Break Loose (2015) Fly Free (2016)

Posted at 04:34am on 4th January 2016

What are your New Year’s resolutions?  How likely are you to achieve them?

I read an article recently, which said that 95% of diets fail.  Why?  Precisely because they are diets!   Counting calories or eliminating certain categories of food focuses your mind on the very thing you want to cut down on.  Success, the writer went on to say, depends, instead, upon making lifestyle changes.  That may mean sitting down at the table rather than eating on the hoof.  Or making lunch your main meal rather than dinner.  Or taking up some pursuit that occupies your body and mind in the evenings, rather than flaking out in front of the telly, with a bowlful of snacks at hand.

The point is that New Year is usually perceived as a time for reflection and resolution.  So whatever the changes we want to make, we need to sit down and think through what the past year has held.


My personal reflections revealed a year of peaks and troughs.  A traditional contract for my latest book, Time to Shine was a mountain-top experience after many years out of the market, when circumstances prevented from me writing.   Family illness, precarious job situations, and my elderly mother’s ongoing night-time terrors following an evil experience, were among the darkest valleys in 2015.

Perhaps the most personal for me, were the continual problems with my *new* laptop, which kept shutting down and losing my work-in-progress before it was saved to the Cloud.  With the potential loss of my 80,000 word manuscript – the next book in the Evie Adams’ series, titled Chosen or Cheated? I seriously began to question what the future held.  Was I being told to give up writing?  Or was I to persevere through these dark times?


Theme has always been at the heart of my writing.  Not that I plan it, necessarily!  More often than not, I find it emerges as I proceed.  I woke early next morning, following my deliberations, realising that a conversation I’d had with a friend the previous day tied in with something I’d written in my manuscript many months earlier.  It was to do with who or what drives you; and who or what binds you.

Having raised the emotional aspects of being driven or tethered in my novel, Chosen or Cheated? which is located in Dartmouth, Devon, I’d used a real-life analogy.  Here’s an excerpt from the book, with Evie Adams thinking things through as she awaits the arrival of the ferry to cross the River Dart.

‘Known as the floating bridge, it is not self-propelled but is dragged across the river on covered chains, which also prevent it slipping downstream.  It seems to me, as we sit in the car, that this might be a picture of some people’s lives.  And not just children for their parents, but sometimes, perhaps, parents for their children, or partners for one another?  Back and forth, back and forth they ply, driven by an outside force; tethered to a lifestyle that inhibits freedom.’


How many of us conduct our lives like this, tied to cultures, upbringing, expectations imposed upon us?  Do we even know they exist?  If not, how might we break free?

I knew, for certain, that I was to set myself free of doubt.  I was to continue writing.  And that’s what I wish for you for 2016.  That whatever dark valleys 2015 held for you, and whatever resolutions you’ve made for the year to come, you may soar, free and unfettered, above the stormy seas in your lives.  Cut yourselves free of all that drives you.  Be self-propelled.  Focus on the good.  Fly!    


First published in the 1980's, Mel's books (by-line Merrilyn Williams) were non-fiction: biographies and how-to books on bereavement, marriage, divorce, drugs and disability, one of which became a Sunday Times No. 4 Bestseller.  Now writing fiction full-time, Mel's mystery novels are similar in style to Jodi Picoult's in that they focus on what it means to overcome problems in life: to be free to follow your dreams.  Mel is also available to speak to groups small and large; book her here.

A Painful Post Mortem, tells the story of what it means to lose a child to drugs, in suspicious circumstances.  Despite the pain of bereavement, the book still carries a message of hope.  Read more here, e-book only available from Amazon.

Time to Shine, the first book in the Evie Adams series, focuses on the mystery of a husband's 'gaslighting' behaviour in marriage. It follows the story of the wife who learns from counsellor, Evie Adams, how to stand up for herself in an abusive relationship, and who, in doing so, discovers her gifts and follows her dreams.  Set in Exeter, it is available here (UK only), from Waterstones, or Amazon. With a number of 5* reviews, the e-book version went briefly to a No. 1 slot in the top 100 of its inspirational mystery category on Amazon. 

Chosen or Cheatedbook two in the Evie Adams series, is a story of adoption in the midst of a convoluted family mystery, and is set in Exeter, Kingswear, Dartmouth and London.  To be published in 2016

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