Blog Tour: Best Practice - Guest Post by Penny Parkes


Today is my stop on the blog tour for Penny Parkes' new book, the delightful Best Practice. This is the third book in the Larkford Series, which I love, so I am over the moon to welcome Penny for a guest post on her writing day:

My Writing Day – Penny Parkes 

It isn’t really until you sit down to write a feature like this that you realise how much has changed over the course of the last four years in how I approach my writing – no more waiting to be in the ‘right mood’, or the perfect spot, or with just the right amount of bounce in my stride to make the words sing on the page yet keep my bum firmly on my seat…

My first summer as an author was spent largely sitting on the floor between the washing machine and the dishwasher, trying to find an undisturbed spot – my children have an innate aversion to anything dishwasher-related so I knew I would be safe there… And in term time, I would monopolise the dining table with my post-its, plot planning and chapters. It wasn’t until after my second book was published that I finally fulfilled every writer’s dream – a room of my very own.

And so these days I save my desk for the business of writing and the little two-seater sofa for the words – The Ginger Ninja beside me.

I have also made a concerted effort to be more flexible about where I write – trains, hotel rooms, coffee shops and my car are all fair game now. Maybe not for the larger, fleshier scenes – but for notes of inspiration, for my Notes From The Cotswolds column and for posts like this, where a little company is a bonus.

Just these small changes have dramatically changed how I write. But still, somehow, not when I write.

I am not an early bird.

Never have been.

And so, once the kids have left for school, it has become my habit to ‘start the day all over again.’ Fresh coffee, a grazing plate for breakfast, Twitter on my phone and whichever proof I’m reading at the time for company. I probably don’t go near my writing room much before 9.30 – long after other writing friends are finished for the day. In fact, quite often, The Ninja will be one step ahead of me, settling into her spot as a rather pointed nudge that I should follow suit.

And that’s really where all plans are made to be changed: if the words are flowing and the plotlines juicy and plump, I may forget to look up until the alarm on my phone reminds me it's school run time; if it’s like wading through treacle, I will still keep going – often that not-so-simple commitment to persevere can be enough to blow the cobwebs away… And then of course, you always get the best idea moments before you absolutely, positively have to stop…

But it is my firmly held belief that one cannot write, or create, in isolation. Nor constantly staring at a screen.

Mind-in-neutral at times is vital – whether driving, swimming, or walking The Ninja – it’s when those tricky plot points align themselves and your brain delivers them fully formed like a proud toddler.

Likewise, a community of writing and publishing mates is a Godsend. They understand when you drop off the radar for weeks at a time, completely absorbed in your current project, then pop up like a meerkat wanting an outing in between.

Indeed the “writing life” can often give just as much pleasure as the actual writing. Although I have to tell you, I do not miss sitting on the floor with my whites whizzing round at 60°!


Title: Best Practice
Author: Penny Parkes
Published: June 28th 2018 by Simon & Schuster

Blurb: Love and laughter with the residents of Larkford is exactly what the doctor ordered!

Dr Alice Walker has become accomplished at presenting a fa├žade to the world – to anyone watching, she is the epitome of style, composure and professionalism. But perhaps it was to be expected that the cracks might begin to show at some point. Thankfully Grace is on hand to offer both friendship and support when it’s needed most.

Meanwhile, Dr Holly Graham has her hands full both professionally and personally. Planning a wedding with Taffy Jones is challenging enough, even before some surprising news changes everything. At least beloved Larkford resident, Elsie, still has a few tricks left up her sleeve!

Dr Dan Carter, on the other hand, has decided to throw himself into his career – the best antidote he’s found to unrequited love. When tragedy strikes in the heart of Larkford, Dan makes it his mission to help the community.

Follow the blog tour for find out more about Best Practice


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