After Mrs Hamilton is the book that I had to write. It’s the kind of novel I wanted to read: an absorbing plot, intriguing characters and an irrestible romantic pairing. It was inspired by my love of twisting British novels, a weakness for older women, Catherine Deneuve and Fanny Ardant films and late-night alcohol-fuelled conversations with a friend who used to visit prostitutes.
Since outlining the story in 2009, I haven’t been able to completely forget about it. I did a draft back then, but it had a number of issues, and I turned my attention to a simpler tale (Pennance) to hone my writing skills.
A few months ago, I started rewriting the story. With essential feedback and input from an experienced author/editor, I heavily edited existing scenes and rewrote over half of the rest. I found it both more rewarding and harder work than I envisaged. It took a lot of nerve to throw away that amount of writing and be able to cut into a piece of work to that extent. I also found, after editing the sections that did work, that the blank page was that much more daunting. Somehow the blank page on a completely fresh draft is more inviting.
It’s been worth it though. I think the book now does justice to the story, which I still love.
Here’s the blurb:
Clo leads a loveless life as an escort for older women. Laura is locked in a safe marriage, but longs to break out and find the parents she never met. Two women enter the lives of these friends and Clo and Laura’s secrets, and those of the generation before, begin to unravel.
Set in London and Oxfordshire, After Mrs Hamilton is an intricate tale of secrets, obsession and betrayal.