Ten Years A Writer
It’s official! I’ve now been a published writer for ten years. Yes, it was in early December of 2009 that my debut book, Change of Life was first published.
It was a surreal, exciting and utterly terrifying experience. I had no idea what to expect, no idea if my book would sell and no idea how to make potential readers aware of its existence.
I had no online experience other than using email, but I quickly discovered I’d have to up my game in that respect. If I wanted to get the word out there that my book existed, I was going to have to wise up and get acquainted with social media.
Ten Years A Blogger
So it’s also nearly ten years since I started this blog.
This was my first post:
A small miracle happened to me recently. I held my book – the book that I’ve been working on for several years – in my hand for the first time. A long gestation, a sometimes painful labour and at last it was delivered. It was an overwhelming feeling, looking at this thing I had created, to run my fingers over its cover, to flick through its pages, to read my words on those pages. It was the realisation of my longest held and most fervent ambition. My maternal grandmother, herself a writer, and heroine of my childhood set me on the writing path and it’s been a lifelong, life-saving occupation for me. But for so many years it had to take a back seat. It had to be fitted in around family and working life – and it often got squeezed out. That all changed at the end/beginning of the millennium, after I got the ultimate wake-up call – i.e. intimations of my mortality in the shape of a cancer diagnosis. It was brought home to me that tomorrow doesn’t always come and the procrastinating had to stop. I promised the fates that if I survived the cancer I’d get down to some serious writing.
I beat the ovarian cancer and so had to keep my side of the deal. Writing still had to fit around work and family – but it was no longer squeezed out – priorities were reordered and the hard work began.
And now it’s here – my wonderful, beautiful first novel is here. It’s fully formed and it has gone off into the world on its own. It will now have to jostle for readers, for its place on the bookshelf – and I can only watch and support at a distance. I love my book and I want others to love it too. I’m thrilled, exhilarated and absolutely bloody terrified. I’ve never felt so proud and I’ve never felt so vulnerable.
So there you have it. Of course there’s more to the journey, more to the story than that and I hope to share more bits of it with you as I blog. I’m at the beginning of a whole new adventure and it’ll be good to have you along for the ride.
There was no accompanying picture of the book cover, no buying links, and no mention of the book title or its content.
But over time I did get better at the whole blog post thing. The blog has been through several changes and upgrades and is now part of my main website. It has over 600 followers in its own right, as well as many more via Twitter and Facebook – yes, I joined them too.
Ten Successful Years
It’s been an amazing decade. I took early retirement from my work as a primary school teacher and writing is now my full-time job. I’ve now published four books with a fifth one due out early next year.
As time’s gone on I love writing more and more. I love the storytelling and the characters I write about, and I can’t imagine ever retiring. You’ve been warned!
In the last decade I’ve learned so much more about the art and craft of writing. I’ve learned how to talk about and share my writing – both in the real world and the online one. And I’ve gathered such a lovely and loyal readership.
And I’d like to thank any you who are reading this and are also part of that lovely and loyal band. Thank you for your support, encouragement and most especially for those precious, priceless reviews you’ve taken the trouble to write and post – whether on an online bookselling site or on your book blog. Reviews really do help sales and I’m very grateful.
So, as I say, no plans to stop writing. The new book, which is called Fulfilment and is the third and final part in the Jack & Rachel Skye series ( which consists so far of Displacement and Settlement) is due to be published in early 2020. Watch out for more information on this soon. And, after Fulfilment‘s safely out in the world, I have lots of ideas to explore for my next novels.
I’ll be sticking with contemporary romance. I’m not sure whether to write a standalone story or to begin a new series set in the south of Scotland. If I go for a series it would focus on a community and each book would tell the romantic story of a particular pair of characters from that community. I need to think some more about that. And, if you’re a reader of my books, I’d be interested to hear your preferences.
But whatever I decide, it’s an exciting prospect to be starting on something new as the next decade begins. Here’s to 2020 and beyond!
Thanks for being with me on my incredible journey.
PS: you can find out more about my books and where to buy them by clicking on the cover photos – either in the sidebar or at the foot of this post – depending on the type of device on which you’re reading this. Or simply go to the ‘My Books’ page here on the website. You see I have learned a thing or to about marketing 🙂