Guess what? I wrote another book! And it's available to pre-order, right now! The Weaker Sex will be published on 17th January 2022 and is available on Amazon as a paperback or as ebook for Kindle. You can also add The Weaker Sex to your Goodreads reading lists here.
And this isn't just any book. It's my first published novel. Can you believe it? And this is what the cover looks like:
If you've been hanging around here a while you'll know that I have been writing fiction on and off for nearly ten years and until last year, I was yet to finish a novel. (I wrote about some of the reasons why I think that is... or rather, was... here.) So it's a huge relief and joy that I can now say I WROTE A NOVEL! I will be updating this series of posts all about how to write a book when I get a chance, but for now can I just celebrate this milestone!
And let's do that by sharing the blurb with you.
Blurb for The Weaker Sex
They call me Madam. They being the women I protect because the law does not. They being the men I work with, breaking any number of laws on a daily basis. They being the men who love and hate me.
I never wanted to be Madam. I set out to run London's most exclusive members-only bar, but it also became the city's most sought after and infamous brothel. And it's not your typical brothel either, because as well as sex work, my girls offer another kind of service, a service I believe this world needs... Because "they" are also the women who kill for me because that's what the dead deserved.
Doing this work comes with great risk, and great enemies, but I'd be lying if I said I didn't have any of them before this all began. I'd be lying if I said that it was only the women I hire who kill. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't ready and waiting to do it again.
Because while there are many men I need to find - my missing business partner who knows too much, a colleague on the cusp of a breakdown - there's one man who I have been looking for for over twenty years. A man I blame for it all because of what he did to me.
But I'm yet to find him, and I know I'm running out of time, not least because there is another man, another enemy, coming after me. A man who wants to lock me away because of what I do. A man who knows my weakest link and isn't afraid to exploit it. A man who I can't kill... a man who won't give up.
However, I am the one thing that is more dangerous than that. I am a woman who won't give up... at least, not without a fight.
What I Learned Writing The Weaker Sex
Can I also share a secret? Since I finished writing this book, I've gone on to finish the drafts of two other novels, all within the space of six months. Is that proof that books are like buses? You wait around (for TEN YEARS!) for one and two more come along at the same time?
I'm dismissing and belittling some helpful truths I learnt writing The Weaker Sex about writing a novel that definitely went on to help me write those other first drafts in such a speedy fashion. Firstly, writing gets a lot easier, is a lot more fun and can be a lot more productive when I write what I want to write as opposed to thinking about what needs to be written or what I should be writing in order to write something 'good'. I'll leave that deliberately ambiguous because I may go into further detail when I have more articulate thoughts on the topic.
Secondly, writing - or rather editing and re-writing - is a lot more effective and successful when I think about the experience of a reader. In the past I have written for myself (in line with the first realisation above) and while it has been exciting and fun and wonderful, I have to also be honest and say it's not always been satisfying. As I edited The Weaker Sex - and indeed worked with two fantastic editors on it too - I put my readers first, thinking constantly not only about what they were reading in terms of the plot points and the character development but the overall experience too. How was the pacing? How much mystery was there? Too much? Not enough? Would they be satisfied with the ending? Would they want to know more? (Sorry, readers, but I kind of need you to want to know more, I'm planning on at least another three books in this series!).
This brings me to answer some important questions for you if you're considering
What does my reader want to feel while reading The Weaker Sex? Suspense, fear, panic, intrigue, invested, curious, a little confused. Yes, I think this book delivers on those things.
What does my reader want to feel after finishing The Weaker Sex? Satisfied, content, calmer, informed, entertained, still a little confused. Yes, I'm pretty sure the book can deliver that.
And if you want to read it and tell me I'm wrong, please do! Available here.
And if it doesn't sound like your cup of tea but you would just like to show me a little support you can just spread the word on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or by adding the book on Goodreads. THANK YOU!
Frances M. Thompson
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