eyes were open, she automatically tried his mobile number. Again it went to answer. The clock read nearly five-thirty in the morning, and she failed to stop herself imagining the worst: a bike accident, a fall on one of his climbs.
It had been a hurried goodbye, before she went to work the previous day; they’d made love when she should have been getting dressed, and she’d been late.
Her shift at the hospital finished at seven and he’d said he’d be home, that he’d pick up some fresh fish for supper, that he’d fix the lamp on her bike. But he hadn’t been home, wasn’t home now.
She was a nurse in a Brighton hospital A&E, she knew what could happen to people: the blank eyes dulled by the paramedics’ morphine, the twisted limbs, the flesh ripped and jagged, bulging dark with blood.
Please, please don’t let that be Fin.
She thought of all the places he might go – a climber by profession, there weren’t many places he could climb locally. He sometimes went along the coast to the chalk cliffs at Hope Gap. Or the climbing wall if he was teaching. But he’d only taken his pedal bike. The sleek, powerful Triumph was still here, parked in the alley that led to the tiny back garden of their house and shrouded in its metallic silver cover.
Had he mentioned anything different about his day? She tried to recall his exact words as she hunched inside a rug on the sofa, cold and worried, staring obsessively at the display on her phone, willing it to light up. But she couldn’t remember, the sex had distracted her.
She’d already rung her own hospital to check if he’d been brought in. Should she call the police now? But they wouldn’t do anything, she knew. It was too soon. Too soon for most people, who would assume just a drunken night out. But Fin never got drunk, barely touched alcohol when he was in training, which was most of the time. A bit of dope here and there, but nothing serious. He’d never stayed out late without her, let alone all night. And he always called or texted her constantly, all day.
In the end she fell asleep again, still clutching her mobile, waking an hour later with the dawn light and immediately checking for a missed call. She knew she’d never concentrate at work so she rang in sick and asked for a second time if someone called Fin McCrea had been brought in overnight.
By teatime she was down at the police station. The constable on the desk took careful details.
‘Has he ever done this before?’ he asked.
‘Never. Not once. We’ve been together eight years and he’s always told me where he was.’
‘And you didn’t have a row or anything?’
‘Nothing.’ She wasn’t going to tell him about the lovemaking, although it seemed to prove something about their closeness.
‘Have you rung his friends? Family?’
She said that she had: his dad in Scotland, a few climbing mates. He went on asking questions, which she answered mechanically. No, he wasn’t on any medication; yes, his bike was missing; no, she didn’t know if he’d taken his passport.
‘Well, Miss, we’ll make a few enquiries, check the other hospitals. I don’t think you should worry too much. It’s early days. There’ll be a perfectly simple explanation, practically always is.’
What did Fin say he would pick up for supper?
A. A Chinese takeaway
B. Fresh fish
Email your answers to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Note: The competition is only open to UK residents. Travel is not included in the competition prize. The competition closes on 17th October 2013.