Anti-Valentine’s. An extract from Tiger Tiger by Nicola Sheehan

Sunday 18th January 10am
I’ve had such a busy few days; Ana and I decided to spend a bit more time together than we have done over the last couple of weeks. We talked about Postroom Pete (a lot), we talked about the party (always nice to bask in past glories), we discussed my plans for an anti-valentines party (a concept that Ana quite sweetly supported even though she’s all loved up) and we discussed my New Year’s resolutions. Ana agrees that the novel writing should definitely be my priority and also shared Jemima’s opinion that undertaking extra writing might help get the creative juices flowing. So she’s letting me do extra features for the magazine on a freelance type basis. We’ve decided, given both my New Year’s resolutions that I should do my first piece on anti-Valentinism and I’ve been super busy researching it.
It turns out that the whole Valentine’s thing is, as I suspected, a big fat con. You see ‘Saint Valentine’ had nothing to do with romantic love (although there were so many of them one of them must have had a bit of an eye for the ladies) and it was only when Geoffrey Chaucer talked about sending love on Valentine’s Day that the horny courtiers thoughts perhaps they should follow. It’s really nonsensical, Chaucer talked about the time that birds mated, how many birds mate in February? It’s too cold for hanky panky, which is why Valentine’s Day leaves me cold. And it’s not just me who thinks it’s a load of old claptrap. In Norfolk apparently a character called Jack Valentine knocks on your back door and leaves sweets and presents for the children…. for the children? On Valentine’s Day? Talk about stranger danger! Understandably Jack Valentine strikes fear into the hearts of many of the Norfolk kids who probably never get over the trauma and end up screaming and fighting on one of those morning chat shows “My Fiancé won’t buy me a Valentine’s card because of his fear of Jack”. It’s all very unnecessary. There are actually groups of people who are anti valentines’ activists, they’re mainly in south east Asia but I’ve found one in North London, they’re called “lovers go dead” and their spokesperson is a guy called Spike. They seem a bit ominous but I’m trying to pin down a meeting next week.

Read all of Tiger Tiger by downloading the book for your kindle or kindle app here:

The Difficult Second Novel…

I’ve been writing my follow up to Tiger Tiger for a while. It’s not a sequel, I decided that Rebecca Somersby was best off as a one diary kind of gal (I’m still reeling from the disappointment that came with ‘Edge of Reason’). It’s called ‘Fidelity Wars’, it looks at five characters and how they bend the rules of fidelity to allow for their individual indiscretions.

I know each of the characters inside out. I’ve plotted out their story arcs chapter by chapter. I’ve even completely finished two of the five ‘heroines’ tales. It was all going quite well. It excited me. It felt fresh and exhilarating. Then I decided to publish Tiger Tiger ( almost as a precursor to the completion and subsequent promotion of ‘Fidelity Wars’. And it’s got awesome feedback.

And there’s the catch, ‘Tiger Tiger’ has been so well received and ‘Fidelity Wars’ is really very different and so I’m suddenly struck with rather crippling writer’s block at the thought that I’m writing something that might disappoint.

I see camping in a coffee shop and lots of frustrated screen gazing in my near future…

Childhood Dreams

ImageIt’s a funny old thing inspiration. Those little things that strike a chord in us and help us to build our ambitions. For me, as a child, my driving force was the Munch Bunch. Not because I identified ‘Raggy Doll’ stylee with the fruit ‘n’ veg outcasts but because on the back cover there was a photo of the young girl, Angela Mitson, who had created the characters. I thought if she can do it then so can I.

Ok so it’s taken me 20 odd years but I’m finally doing what I love. I’m writing.

My debut novel Tiger Tiger is available here:

Genre Schmenre

The other day I asked a good friend of mine if she planned to download Tiger Tiger.

“I don’t really think it’s my sort of thing” she responded.

This is fine on it’s own, different people like different things but on this occasion it confused me. It’s not like this friend only reads fantasy books or crime fiction, I thought that we had quite similar tastes and (not just because I wrote it) Tiger Tiger is the kind of thing that I’d read. I looked puzzled:


“Well I read Fifty Shades and I hated it. I tried all three books but it’s really not for me.”

My flabber was well and truly gasted. Tiger Tiger is definitely not in the same ilk as Fifty Shades of Grey; not that I’m criticizing anyone who likes Fifty Shades but it’s definitely not the same genre. Which is the thought that led to my stuttering response. The same stuttering, clumsy response that I’ve given to many friends who have asked about genre…

“It’s romantic comedy, but kind of more comedy than romance, that is to say it’s not a traditional romance, not Mills & Boon-y or anything. It’s a bit Bridget Jones-y, but different. It’s… gah.”

And I fail to describe it. I get the occasional “Oh I like Bridget Jones” but I don’t want to sell it off that comparison. It is what it is. It will make you laugh, might make you cry, is honest, and sweet and written with love. I don’t think that’s a genre though.

The First Review

It’s inevitable, you write a book, it’s available for the general public to read, you watch copies being bought, cross your fingers that it is being enjoyed and then it happens: the review.

I felt my heart leap to my throat when I saw the first review had been written. What if it was scathing? What if I was kidding myself that I could write, that being an author was anything more than a pipe-dream? Then I read it: and I relaxed. Let’s just hope it’s the first of many.