The return of an old friend

Finally, after a few months of depression and apathy, I feel ready to get back to some serious writing.

Let’s start with a quote,

“When a sister hates you, it really is the worst thing in the world.”

That was a comment in my first Andorra Pett story, Andorra Pett and the Oort Cloud Café. As is the case with so much that I write, initially it was only intended to be a throwaway line, a remark that showed the relationship between siblings. I hoped it would strike a chord.

However…., it stuck in my brain., When I finished writing Andorra Pett on Mars, the second part of what now looked like becoming a series, I wondered what Andorra could possibly get up to next. In a strange way, I had fallen in love with her, she had come to life and was almost a friend. It seemed such a shame to stop her from having more adventures. She had lots of places still to explore, in her universe the Moon was settled, as was Mars and there was the space station off Saturn. She had already seen some of them, but I felt that for a change, she could return to her roots.

Although she had left Earth and her sister behind, clearly that remark meant that there had been a falling out in their past. What, I wondered, if her sister desperately needed her help? Would Andorra be willing, would her sister be brave (or desperate) enough to ask? What could be the problem that would result in a cry for help?

In the end, it all came to me, a set of circumstances that followed logically. In a way I had already set it up, even though I hadn’t noticed it at the time.

If you’ve read Andorra Pett on Mars, then you’ll be familiar with the how it starts, as I included Chapter 1 of Andorra Pett and her Sister at the end. The trouble was, I then went into a bit of a block. After writing about 30,000 words I ran out of ideas for how things would end up. To further complicate matters, I had a rough outline for THE NEXT story, Andorra Pett takes a Break and spent time on that instead. Then I got side-tracked with all sorts of personal issues and nothing more got done.

Parts of the story were hinted at in a post which you can find here but I was no further forward with actually writing it, or getting it ready for publication.

It took a plea from a reader to get me started again, “Hi, I’m waiting with bated breath for the 3rd Andorra,” the message said. It’s always good to receive feedback like that, it’s what keep us writers going. I decided that if people were interested, I’d better do something about it.

Andorra Pett and her Sister, promo poster
Coming soon.

On one of my walks around the cliffs, the ideas started to come to me, about how the story could progress and what the final outcome could be.

And I’ve been working on it ever since, fitting it around editing and the other projects that fill my head with noise all the time. And I’ve been having some sort of life away from writing!

It can be tricky, as a man writing a female character and writing humour as well, what I find funny, or feminine might not be to everyone’s taste, but to be fair, I do have background knowledge, three daughters and two granddaughters have given me a valuable insight into developing a female lead. Of course, I can’t tell you which bits of them are included, as they might be reading this, suffice to say there’s a little bit of all of them in Andorra and her friends.

Andorra Pett novel covers

Andorra Pett’s adventures are available here,


Andorra Pett and the Oort Cloud Café


Andorra Pett on Mars


For those who haven’t read the first chapter of Andorra Pett and her Sister, I suggest you get a copy of Andorra Pett on Mars. Even though I’m biased, I’ve been told that it’s well worth a read.

For everyone who has read it, you’ll know what’s going on in the new one. Here’s a very rough extract from further into the story. Andorra is talking to Rupert Holmes-Smith, her sister’s solicitor, and his wife Annabelle.

~~~~

Rupert came back before she could answer, but her expression said that she was surprised. He had a bottle and glasses. White wine, good choice, had he been checking up on me?

“Sorry about that, I had to make that call. Blame your sister, I’m all behind. How are you two getting on?” He poured us all a glass.

“Andi was telling me about the bar, you must do something for her,” Anabelle said. There was warmth and concern in her voice, I couldn’t help liking her. Not only that, she had called me Andi; and not thought that I was a bloke. That was a big plus point.

“I will,” Rupert said, “as soon as I have all the information, surely helping her sister is more important.”

“That’s his trouble,” she said, turning to me. “he waits, I’d rather go over there and do something constructive, or even destructive! Rupert insists on waiting, being polite.”

“It’s called getting all the facts and obeying the law, not rushing off and doing something dozy.”

They looked at each other, it was the sort of look that Cy and I exchanged, I could see straight away that their relationship was the same. Apart from the one big difference.

“How did you two meet?” I asked.

“I was protesting and got arrested, along with a whole group of us,” she said. “Rupert was the duty solicitor when we were up in court.”

“I got her off,” he said proudly. That was potentially too much information. He realised what he had said and went red. Anabelle punched him. Yep, they were just like Cy and me.

“She protests about everything,” he said, “there’s only got to be a hint of something she doesn’t like and she’s away.”

“Andi doesn’t want to hear about us,” she said. She was wrong there, they were interesting and for the first time in ages I felt myself start to relax.

“Can you please get all the business out of the way before we go and eat,” I suggested.

“Sure,” Rupert said, “as long as you don’t mind Belle hearing.”

“I can keep a secret you know,” she said. I believed her. I shook my head.

“OK, I sat in on the questioning again today,” said Rupert. “Your sister was charged this afternoon.”

“What with?” I asked. “Will she be kept in custody?”

He shrugged. “Hard to say, they charged her with importing controlled substances and money laundering. She’ll be in front of the magistrates in the morning. She wants you to appear for her, as I suspected.”

“I’ve bought a suit,” I said, “I tried to work out what will happen, but I couldn’t understand it.”

“On the internet?” he asked. I nodded.

“Don’t worry about that, if you’ve never been in one before, it’s to your credit.”

“I could tell you how it all works,” chipped in Belle and he looked annoyed.

“You don’t need to advertise the fact,” he said, looking around. Nobody had taken any notice, “anyway that was years ago, procedures have changed. Just follow my lead Andorra, you’ll be fine.”

“Fair enough, I don’t want to appear stupid or make things worse.”

“Don’t worry, you shouldn’t have to say much. We’ll see you at the court, It’s Camberwell Green, do you know where it is?

I did, vaguely. We had taken small claims action against late payers through it in the old days.

“It’s near Denmark Hill station?” I said.

“That’s the one. Be there by nine, I’ll give you all the details then.”

“Is that it?” said Anabelle.

“Yes, it is,” Rupert replied, “I’m not at liberty to divulge any more without my client’s permission.”

She looked upset. “We need to meet up for coffee, just us girls.” I agreed, she would be fun to spend time with, if I could manage it. Suddenly, the wait to the next shuttle didn’t seem long enough.

“Watch her,” he suggested, “she’ll get all the information she can out of you and you’ll become another of her causes.”

She pouted, “I wouldn’t, I expect Andi is on her own here, most likely everyone she loves is somewhere else, she needs support.”

~~~~

I’ve left this one a bit less sci-fi than the others, as it’s set around Greenwich on Earth. I wanted to keep it less science and more fiction; if you know what I mean. As I prepare to publish this post, my word count is just over 45,000. As long as the ideas keep coming, I should be at the first draft stage around the end of February. With luck, the book will be published before Christmas. I’ll keep you informed.

Meanwhile, if you’d like to try my new novel Life and Other Dreams, you can pre-order it now and you’ll receive it on Feb 15th. Just visit https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07KVHG384

Life and Other Dreams advert
My next novel.

As usual, I’ll be back with another Indie Showcase on Thursday, see you then.

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