I imagined it wouldn’t be long before I found an agent, got a publishing deal and was on my way to making a living as a creative writer.
Instead, I signed up for a two year foundation art course, got married, had a baby, left my job to be a full-time mum and when my baby was fourteen months old, received a diagnosis of cancer. It was a difficult time, with many longed for changes arriving mixed in with those I had never dreamt of.
It was to be many years before I returned to creative writing. Recovering from illness, going back to work and bringing up our son left me with little energy for writing.
By 2010, however, I found I had more time on my hands and I began to rediscover the joy of creative writing. In 2012, I began travelling to writing conferences and was greatly inspired by all the traditionally published, self published and unpublished writers that I met.
This autumn, I plan to publish the first novel in a crime series, featuring DS Abigail Foulkes, called Hibiscus Fruit. I pitched this novel at Harrogate in 2012 when I had only just begun it, and again at Crimefest and the Festival of Writing in York in 2013. I’ve received encouragement from a number of sources – agents, publishers and the CWA critique service, but had no offers of representation. I’ve since decided to publish my work as an independent author.
This puts pressure on myself in all the right ways – to follow my own creative path to my own timeline, to own and showcase my creative work and to learn all that I can about the entire process of bringing a book to publication.
Thank you for joining me on my creative journey, and thanks for reading.