Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Stella Birrell visits!

My Welcome Wednesday guest slot has been silent for a while but I'm absolutely delighted to say hello to Stella Hervey Birrell today.

Stella Birrell
She's come to tell us about her writing passion and to share her new chick-lit novel with us. 
Stella's Crooked Cat published debut novel was launched recently - How Many Wrongs make a Mr. Right? 

It's a great title and it's sitting waiting on my kindle TBR pile since I bought it at her Facebook launch party. 

I'm off on a jaunt soon and hope to read it then. You know that I like to read...and write... of happy endings as well! 

Welcome to my blog, Stella, and over to you...

As a writer of chick-lit, even my own gritty brand of it, of course I’m a big fan of ‘happily ever after.’ Rainbows, sunsets, wedding bells, the whole lot.

When I first attended a writer’s group, they were scandalised. I had appeared with
a) commercial fiction, and
b) a story with a happy ending.

They are poets, short story writers, serious novelists, all lovely people, but confused: why would I want to write such a thing?
Happily ever what?!
courtesy of Stella Hervey Birrell

They say you should ‘write what you know,’ and since University I have read women’s fiction almost exclusively. My favourite authors draw you in, confuse you with multiple possibilities, but almost always wind round to a wonderful ending: Jenny Colgan, Isla Dewar, Katie Fforde, Jane Green, Helen Fielding, Sophie Kinsella. These guys are the masters of the rainbow, the sunset and the wedding bell.

Courtesy of Stella Birrell - her copy of Bookends
Here's my much-read copy of Jane Green’s Bookends.
And what is so wrong with a story with a happy ending, anyway? It does happen.

When I was in my mid-twenties I had all but given up. Men were a complete mystery to me, none of them behaved like the good guys in my books, they all behaved like the ‘other’ guys. The ones the heroine falls for, but eventually realises is already married/big headed/mean/not serious. I wasn’t even very good at working this out, regularly clinging on to dead-end relationships. I hated people who said ‘it’ll happen when you least expect it.’ Or ‘if it’s right, it’s right.’

Of course, it did happen when I least expected it, and it was right when it was right. There were sunsets and rainbows and wedding bells, and… well, maybe not as much romance as a novel, my husband is Scottish after all, and he hasn’t read any of the same books.

Now it turns out that love was the easy part.

There is a lot of laundry after sunsets. The house still needs hoovered even if there are rainbows outside. There are often children after the bells are silenced, and as lovely as they are, they don’t leave much room for all that canoodling that got them here in the first place.

Creating a life together, choosing each other every day, maintaining love, is even harder, but far from impossible.

I’m so lucky, and I know I am. When I started to write seriously, I had all the support I needed from my man. I’m out a lot, at writerly things. I’m in a lot, doing writerly things.

Here is the product of all those writerly things.

He’s the one picking up the slack, laundry, hoovering, childcare.
And there is nothing more romantic than that.

Thank you for reading! My debut novel, How Many Wrongs make a Mr Right?, is available from the following places:

Search ‘How Many Wrongs make a Mr Right?’ in the iTunes Store

How to find me: please come and say ‘hi’ in one or more of these places
Twitter is @atinylife140
I have a writer’s page on Facebook here.

I can also be found wandering the streets of various East Lothian villages.

Thank you for coming today, Stella and I wish you the very best for How Many Wrongs make a Mr. Right. 



  1. Enjoyed the blog. It HAS to be a happy ending in my book. Look forward to reading the books :)

    1. Hi Susan. Thank you for popping in and commenting. Happy, happy endings are good. :-)


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