I am a life long reader of books, and a writer. The thought of going anywhere without a book, or a notepad and pen is intolerable. Any spare moments I have involve reading, writing or exploring ideas. As a writer, I have made every ‘mistake’ a new writer can make at some point in my literary life, including, but not limited to head-hopping, telling, and starting a story with a dark, stormy night. (I got told off for these by some stroppy author in a forum that no longer exists. He proclaimed (in a rather weary tone of voice) to have seen these traits in new authors so many times. His ‘advice’ (if you can call it that) was useful but I could have done without the attitude. As an editor, I see those mistakes too but I choose to educate rathan than reprimand. Every writer has to start somewhere and I have never forgotton my first nervewracking experience of sharing my own writing.
Some more interesting facts about me:
- I wrote my first book when I was nine. I was well into Enid Blyton’s St Clare’s and vaguely remember writing a boarding school story (I used to dream of going to St Clare’s).
- I wrote my second book at seventeen. I still have it – three exercise books sellotaped together. It was a story about growing up on a council estate in West London. If I published it now I’d probably get sued as I fell out with a couple of the main characters (as you do).
- I’ve been writing on and off ever since but didn’t complete my first novel draft until I discovered Nanowrimo in 2009
- I grew up on corny scifi: Flash Gordon, Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica (and of course Star wars, but that doesn’t slot into the corny category). I also used to read my brother’s Eagle as I loved Dan Dare.
That’s the history done. For those who want some more, here’s the present:
- I completed my BA Honours in English Literature with creative writing (Open University) in June 2015
- I entered, and was shortlisted, in a popular screenwriting contest in January 2014
- I was given the opportunity to work as a student intern for Hawkins Publishing group (an independent publisher in California) in 2013/14. My husband was most upset to learn we weren’t jetting over there for a year as it was an online placement. I gained a lot of insight into the submission process and had the opportunity to edit three books.
- In July 2015, I finally started editing a novel I wrote in 2009 and have been avoiding ever since. I love editing – I truly do – just not my own. This may not sound like a big achievement if you don’t know me, but for the people who do know me, it’s massive – all their years of nagging me to get it done are finally paying off.
- I’ve helped edit countless novels since June 2014. Some are published, some are still in the pipeline. I have a list somewhere – and if you survived really through all this waffle – well done – I’m impressed. 🙂
- At some point in 2015, I lost about two years of my novel edits in what I refer to as a ‘dropbox disaster.’ I’m pretty sure I didn’t delete two years worth of work, but they’re no longer there. So… guess who’s doing some rewriting in Nanowrimo 2015 (and 2016, possibly, maybe 2017, too)?
- In 2016 I entered the Ink and Insights writing contest (apprentice level), received some fabulous feedback and placed 7th out of 113 entries.
- In 2019/20 I completed my first year of a masters in Creative Writing.
- In 2020 – which has been one kind of a ride for us all – I put my masters on hold and am instead looking at gaining coaching accreditation from Author Accelerator’s training programme, as I seem to coach more than edit these days.