Thank you so much for all your private mail asking where I have been. After a major illness there were some ups and downs in the spring but I’m happy to say I’m much better now and back fulltime scribbling away.
Being ill gave me loads of thinking time and helped me come to some important decisions as to the route my writing career is taking and the publicity angle. Writing full time is a huge endeavour requiring much love and mental discipline. I always found self publicity very difficult until I sat back and analysed what would work for me. I think I floundered finding the right platforms but have come down heavily in favour of WordPress as still the best medium to get my messages across. I shall be offering an expanded blog in the months to come with a ‘writer spotlight’ and a few select reviews on books that are particularly interesting.
Welcome to my new followers. I love having you here on my journey and there’s lots of exciting news to come.
Lot’s of you have asked what led me to become a writer. Well that’s a really hard question. My love of literature was always there even through several career changes but it wasn’t until I got older than I found the bravery to turn to writing full-time. The craving to write is born within you I think – and like an alien creature one day you have to give birth to it. I was a hobbyist for many years, rushing home from work to put pen to paper, doing it late at nights when it was quiet and every spare moment in between. It was a huge huge sacrifice. Many factors led me to submit my first work – one of them a close friend – who pointed out the path of despairing writers who push their work under the bed or into drawers but can never find the courage to be criticized by an editor.
As a joke we devised a competition; did either of us have the guts to take that first step and send something in? We did and I can tell you, it wasn’t instant success. Out there in the writing world there are many things you have to become aware of. The first was this. When you pen a book or story it is like your baby and as a beginning writer you are loath to hack and trim it, even if you know it isn’t quite right. Those first few mistakes were painful as I clung to every word. It was only later when I thought about it, that I realised to succeed meant honing my skills and sacrificing. I sat back and worked hard; went back to uni and took a creative writing course on top of my lit degree, which actually didn’t help much. I think if you are a conscientious reader all the knowledge you need is laid out in front of you with those other spectacular and better writers that are your muses. Sure, you must have a huge vocabulary, but you can work on adding to that and anyway you will have it from all that reading. Grammar, well yes! Of course you edit a large amount of work and your grammar must be good. You can learn this though and there’s many resources around to help you. And remember every publishing house has slightly different grammatical requirements anyway. I found the creative writing degree good, but when it came down to it like any other job it is about experience.
The school of hard knocks was mine. Enviously I watched other writers, tried to emulate, tied myself up in knots. Then I began to apply some rules and they were these. Hone and refine your work, target the publishing house so you send in what they want and then stop looking at your nearest competitor and write as you desire, with your own technique and voice. One day as I did, you will send in your story and it will catch someone’s eye. My friend and I did just this. We found the courage, got knocked back as even the most famous writer will be, but succeeded in the end. Now, I am here and my friend has the wonderful pleasure of writing successful and fabulous mainstream chick lit for a grand publisher.
Not all genres of writings are financially rewarding, few of us will become truly great. However, I have what I always wanted, I work as a full-time writer and it is what I love to do. I write with my own voice and even if it means criticism I am learning all the time and feeling a wonderful sense of achievement over each little thing I do. Writing is the hardest job in the world but the feeling of joy when an editor says ‘we want to accept your story,’ is incredible. It is addictive, I could never stop. I would probably do it for nothing.
Anyway, welcome, welcome to all, I hope you will enjoy my weekly posts. Please follow me here with all my latest news and releases and here and there a competition and free book giveaway. I would love your comments both positive and negative.
I am currently busy beavering away on my successful and slightly controversial third novel ‘Obsession,’ last in ‘The Perfect Slave trilogy.’ With a science fiction submission and romance plus other titbits in the pipeline.
My new M/M novel, ‘Hidden,’ will be out with Xcite/Accent Press Soon.