Writing a novella was a challenge for me, having only published short stories as Cass Peterson before. When One Night in San Francisco got under way, I managed 5000 words before my computer crashed and they were somehow lost forever.
Luckily for me, after a bit of a nudge and a large gin and tonic, some of them came back to me and once Liam and Nicky’s adventure was really in my head, the rest just sizzled along by itself.
Sometimes getting stuck in the middle of something can be a complete pain in the backside, but, as with me, other times the break can fire you up. There are the Cass Peterson list of top tips for what to do if the spiteful computer eats your words.
- Lie down on the comfiest sofa you can find and eat a bar of Cadbury’s Dairy Milk chocolate?
- Try to remember why you thought it was a good story? What was the highlight? What could you have ditched?
- Drink some wine. (Substitute strong coffee/tea/diet coke if the sun is not yet over the yard arm or you have a problem with getting drunk in an emergency.
- Make a few notes about how you might start again, preferably in a smart new notebook.
- Have a nap.
- Do a crossword.
- Eat something else fun.
- Drink more wine (etc)
- Pick yourself up, dust yourself off and start all over again.
So there we go – I hope you like the result. Here’s an extract to whet your appetite: This is Nicky talking about … well, Nicky ….
Liam had been right when he’d called me sensual – my life was ruled by the enjoyment of my senses. The taste and aroma of strong black coffee, the scent of newly-mown grass when I walked through the park in the morning to work, the delicious feel of fresh sheets on my king-sized bed, sex on the beach with Simon. My thoughts thudded to a halt. Simon had gone, and he wasn’t coming back.
‘Yes?’ I made myself come back to the present. This was no time for thinking about my long, disastrous relationship with the man who’d liked himself a lot more than he liked me, as it turned out.
‘Did you mind me talking to you about Erin? I didn’t intend to, it was just we seemed to be fast-tracking a bit.’ He smiled at me and my stomach flipped. He was so desperately good looking, this man – deep brown eyes, thin, angular features with that lust-inducing hint of stubble. His lips were full and firm, and his hair flopped over his face, asking to be stroked back into place. I swallowed hard.
‘No, not at all. It’s good you can talk about her. She must have been very special.’
‘She was. She …’
As he spoke, a voice through the speakers boomed an announcement. We were going to land in San Francisco in only thirty minutes. Our eyes met.
‘Look, there’s too much to say in half an hour,’ Liam muttered.
‘I know, but I’ve got your number. I’ll go to my hotel and check in, do a bit of sight-seeing and call you later, shall I? Is that what you meant?’ I was suddenly filled with doubt. We’d shared such an intense experience in the night and he’d seemed to be taking me into his confidence, but I needed to face facts. He was probably only passing the time until he could set off for this meeting, and now he’d be wishing he’d never led me on. But Liam’s next words were reassuring
‘Sure, that’d be great. I have to be picked up at the airport and go straight to work but I’ll be done by ten at the latest and then I’m going to shower and change and get out there to see the sights. I’ll have my phone with me, so call anytime you like. We’ll hook up and have lunch down by the water – you can prove to me that you really do eat. Clam chowder by the bay? And then maybe a ferry to Alcatraz?’
‘You haven’t seen the prison either, then?’
‘No, and they say everyone should go there once at least. It’s supposed to be mega depressing, but nothing gets me down much since Erin went. Sorry, I’m getting maudlin again. You should see me when I’ve had a drink. I’m not sure if you’re ready for this, Ms Lawyer.’
I giggled. ‘Nobody does depressing like me, Liam.’
‘Okay, point taken, we’ll discuss that later. And don’t forget, we have unfinished business.’
There was a silence as we remembered our night time exploits; his fingers bringing me to an orgasm I’d never forget. My frustrated desire to climb astride him and fuck him until he was incapable of speech. His warm tongue caressing my fingers and giving me a taste of what he could do if he really had time and space. My mouth was dry as I tried to pull myself together ready for landing. I had to see this man again.
Nicky and Liam have only twenty four short hours to find out if their instantaneous attraction can develop into something more than an electric mile-high fumble. San Francisco has everything they need to put their previous disastrous relationships behind them but when they lose touch with each other almost immediately, fate seems to have other ideas. As the precious hours tick away, Liam moves heaven and earth to find the woman of his (filthiest) dreams before she leaves the city. Will he get to her in time?
Cass Peterson is passionate about many things; her family, writing, chocolate, wine, cake, curry, gin, sunlit beaches, moonlit bedrooms and good novels to name but a few. At the moment she spends a good chunk of her time working on the day job, but she tries to fit the other passions in as often as possible.
She is a cat lover, an all-weather walker, a reader and reviewer of contemporary romance and an enthusiastic cook.
Cass likes to laugh, especially at Bill Bailey, Victoria Wood, Michael Palin and Eddie Izzard. She would happily live next door to any of these comedians.