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Archive for the tag “Gina Kirkham”

Guest Post by Gina Kirkham ~ @GinaGeeJay @urbanebooks

It’s a real pleasure having Gina Kirkham back on my blog.  Her latest book, ‘Whiskey Tango Foxtrot’ was published in July of this year in paperback and as an eBook by Urbane Publications.  Gina has written a wonderful and touching guest post which I hope you all enjoy reading as much as I did.

 

SECOND TIME AROUND

“I’m sure it’ll be a lot easier second time around..” I dunked my Aldi biscuit into the mug of steaming tea, waited a millionth of a second too long and groaned as it drooped and fell onto my leg with a resounding slap. I gave my hubby a sickly grin as he raised his eyebrows, either in amusement or disgust, probably the latter. I handed him the new Publishing Contract for book 2, my excitement as fresh now as it had been when I’d signed my first book deal.

*****

Fast forward three months and I’m now remembering that little pearl of wisdom as I sit in front of the keyboard staring into space, twisting my unbrushed hair around my fingers with my tongue hanging out. I vaguely remember cleaning my teeth this morning, but that’s about as far as my personal appearance goes, there are more pressing matters to deal with.

Here I am, 34,216 words into the sequel to Handcuffs, Truncheon & A Polyester Thong and I don’t know where I’m going with it, I don’t even have a title. My central character, Mavis, is not playing ball, she doesn’t want to go where I want to send her and my great idea for a fanfare finale now doesn’t seem so clever…. and the biggest blow of all, I don’t feel ‘funny’.

My heart isn’t into laughter. The giggles have gone, my sniggers have sneaked away. For a writer of humour, this is a disaster.

I am lost.

I want to scribble down all the ridiculous slapstick experiences I have had, the farces, the black humour of policing… all through Mavis’s eyes, but they just don’t want to be told. Not yesterday, not today and maybe not tomorrow.

A solitary tear slowly trickles down my cheek. I nudge it away with the heel of my hand, cursing my one rogue eye that since childhood will only cry on its own. Oh how I longed to weep buckets with both eyes like a normal person. Deep down, I know where my mojo has gone and I hope it’s only temporary. I care for my Dad who has Dementia. It’s a terrible, impactive disease that can sometimes suck out all the joy and laughter in life when it catches you off guard. Lately it’s sucked so hard it has deflated me.

I close off my PC, watching the screensaver family photo fade. I won’t write today. Today I will take Dad out for lunch.

******

“Don’t get me too much, I’m not hungry.” Dad harrumphed in annoyance as he sat down at his favourite table in the café.

“I know Dad, your usual, ham sandwich on brown and a cup of black coffee. Are you okay here whilst I go and queue?”

Grabbing his handkerchief he blew with gusto, inspected the contents and shoved it back in his pocket. “I’m not away with the mixer just yet, lass, stop fussing.” he barked as I ambled off to the food area, content in the knowledge he couldn’t get up to mischief in a place that was familiar to him with no sharp objects or steep steps.

Or so I thought.

Eight minutes, just eight minutes into queuing – that was all it took. Eight minutes for pandemonium to descend upon Milly Wainwright’s Wee Tea Rooms courtesy of my Dad.

******

“He’d moved tables, he was sitting at another table eating a complete strangers full English breakfast, can you believe it?” I dunked my biscuit, throwing it up to my mouth before it could droop. Hubby sat quietly knowing that to add conversation to my pique would not be a smart move.

“I mean, come on, WTF was I supposed to do apart from pay for another breakfast? I wouldn’t mind but all he did was take one bite out of the sausage…. and he’d taken his teeth out to do that, propped them up on the pot plant in the middle of the table! It was disgusting.”

I looked at hubby for sympathy, but instead our eyes met and we both burst out laughing.

Leaning over to kiss my forehead, he smirked. “Maybe this is something Mavis should experience, take away the taboo, find the humour in adversity, what do you think?”

******

One moment, just one moment to lighten your heart. That’s all it takes. I switched on my PC and waited. Mavis wouldn’t fight against me for this one. Humour in adversity, it’s how we survive….

…. and much to my delight, I now had a title for the sequel too.

 

About Gina Kirkham

Gina Kirkham began her career in front-line policing as a single parent in her thirties. During her time with Merseyside Police she was awarded several commendations for bravery, courage and compassion, and in 2000 she became Police Officer of the Year for her services to the people of Merseyside.

Her debut novel, the humorous HANDCUFFS, TRUNCHEON AND A POLYESTER THONG, was published in May 2017 by Urbane Publications.

In July 2018 her second book in the series, WHISKEY, TANGO, FOXTROT The Further Adventures of Constable Mavis Upton was launched at Waterstones in Liverpool.

Gina is now retired from Policing and lives on the Wirral with her long suffering husband and two wayward, unruly dogs.

 

Links

Blog – http://www.ginakirkham.wordpress.com/

Author Page – https://urbanepublications.com/authors/gina-kirkham/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/GinaGeeJay and https://twitter.com/MavisUpton

Mavis Upton’s Facebook Page – https://www.facebook.com/MavisUpton1/

 

Purchase Links

‘Handcuffs, Truncheon and a Polyester Thong’ – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Handcuffs-Truncheon-Polyester-Thong-adventures-ebook/dp/B06XZCV123

‘Whiskey Tango Foxtrot’ – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Whiskey-Tango-Foxtrot-Adventures-Constable-ebook/dp/B07DFCF2NR

Extract from ‘Handcuffs, Truncheon and a Polyester Thong’ by Gina Kirkham

I hope you all enjoyed Gina Kirkham’s guest post as much as I did.  I love Gina’s posts and I really can’t wait to read her book when it comes out.  It’s time for a treat now, an exclusive extract from ‘Handcuffs, Truncheon and a Polyester Thong’.   But first, the book blurb.

 

Book Blurb

Meet Mavis Upton. As mummy to 7-year old Ella, surrogate to far too many pets and with a failed marriage under her belt, Mavis knows she needs to make some life-changing decisions. It’s time to strike out into the world, to stand on her own two feet … to pursue a lifelong ambition to become a Police Officer. I mean, what could go wrong? Supported by her quirky, malapropism-suffering mum, Mavis throws herself headlong into a world of uncertainty, self-discovery, fearless escapades, laughter and extra-large knickers. And using her newly discovered investigative skills, she reluctantly embarks on a search to find her errant dad who was last seen years before, making off with her mum’s much needed coupon for a fabulous foam cup bra all the way from America. Follow Mavis as she tackles everything life can throw at her, and revel in Gina Kirkham’s humorous, poignant and moving story of an everyday girl who one day followed a dream.

 

Extract

Extract from ‘Handcuffs, Truncheon and a Polyester Thong’

 

Guest Post by Gina Kirkham

gina-kirkham

The fabulous Gina Kirkham has written a guest post for my event.  Her debut novel, ‘Handcuffs, Truncheon and a Polyester Thong’ is being published on the 18th May 2017.

 

GIN, BOOK & LAUGHTER

Opening one eye as light sneaked its way through the gap between my budget B&Q blind and the window frame, I stretched lazily out in eager anticipation of the summer day ahead.

Slipping out of bed, my knees popping and crackling like a bowl of Rice Krispies, I simultaneously chided myself for getting old and patted myself on the back for having managed to negotiate my way to the bathroom without falling over the cat.

This was to be my first day of no shirts to iron, no SWAT boots to polish, no shifts, no pub fights, no 999 response runs and no paperwork.    This was my first day of retirement as a Police Officer.

I was a civilian again.

To be honest, my visions of slipping into Gin & Tonic induced  ‘Nana Naps’ in the garden, shaded from the afternoon sun by dappled shadows from the trees, whilst the busy world I had been part of carried on without me, had seemed rather exciting.

Sadly, as romantic as this vision had appeared, it was doomed to failure.  The reality was that the first three months offered only perpetual rain, high winds, which are the downside of living by the beach (along with globs of sand sticking to your lip gloss when you step out of the front door) and a huge price increase on the gin!

So, logs on the fire, a pot of tea on the go, half a packet of Ginger Nuts and three sheets of paper later, I had drafted out a plot, a character and a story and I was off on a most exciting adventure.

I was going to write a book.

It would chart my career in the Police, not as a Super-Detective or a muscle-ripped fighter of crime, but as an ordinary woman, a single parent, who looked towards humour as a coping mechanism in a demanding career.   This book was not to be for public consumption, after all, I had never written before and I certainly wouldn’t dare to think that anyone would be interested in reading my ramblings.   It was to be cathartic.  A way of storing my memories of a fabulous career, honour those I had worked with…..

…. actually no, scrub that!   It was to fill in the hours whilst the rain systematically destroyed any hope I had previously held of staggering around my back garden like a manic Miss Hannigan after a litre of homemade sloe gin, once boredom had set in.

Within eighteen months I had completed my first manuscript, all 142,000 words, and had avidly scoured the pages of The Writers & Artists Yearbook 2014  for the do’s and don’t’s of submitting and the etiquette of querying.  By page 639 I was frantically editing down my offering to 78,000 words whilst wailing in despair into my coffee.   For someone who suffers from verbal diarrhoea at the best of times, particularly when nervous, a reduction in words can be deemed to be complete and utter torture.  I then had the added trauma of producing a work of art called a ‘Synopsis’.

I mean, come on….what’s that all about?  Eighteen months of my life, a final 78,000 words, 1,478 mugs of tea, 23 packets of Aldi Digestive biscuits, 19 packets of Polo mints and a rather alarming increase in the size of my derrière, only to be told it all had to be reduced down – my writing, not my derrière, I hasten to add.   Not to be downhearted I ploughed on, carefully creating ‘My Book of Submissions’.  This masterpiece was crafted with the best four-ring binder I could find, that sported a rather fetching picture of Joyce Grenfell on the front.  Various coloured felt-pens were used to rigidly mark-up columns and headings with the assistance of a freebie Kellogg’s Cornflakes coaster in the absence of a ruler.

I was on a roll.

Each submission would have its own page so that I could meticulously keep track of who I had submitted to and who had replied.  In the very real fear of forwarding spelling bloopers, poor grammar and dreadful predictive howlers, I read and re-read my first submission e-mail over and over again before my index finger hovered over that one button on a keyboard that could suddenly make even Donald Trump become super-indecisive –  the SEND key…..

……I pressed and clicked…..

……and no sooner had the ‘swooooosh’ sound informed me that it had gone, did my keen eye catch my sign-off at the bottom.  I felt sick.  Hands trembling, a trickle of perspiration meandering its way down my back, I re-read my email to the poor, unsuspecting Literary Agent, again.

‘…….thank you for allowing me the opportunity to query and submit my novel, Handcuffs, Truncheon & A Polyester Thong.

Kindest regards
Gonorrhea Kirkham

Jeez, I bet my Mum hadn’t seen that coming when she’d christened me Georgina in the 1950’s pre-predictive text era.

If announcing the rather off-the-wall title of my book wasn’t bad enough, I had also fan-fared a name that would never, ever grace the cover of a book on the shelves of Waterstones.  I also knew, with another bout of absolute gut-wrenching certainty, that after making a first impression of that calibre, I had about as much chance of getting a reply and an offer of a publishing deal as Elvis would for a comeback concert.

I’m just hoping the shortened version I now use won’t get me into trouble, although if you get rid of the ‘a’ and add Tonic…. I’m actually back where I started!

Gina

 

Links

‘Handcuffs, Truncheon and a Polyester Thong’ can be pre-ordered from Amazon UK:-

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Handcuffs-Truncheon-Polyester-Thong-Kirkham/dp/191133171X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1488735781&sr=1-1&keywords=gina+kirkham

Website:  www.ginakirkham.wordpress.com

Twitter: @ginageejay and @MavisUpton

Facebook: MAVIS UPTON page

 

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