A Writer's Year by Fennel Hudson - about the cover

A Writer's Year - book cover

The extended version of A Writer's Year, Fennel's Journal No. 3 will soon be available to purchase. Extending it has been a labour of love, as this is the book that marked my commitment to becoming an author. It is single-handedly responsible for my change in mindset and fortunes.

So, in the new edition, I've added a 7,000 word opening chapter that puts the reader in my shoes as we progress through my writing career. From discovering my love of words as a child, to achieving a significant milestone when I turned forty, it's all there for the first time. Everything's out in the open so that you can see things from my perspective and have context as to why the rest of the book is so important. So I'm really pleased to be able to share the cover artwork with you here.

The front cover features my limited edtion Conway Stewart 'Wordsworth' pen. It's number 11 of 368, is handcrafted from traditional casein resin and has 18 carat solid gold nib and inlays. I purchased it when I became a full-time writer. It was a commitment to myself: that one day I would be an author with books bearing my name. I was not allowed to write with it until I published the book that would feature it on the cover. So it's been unused up until now. I'm very proud to feature it on the cover of my Writer's Year book, and finally be writing with it.

A Writer's Year, Fennel's Journal No 3, front cover, by Fennel Hudson

The inside front cover captures the character of the book, in that it is about both the magical joy of writing and the lifestyle that would-be authors seek. The edition has new chapters, including a guidance piece at the end with my Golden Rules for writing. The new book is part inspiration/instruction for aspiring authors, and part homage to the writer's craft. And, of course, it's filled with my trademark humour and eccentricity.

A Writer's Year, inside cover, by Fennel Hudson

The rear cover features one of my favourite quotes: "Look inwards, to see outwards. And capture it in writing." I'm still proud to say that those words are mine, even though – as with much of my writing – I'm never sure where it comes from when it flows. I thank the muse that guides me. And this time it guided me to a cracker.

The image is of me writing in one of my favourite spots – beneath a hawthorn tree in the River Windrush valley. I remember this day, it was scorchingly hot but the tree cast cool shade. I was able to fill that little journal in no time, such was the perfect combination of place and mood, and was then able to lie back against the tree and sleep until the afternoon sun subsided.

A Writer's Year by Fennel Hudson, rear cover

The inside rear cover provides a partial snapshot of my writing CV. I made the bold decision to include both the creative and commercial sides to my writing activity. We writers tend to have portfolio careers, so I decided to be open about the ways in which I earn my living. It still amazes me to think that more than thirty million words of mine are out there in print. It sounds a lot, but it's only an average of 5,000 words of final copy per day over twenty years. Most of these were written on behalf of companies and Government, with just a slither bearing my Fennel name, but they all helped to pay the bills. I'm perhaps less keen to say that I probably wrote fifty million words, but then edited out a third of them.

A Writer's Year by Fennel Hudson, inside rear cover

This blog refers to A Writer's Year, Fennels Journal No. 3 by Fennel Hudson. If you like its content, please subscribe to Fennel on Friday where you'll receive either a blog, podcast or video sent via email in time for the weekend.