I started writing a new novel in August last year as I needed three chapters of  a WIP to take with me on a writing course with the wonderful author, Sara Grant at the helm. I wanted it to be great, I was quietly trying to impress after all.

It was an idea that I had thought of before but I had placed in the little ‘to-do’ box that sits lazily in the back of my mind until I am ready to bring it out into the open. Unleashing the torrent of brain-chatter that for me, always follows a successful idea I have been overwhelmed by the need for me to write more and more down as this particular story unfolds on the crisp white page in front of me.

Finally – I am here. I am ready to open the little box and see what the story has in store. Well, it turns out that I’m not the only one with a loosely similar great idea. Sigh. Reach for chocolate. You now how it is.

I was ready until I realised that a famous author has since brought out a book, all shiny and new and edited and gleaming and taunting me from the bookshelves. Saying in the wind – Ha Great Big Jar – bet you to it!

So in my well-mannered fuming inside way, I defiantly bought said book and decided to read it – possibly in a huffy way to see what all the fuss is about. I know, I’m 40 now, I should grow up. Not easy when you’re only 5ft 3 3/4ins though.

Maybe it wouldn’t be the same storyline, maybe the character, plot, structure…..shoes/eyes/hair colour (clutching at straws now!) on main character would be different. Eeek! The tension was killing me. I couldn’t carry on with my MS knowing that something out there was already claiming the readers I was after for my similar story.

In stealth-like ninja mode, I headed home. Phew- no-one saw me! I turned the radio off and opened my freshly purchased book to the first page. Clearing my throat, pen and paper in hand, I read it all in one sitting taking notes as I went along.

Closing the book at the end, I spent a while pondering my WIP and the ideas I have for it.

Thankfully, it’s not the same story, it’s not the same character driven plot and they don’t have the same shoes/eyes/hair colour.

With a huge sigh of relief I re-named my MS and the burden has now lifted. Our books have one similarity but they are completely different in every other way, shape and form. There were nice little touches that I was going to use in mine that have now already been taken but I have more thoughts up my sleeve.

As Nina so rightly sings “It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day, it’s a new life for me…and I’m feeling good”.


  1. Now that’s really clever, answering an invisible comment. If it had been the same book I bet yours would have been miles better but I’m glad it isn’t and that with a few tweaks you can end all similarities. Personally I think you invented the other book so you’d have an excuse to hit the chocolate, but what can I say, I don’t blame you.
    Pity Nina didn’t sing It’s a New Year too. I’m glad you’re feelin’ good.
    xxx Massive Hugs xxx

    1. Author

      I changed the lyrics to be more festive – I didn’t think she would mind lol. Oh and stop reading my mind – there is no chocolate here! *slowly hides bar in bread bin*

    2. Author

      The world is out to get me today! I need to stick to one technological device at all times. Can I join your tech-free club please? 🙂

  2. Hi, Sarah! Don’t despair! Somewhere in the house I have a letter from Alexander McCall Smith (before he was really famous) and I quote; ‘What you need, my dear,is persistence, persistence.’
    Floris books have a competition every year(closing date is February) for a children’s novel with a Scottish theme. You could always put out feelers to various publishers. Anything’s worth a try.



    1. Author

      Thank you! That’s what this MS is for Angela – I’m very much enjoying writing this one. I’ll be sad to see it head out into the big bad world for scrutiny and dissection 🙂

  3. Hey, thank you for including me in your blog
    – line 11 – “brian-chatter”!!!

    1. Author

      Aggghhh! What can I say – a sleep deprived, rushed blog post is not the best way to start the New Year. I do like the sound of Brian Chatter though. Maybe I could start a page for all the Brian’s out there that like to chat? Could you start me off? A worldwide phenomenon before we know it! *Hangs head in spelling shame*. I do believe that if you can’t laugh at yourself then who can you laugh at? A good thing for all of you out there is that I didn’t attach a link to me singing Ms Simone’s amazing song. Now that would have been bad for my blog 🙂