My last entry was six months ago. My apologies, but I promise you – I’ve been busy!
After the launch of Rosie Goes to War I was thrilled that WH Smith ordered 1,500 copies and friends sent me ‘shelfies’ of my book in airport bookshops. Thank you to everyone spotting Rosie Goes to War at WH Smith airport bookshops. So far, I've been sent pictures of it at Heathrow, Belfast and Luton. If you see it anywhere else, please take a picture and post it here. If you take it on holiday with you, please post a picture. It's been to Mauritius, Menorca and the Cairngorms in the past few months. How far can it go? Let's find out!
So, what else have I been doing? Well, I made a huge decision this year and left my full-time job as a professional fundraiser. I teach Creative Writing part-time and am now devoting the bulk of my time to writing. Leaving the day job coincided with my signing with the Kate Nash Literary Agency. I’m very excited about my future as a writer and looking forward to a long and successful partnership with Kate. At the moment she is looking for the right home for my novel, A Gust of Autumn Wind.
While Kate is working on the sale of my latest book, I’ve been promoting my published books. Since the London Book Fair, I’ve appeared at author events in Chippenham and Calne Libraries in Wiltshire, and at the Rhondda Book Fair in South Wales. I’ll be at Oak Farm Library in Hillingdon on the 11th January 2017.
The past six months has been a time of great change in my life, and at times it was quite terrifying! However, I now have more time to write and have finished the first draft of Rosie’s second time-slip adventure. I’ve also worked on plans for two new romance novels, telling the stories of two characters from Rescue me – Pamela and Lucy. Pamela’s story will also reveal the secret past of Florence, the elderly lady who brought together Laurel and Daniel in Rescue me. I’m really looking forward to writing these stories!
In the meantime, I’m still teaching at Wiltshire College. A new ten-week evening course in Creative Writing starts in January, followed by a ten-week Life Writing course in May. From September, we’ll be adding an afternoon class as well, and I’m also looking at possible venues for other courses. Watch this space for more information.
A new string to my bow is a proofreading and copy-editing service. I’ve been undertaking some freelance work for small publishers and self-publishers, and have joined the Society for Editors and Proofreaders. See the new page on this site for more information.
After so many years of having to fit my writing in around everything else, I can at last enjoy the fact that all of my work is now related to being an author. At the moment that means we’re much poorer than we were a year ago, but the satisfaction I have gained from doing what I love is priceless. I feel rich – and I’ll never take for granted the fact that after decades of dreaming, I can now make a whole new career from writing.
As we say goodbye to 2016 and hello to 2017, my message is: ‘Follow your dreams, let your heart believe, feel your spirit soar, imagine what can be.’
Happy New Year!
Rosie Goes to War on sale at Heathrow Airport, summer 2016.
At Chippenham Library, June 2016.
In July, Rosie Goes to War was featured in The Bookseller