My Boro book – why I’m writing about the football season of 1996-97 and not a tea shop by the sea!

Writing for publication is a bit of a double edged sword. It’s lovely to have the validation of a publisher’s approval for what you have written … but you have to write for the market that publisher serves. It proved quite limiting when I tried to write my second published novel. When all that most publishers want is “the same but different” – but not too different, and not too much the same. It’s a fine line to tread, and one I don’t think I trod very well. So, without a publisher (and a carefully defined established audience) to please, I can write for myself. Hence my latest choice of subject.

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Midlesbrough Football Club. Not an obvious setting for a romance …

A romance, set in Middlesbrough, focusing on the extremely dramatic events of the 1996-97 football season. Yes, that one: three deducted points, two cup finals, one bitter relegation.  It’s got drama, passion, hope and despair – and that’s before the hero and heroine get together!

I can already here the voice of the big established publishers – “You can’t do that! If we were to even consider this, you’d have to make the hero slightly less northern. And the heroine, she needs to be more sweet and likeable. And the football …  couldn’t it be tennis? That would look better on the cover of a summery novel. And if it has to be football, it really can’t be Middlesbrough. What about somewhere more fashionable? Arsenal? Or Chelsea? Or a little football team by the sea?


So, here begins the story of “My Boro book”! I have to accept that it might not make me a huge amount of money (or even ANY) – but I’m hoping that it will give me a huge amount of satisfaction!

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Every new novel needs a new notebook! Perhaps I should have chosen a red one?



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