I’m a writer. I say that with a little battered pride. Perhaps my experience will help you.
One way or another, I have always written. I had my first short story rejected when I was around 14. Subsequently, like every adolescent, I wrote adolescent poetry. However, I didn’t become a professional author. I pursued a varied career in biological research, followed by journalism (the last profession of the gentleman), publishing, and then international aid. Since then, I have published six non-fiction books about aid. At the back of my mind was the idea that I would one day devote myself to writing fiction, full time. I’ve been moving towards that goal for the last five years.
Like all apprenticeships, it’s been a bruising and beautiful experience. My third novel, and the first I believe to be commercial for an unknown author, is A Prize of Sovereigns, was serialised by an online publisher. It’s a “historical mashup” dealing with love, war, revolt, intrigue and betrayal in Medieval Europe. My fifth novel, The Tears of Boabdil, won the Beemgee prize for its outline and a year’s mentoring from Cinnamon Press. I have also had short stories published in Gold Dust, Structo and other magazines.
There’s nothing in the accounts of authors who’ve made it, that tell you how to do this. Why did they make it, when I haven’t? Is it just that they’re better than me? Or more persistent? Or just luckier? By writing this blog as I try to follow in their footsteps, my hope is that it may offer some comfort and some insight to others on the same journey.
You can accompany me, watch me trip, develop and reject strategies, and perhaps watch me succeed.