I’m not like most writers I know. I never dreamt of becoming a writer- or at least not until a year or two before I actually became one.
I started writing when I gave up work to look after my two children. My mother-in- law who used to care for them had just died and I felt I couldn’t put my children back into after school care- particularly when, at that time, I was working with the NHS and the local authorities to create an integrated children’s service.
It didn’t take long however before I became bored. On the spur of the moment I signed up for a long distance, short writing course and to my surprise found that my tutor was very encouraging. Since I mostly read crime at that time, I started writing a crime novel and soon discovered that writing a novel was a different kettle of fish to writing an article and short story. I also knew that the chances of being published were slim to non- existent.
Around that time I heard that Mills and Boon were looking for new authors. I also heard that they read every submission that was sent to them. To be honest I hadn’t read one in years, although my mother was a fan and I remembered reading hers. With the confidence of someone who knew almost nothing about the publishing business, I decided to write one. After all, how hard could it be?
Bloody hard was the answer. I guess I thought it was a little like staring dreamily into the distance (see photo for one of my thinking spots) imagining a story, rattling it out and then sitting back and waiting for the plaudits- and the money – to pour in.
I was pretty proud of my first attempt. It was set on the island where my parents were born and raised, it had a two doctors, and another potential love interest, lots of lovely scenery, an exciting medical scene or two, a couple of great secondary characters, what was there not to love?
Fulling expecting an editor to phone me up and sign me on the spot, I waited. And waited.
Now I have to go and make dinner and I still have a thousand words to write tonight so you’ll have to wait until tomorrow for the next installment. Bet you can hardly wait? Oh and did you spot the fatal error in my first submission?