In the summer of 2009 I sat and watched my three little monsters playing in the garden. My youngest had just got mobile enough to chase his older siblings around the place and play with them on more equal terms. Me - I was overweight, bored and miserable. I felt I'd lost myself. I was proud of being a mum and wife, but beyond those labels I felt I had no purpose. No identity. Who and what was I?
So I sat at my computer, pulled out an old short story that I'd left in storage and put on some music. Having not written in nearly 20 years, I decided to give it another go.
A six week frenzy of scribbling and typing followed. My husband thought I'd gone mad. Maybe I had a bit. Because once I'd started putting down the words, I just couldn't stop. They poured out of me. At the end of those six weeks I had a 40 000 word rough draft, which I then split in two. By the end of 2009 I had a 100K novel ready to pitch, and nearly as much for a sequel.
At the same time I went on a diet, started a dance class, changed my hairstyle and dyed my hair, and completely changed my wardrobe, from baggy black to tailored reds, blues and greens. Hubs refers to it as my midlife crisis. I call it my epiphany. Because after 40 years I'd found myself and my real passion - writing. Until that point I hadn't realised how much I loved to write, and that it's what had been missing. And I haven't looked back. It took another eighteen months of rejections and rewrites and a change of tack before that first novel got a publishing contract with a small press but I count myself lucky. And now, four and a half years down the line I have five titles out, two contracted, one request on a full and one out on submission. I have two short stories scheduled for release in October and November this year. My only regret is that it took me nearly forty years to figure out what I really wanted to do. >.<
Right now, that debut novel isn't available to buy. My publisher - Lyrical Press Inc - has just been bought by Kensington, and titles have had to be taken down as the transfer occurs. But in the meantime, I'm doing a giveaway at Goodreads for three now rare paperback editions of that novel, and you can enter here.