‘The Dead Ex’ and My Road to Publication
By Jane Corry
As a child, I was always writing stories and poems. It was all I ever wanted to do. But when I went along for careers advice in sixth form, I was told that it was very difficult to forge a career as a novelist and that I should look for a ‘sensible job’ instead. I remember walking home in tears.
I went on to read English at university and, after that, was lucky enough to get a place on the Thomson Graduate Trainee scheme. I was their only magazine trainee. Everyone else wanted to be newspaper journalists but I didn’t like the idea of reporting from coroners’ inquests. This is rather ironic, given the type of books I write now…
After I qualified as a journalist, I became a staff features writer on Woman’s Own magazine but then turned freelance when my first child was born. I wrote regularly for Woman, Good Housekeeping, My Weekly, and Woman’s Weekly, plus the feature pages of The Times, The Express, and The Daily Telegraph, where I had a weekly column about the ups and downs of family life! By then, I had three children and it was all I could do to keep on top of everything. There certainly wasn’t time for a novel!
When my youngest went to school, I started thinking about it more seriously. I went on a one-day workshop run by Cornerstones, which still stands out in my mind. It concentrated on characterisation, and one suggestion was that we wrote a mini profile on each of our characters. It was excellent advice that I use to this day. You won’t use every detail in your novel but it will make you, as the writer, feel that you know your cast. That in-depth knowledge will come out in your writing and persuade your readers that your story is real.
When my first marriage ended after twenty seven years, I took a job as a writer in residence of a high-security male prison. I thought I wanted to write romance up to this point but my everyday contact with criminals made my writing become darker! I used to see young lawyers coming into the prison to advise the men about forthcoming court appearances and appeals; this gave me the germ of an idea which led to My Husband’s Wife.
I found an agent through a friend of a friend and she sold it to Penguin. I couldn’t believe my luck! When it reached number 5 in the Sunday Times, it was a dream come true. My next book Blood Sisters got to number 6 (!) and now The Dead Ex is being published on June 28th 2018. It’s about Vicki, an aromatherapist who has a hidden past – although the reader doesn’t know the details. One blustery winter night, the police come knocking on her door while she’s treating a client. They want to know when she last saw her ex-husband who has gone missing. She tells them she doesn’t know. But then she picks up the phone and calls him. Later, she’s accused of his murder. Is Vicki innocent or guilty?
I’m not telling! But I do hope you’re intrigued enough to find out…
The Dead Ex, by Jane Corry, was published by Penguin on June 28th 2018. To purchase a copy, click here.