Author of the Month
Author of the Month!
1.) What made you want to be an author?
I have always enjoyed writing, whether it was a long letter to a friend or a story for English homework. I also loved to read. I think it was the combination of both that ignited a burning desire to see my name on the cover of a book. I had the naive belief that having a book published would be like leaving a gift for future generations.
2.) Who are your mentors and help pace your writing career?
Initially, I had no mentors or help. I have never attended a writing course, taken a qualification in creative writing and I don’t have a background in journalism. I had never met an author and had little presence on social media. However, I wanted to write a book and was determined to give it a go. I wrote the sort of book I would like to read and when it was completed I was very proud of my creation. Then my writing journey came to a shuddering halt. No one wanted it.
I now know that I did not present it well or pitch it right. I learnt a lot from my mistakes, but I was still determined. I took what I learnt and continued to write, telling no one except my immediate family. A sample of my writing was shortlisted for the New Talent Award at the Festival of Romantic Fiction in England. It was at this ceremony that I heard about the Romantic Novelists’ Association and their New Writers Scheme. I joined and submitted one of my manuscripts for their assessment. While I waited for feedback I attended a lot of the RNA’s meetings and made many new friends who were either authors or aspiring writers. I learnt a lot from my peers and began to understand the book industry from the inside. The feedback from the NWS was wonderful and I was urged to submit it to publishers. This time I was more prepared and was successful with my submission.
Two agents and a publisher asked for the full manuscript. I signed with the publisher, Choc Lit, who released The Thief’s Daughter on the 3rd January, 2017. Six weeks later I signed a three book deal for all my manuscripts. Now, I feel I have a lot of friends who are my mentors and my publisher is pacing my writing career. I feel very lucky. A successful author is a stubborn writer who did not give up and I think this saying sums me up very well.
3) How many books do you have released and what are their links?
The Thief’s Daughter
(The Thief’s Daughter is the first of a Cornish based series.)
4) What is your favorite genre to write in?
I write historical fiction with a strong romantic element. If it was going to be categorized, it would be called historical romance, however, unlike some historical romances, mine include the harsh realities of the time period and encompasses all classes. The characters’ journeys are, at times, bumpy. Good and bad things happen to them, but at the core is a powerful love story, made all the more poignant due to the hurdles the main characters have to surmount.
5) Tell us about yourself?
I live in Cornwall, where The Thief’s Daughter is based. I grew up on a farm, surrounded by chickens, cows, dogs and lambs. I trained as a nurse and worked in an Intensive Care Unit, a Minor Injury Unit and later as a Health Visitor. After 25 years I changed profession where I finally found the time to write. I married my teenage sweetheart and have two grown up children, who are wiser, more sensible and better looking than me.
6) What is the biggest battle you face as an author?
I am not good at spelling.
7) Are you an Indie author or with a publishing house? To you, what are the biggest perks and downfalls?
I am with a publishing house. The biggest benefit is having the editing support and the responsibility for the formatting and book cover undertaken by someone else.
8) Do you see yourself writing long term and in other genres?
I would like to write long term. I think it would be nice to one day write some dark, contemporary fiction. However, at the moment, I am very happy with what I am doing.
9) What do you want the reading world to know the most about you?
I used to think authors were rich and intelligent, with an aura of celebrity and creativity about them. I thought they were detached from their books once they were published and had long moved on to their next project. I used to think I had nothing in common with them, as they lived in a different world to me.
I would like readers to know that behind The Thief’s Daughter there is an ordinary person, who came to writing late in life. I am someone’s mother, someone’s daughter, someone’s aunt. I put out the rubbish, I worry about whether my Christmas dinner will be cooked or if I am putting on weight. I am not detached from my books and will always care about what readers think of them. I am no one special. I am just like you.
10) Have you received any awards with your writing as of yet?
Nominated for the RONÉ “Best Indie or Small Published book of 2013” Award,
Nominated for the RONÉ “Best Indie or Small Published book of 2014” Award,
New Talent Award at the Festival of Romantic Fiction, 2014, England
11) Do you plan on entering Nano-writing month in November? When you do will you let Book Review Cafe review it before you?
I have no plans to enter Nano-writing month in November, although I know many friends who do.
12) What are your hobbies?
I enjoy walking my dog, reading and going to the theatre. I love musicals. They are my guilty pleasure.
13) If there is anything we’ve not ask you and you want the reading and writing world to know, please tell us.
There are a lot of unsung heroes and heroines in the book world. The vast majority do it voluntarily, simply because they have a passion for books. They range from bloggers, book reviewers, reading panels, people who run support groups online and offline, through to readers who take a moment out of their busy lives to post a review online. I would like to thank you all for your time, help and support. You make the book world a hive of activity, where friends are made, new books shared and new authors discovered and supported. The time you put in is so often taken for granted and I just want you to know that I appreciate it and so do many of my friends who are authors too.
At the Book Review Cafe, we strive to help you get noticed, and we are delighted to name you author of the month for April!
The Review Team
Book Review Cafe