Almost since I learned my ABC in a sandbox, I realised that writing was a wonderful gift. To keep in touch, to describe a well-loved face, to tell a story..
I have been a writer since I was a little girl. I feel I became an author when I finished my first novel, and a Published Author when I had my first novel published. A lot of years came between each promotion.
One of the reasons for the delay between ‘author’ and ‘Published Author’ was fear: would people enjoy my book, would my friends be embarrassed to know me, would my mother like my book…little things like that. Overcoming these negative feelings, was not a matter of learning not to care about them: I still hope people will enjoy my book, I still care what my friends think, I wish I knew what my mother thought of the two novels I had published before she died. It was too late for my mother. She was ill and found reading too difficult, but she did seem pleased that I’d achieved something.
The secret to taking the leap of faith between the plateau of having written several books and the dizzy heights of becoming a Published Author, was Writing Groups. In particular The Edinburgh Writers’ Club and the smaller, more intimate PenPals group my writer friends and I formed. Letting others read my work, reading it aloud to them, entering competitions, winning competitions, losing competitions, learning to take advice and criticism on the chin and use it to improve my writing. These are the sort of things that built my confidence, giving me permission to believe that my work was worth reading, that, not only was I a writer…but I could write…I mean really write.
So my debut novel, ‘Family Matters’ was published first in paperback:
And now as an ebook
When that went down well with my readers: friends, family and people I’ve never even met, I was encouraged to publish a second book, ‘Making It Home’,
again, first in paperback:
and now as an ebook:
Wow! How did that happen? How did the trembling little girl standing in front of the whole school to receive her essay prizes become this, still-trembling, older lady with two novels published and available internationally? The answer? Other writers. I have received so much encouragement and inspiration from writing buddies home and abroad and I salute them all. Thank You!