Thursday, 5 December 2013



It's funny how things turn out. It has taken me sixteen years to write Rob's story. Sixteen years of writing a little, leaving it for months, then writing some more, only to end up having FUTURE CONFRONTED published on Rob's birthday. It wasn't my plan to be published on his birthday, but as everything started coming together it seemed a real possibility that this date could be achieved. 

I have the good fortune of having made some very special friends on a Facebook group to which I happily belong - - A fabulous group of like-minded people. It was here that I received great encouragement, as I had started to doubt that I could ever get the book published at all. One person in particular, Paula Lofting, historical author and B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree for her book Sons of the Wolf, has helped me immensely, and I am going to use this blog to sincerely thank her for her faith in me. She offered to read the first two chapters. She came back and said that she loved it. The confidence that this gave me was immeasurable. Later on she asked me if I had a proof-reader yet, or an editor, which I hadn't. My thoughts hadn't strayed that far as I doubted that my book would ever come to fruition.

Paula introduced me to Michelle Gent of, who, apart from being a published author and film-maker, is a proof-reader and editor. She is another special lady, who has now become a special friend. Paula, Michelle and I had a three-way conversation on Facebook PM. Well, all I can say is this: it was the most interesting and exciting conversation that I have had in a long time. At the end of our conversation I not only had two proof-readers, Michelle and Paula, I also had my editor, Michelle.

The editing process for me was extremely difficult. I found that the only way that I could cope with it was to put my ego on the shelf and leave it there. The revelation was, that after I had accepted the edits, my work read so much better, smoother. It had been improved.

I knew that I wanted to go the independent publishing route, and had planned to go with Amazon's KDP. I had even downloaded the free books that Amazon provide for those wishing to do this. Yes, they were very instructional. Yes, the books take you through stage by stage, with pictures for those (like me) who need to see what it is that they have to do. Great. Well, it is if you have the confidence to take the leap. I, on the other hand had not the confidence. I would have been happier if there had been someone beside me showing me what to do. I learn better that way. During our three way conversation on Facebook PM, Michelle said that they were an independent publishing company and could publish my book if I didn't want to go down the KDP route. Well, over the next few days I gave it great consideration, and decided to go with Michelle's company Gingernut Books. I am so pleased that I did. Straight away all the stress that I had been experiencing had gone. I handed my manuscript over to Michelle and Paula lock stock and barrel. After they had gone through it, and I had accepted the changes, it was down to Trevor Gent of Gingernut Books to do the publishing. Although Gingernut Books do book cover designs, I had already had my cover designed by a special person whose impressive work I had seen earlier in the year, Dave Slaney. He made me a beautiful cover, and I am totally overjoyed with it.

4th December drew closer and closer, I was getting not only excited but apprehensive. A few telephone calls, and Facebook PMs and things were settled, et voila, magically FUTURE CONFRONTED was published. It was totally painless, in fact it was an amazing feeling.

Paula Lofting arranged an amazing book launch for me through The Review Group. It was outstanding. There were shared posts throughout the day, messages of encouragement, messages from people who had experienced the same devastation as we had. There were also messages from people just to tell me that they had purchased my book. I was so overwhelmed, and humbled. I had a message in the early evening from someone who had bought it earlier in the day, and had finished it in one sitting simply because he found it difficult to put down.

What a week it has been already, and it is only Thursday. By the end of the week I shall have some paperback editions of my book delivered to me. That will be the tangible evidence, for me, that I indeed have had my book published. I will be able to hold it, flick through it, and place it on my bookshelf. For me it will be the full stop to all the hard work over the years to get Rob's book written and then published. All the tears, all the crises, all my doubts came to an end on 4th December 2013.

Thank you to everyone who made this mammoth task possible. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Wednesday, 23 October 2013


The Trials of Writing About Loss

When I first started the task of writing FUTURE CONFRONTED, I didn’t really know where to start. I had many scenarios in my head. Should I start from when Rob was born? Should I perhaps start from when he first became ill? I knew that I needed to engage the reader from the first paragraph, but I wasn’t sure quite how to do it.

After many false starts over the years I eventually decided to start with myself as a young girl in London where I lived with my brother and mother and father in the house that my Grandfather had bought back in 1927. This house had survived bomb damage during World War II, and because it had survived, I always felt safe and content there. I decided to compare a particularly happy childhood memory with our devastating memory on Butser Hill, some forty years later. To me it felt as though the comparison embedded the sadness and devastation of our loss.

It’s difficult to find a voice when describing the events of losing a child. It would have been easier to just relate the facts without a human voice, but that wouldn’t have conveyed the strength of Rob’s determination. I love to talk, so to this end I decided to write it as though I were actually having a conversation with someone who didn’t know me or any of our family. This imaginary person was sitting across the table from me waiting to hear what I had to say. It worked for me because I had a visual, an anchoring point to which I could pin myself.

As time went on, this person sitting opposite me began to grow into a real person. I looked forward to talking to her. In my head I had given her a name, she had a life, and that is when I found that I could freely open up to her, and tell her Rob’s story. She didn’t interrupt, she didn’t have an opinion; she just listened to me. It made the telling, the writing, less traumatic. It was excruciating sometimes in the reliving, I would dissolve into tears as the details crowded inside my head. Sorting them out was difficult. I needed to put them coherently so that what I was trying to say didn't get smothered. It was quite frankly one of the most difficult tasks of the writing.

I have a real need to write. I have always kept a Diary and a Journal. In my Diary for May, June, and July 1997 there were no comments, just times of appointments for clinics and a funeral, written in an even hand.  Whereas in my Journal, the details of those 49 days from diagnosis to passing away are scrawled, sometimes in large writing, sometimes so small it is difficult to read. I had not taken notice of the ruled lines, I had just scrawled my feelings in many directions, as though I were shouting, or whispering. I know now, looking back, that the large writing was when I was angry, and shouting and the small writing was when I was whispering, and dared to hope. In the beginning we had hope, but over those few short weeks it became evident that there was no hope, nothing to hang on to.

Back in 2004 I sent part of my original MS to several publishers to see if I could get the book published. As many of you know, they don’t always answer very quickly, if at all. The MS of all those years ago, when looking at it now, is nothing like the finished version; and I am not surprised that they turned me down, albeit gently.

This year, having just retired, I decided it was time to complete Rob’s story. So it went through a complete rewrite. I had my sensible head on and went through it methodically. It was draining. I reread my Diary and my Journal and tried to put Rob’s story into some sort of chronological order where possible.

FUTURE CONFRONTED is now with the proof-reader and the copy-editor. I was going to try and do it all myself, as erroneously I thought that's what self-publishers did. But after some really good advice, I chose to let my work go to someone who could do a much better job than I. Also, after receiving good advice, I decided to have my book cover professionally designed, and I am so pleased that I did. It looks really lovely.

The plan is to publish the book before Christmas. I am proud to say that I am self-publishing, through Amazon, but it is a decision yet to be finalised, as other avenues are also open to me. I don’t feel that I am a lesser author for self-publishing; I see it as just another route to getting the book out there. After all, the main reason for writing is for someone to read your work. How you get it out there surely is up to you.

I now proudly see myself as an Indie Author, and look forward to writing more books. The stories in my head are now pushing forward, and it’s just a case of choosing which one I will tackle first.

Wednesday, 9 October 2013




Hi, my name is Louise, and I have a love of reading, and a love of writing.

Louise E. Rule

I have always had a love of reading and a love of writing, and I have always kept a journal and a diary. I have a need to write down what I need to do, and what I have done throughout the week. It is because of this, and the traumatic events, that I was able to recall all the events that appear in my first book entitled FUTURE CONFRONTED.
The book is about our youngest son Robert Charles Rule, and how he and we coped with the terrifying news that he was suffering from an inoperable brain tumour. He was only twenty, and died just 49 days after being diagnosed.

Robert C. Rule

My reasons for writing Rob's story are many. The main reason is because Rob had shown great fortitude when he first found out that he had a brain tumour and demonstrated great resoluteness and dignity when he found out that he was going to die.
Rob was cremated. We scattered his ashes on Butser Hill on the South Downs in Hampshire, a beautiful and green open space with 360 degree uninterrupted views. It is an exhilarating and magical place to be, and it matches Rob's ideals perfectly.

I needed to tell Rob's story, our story, in the hope that it may encourage those who have suffered the same as our family that it is possible to survive, to carry on; to overcome.