My first novel, The Undressing of Two Natural Gentlemen, was a comical coming of age tale in which a seventeen-year-old English girl fell in love with a thirty-two-year-old single mother in the South Welsh valleys, in a fictional town called Hywel (pronounced ‘Howl’).
I completed it in September 2013, sent it out to literary agents, and was signed by David Higham Associates. I then worked for several months with my agent, Marigold, before she sent it off to the publishers. The novel was rejected all round, but the feedback made me confident I'd write a second novel at some point, and probably rework this one, too.
publisher feedback for The Undressing
Borough Press, HarperCollins
‘Incredibly enjoyable, with a warm core. Griffiths really has charm in her
writing and an ability to capture the bittersweet comedy of life.’
‘Hwyel is a brilliant setting, I really felt myself to be in this mad little Welsh
village! The author is so good at drawing fun, ‘kooky’ characters, too – Iris is
‘I really liked the humour in this novel, and Gwynedd is a very appealing,
Fourth Estate, HarperCollins
‘I loved the tenderness of the writing, and I really wish I lived in Hwyel!’
‘I found it, by turns, wacky, bizarre and hilarious. It’s very smart and I really enjoyed the biting sardonic wit. Unfortunately though, whilst I really enjoyed reading this book, I feel that it would be a very difficult one to pitch. Its eccentricities are brilliant in places, but at times I also felt that a reader might feel alienated and unsure of what to make of it. So unfortunately I don’t feel moved to pursue it. Thank you for sharing this with me, however, because I did find it great fun to read.’
‘She’s obviously a talent’
Eira Ddor, Gogledd Cymru, by Wynne Jenkins.
When I set about a second novel a year and a half later, I began writing more directly from my life, writing the true story of how I came to find an artistic patron, and how that supposedly old-fashioned relationship has manifested in the modern day. The ever-evolving details seem objectively interesting to those around us, but unfortunately I found that I couldn’t write about life that I was, and still am, in the middle of living. The drafted chapters are in a drawer for the moment.
I spent much of 2016 drafting material based on my much earlier years, and am just now realising it might be the second novel after all, so watch this space.