A CARE home resident who decided she was going to write a novel during lockdown has now published the finished article.

Linda Bransgrove, a 69-year-old resident at Cheviot Nursing Home in Park Road, Colchester, had set out the plot of her novel – titled The Assassin – in her head before trying to put the words on a page as quickly as she could.

She said: “I knew where the storyline was going – I knew the beginning, the middle, and the end.

“I couldn’t write it fast enough because I knew where I wanted to take it.”

The plot follows Robert, a murder witness; having seen the killing take place, Robert becomes the target for an assassin and has to evade those coming after him.

Unable to handwrite at the time her head was bursting with ideas, however, Ms Bransgrove had to keep the storyline in her head before she enlisted the help of her fellow care home residents who helped her get to grips with a word processor on a computer.

“I had to keep it in my head for a long time – it took quite a lot of perseverance.

“There are a few people who know the ending because they were helping me with the computer.

“We had a lot of trouble with the spell checker because I set it in America, and the UK spell checker was going nuts.

“I’ve never used Word before, so it took me a while to master it, but I can use it more or less now.”

Though there is an undoubted convenience involved in using a word processor for a long piece of writing, that ease of use isn’t for everyone.

One drawback for Ms Bransgrove, for example, involved being unable to scrunch up a physical piece of paper and start over.

She said: “I’m used to using a typewriter and having a physical piece of paper in front of me and tearing it up if I don’t like it; that was one of the things that was difficult – not being as able to get rid of the things I didn’t want.”

Thoughts now turn to a possible sequel.

“The sequel will follow up the family and what happens to them when one of them goes and does something quite dangerous – that’s all I’m going to tell you," she added. 

Copies of the book are on sale for £6 via www.balkernegardens.org.uk/our-resident-author.