Everybody has a book in them, or so it's said. But it's something else again getting it onto the page and to a place where it might be shared.

I have been writing since I was a young child. Always, my dream was to see my name on the spine of a book. Books gave me life, a dream to live by. Through their portals I could escape so easily into other worlds. Books also saved my life ... yes, really!

This is the story of my books and my journey as an author, including a very personal view of my journey through Life. I hope it will inspire and give hope to writers and readers young and old.

Getting published can be a waiting game. It's hard .. and getting harder. But then sometimes it can happen in an unexpected way and suddenly, we truly are living our dream. And we realise that it isn't after all the winning that is important, but the journey that is ours along the way.

I would love to hear from anyone who connects with what is written here. A signed copy of any of my books is available. You have only to write and ask:

Monday, 28 March 2011

Getting Published

I took a pause between publications because life got in the way. It can do that sometimes. I had to concentrate for a good few years on surviving. I had neither the time nor the inclination to write. Inspiration went out the window. Sad really, as LIFELINE had taken off in a huge way nationally. It was self-supporting. People were donating. We could have gone for a Lottery grant. And we were on the eve of hosting a national conference including a wide range of top professionals who were giving their time free to run a series of workshops covering different aspects of abuse. I had to give up my baby which I had nurtured in the back room of my home in its infancy ... and I grieved it so, together with a host of different people with whom I had daily contact. I'd run a 24/7 help line from home. I'd become a school counsellor, a consultant, we took referrals from Childline. I was working in prisons, running abuser, victim and survivor groups, running teaching workshops. And still today I wonder what happened, what was the outcome for those who were suicidal, depressed, in danger, abused.

Once you stop writing it's like starting over.

The dynamics have changed. The publishing world has moved on. And you can be left behind. You have to catch up, research, appraise the market place before you can go on. Right now, today, the publishing world is in a state of flux. Libraries are closing around the country. And e-Books are taking over. Whole publishing companies are turning away from the idea of paper books and focusing for the future on e-Books, making everything electronic. Which in turn has an impact on how they publish, how they market, how the author gets her royalties, Public Lending Rights payments from libraries, and everyone else gets their cut.

And you will find that you have changed as a writer.

The words somehow come out different.

My first book, A Crying Game, was published two and a half years after it was written. We'd moved and a reporter from The Times came to interview my then husband, basically wanting to know what it meant to be introducing computers to the Highlands and Islands of Scotland.  He found out I was a writer, then into articles, mainly centred around abuse. But when he discovered I had completed a book and what that book was about, he gave me his publishers, suggesting I liase with them for the future ... and so my first was born ... thank you, George Rosie!

Entering a new field of writing after a break takes courage. It is something different. It happened because one day my mother ran out of words to save my life. And in desperation she shared a secret she had carried for years ... the secret of her wartime romance with a RAF Officer who never came home. For the first time in 50 years she took out the shoebox and shared their hundreds of letters. And I began to research, to track his final fateful journey on a secret operation, flying Mosquito DK292 of 192 Squadron, RAF No 100 Group. 100 Group was part of Bomber Command, a secret group through WWII, hand picked, who flew above the bombers identifying and jamming radar. They also flew in agents, and dropped parcels off to the Resistance. Their work is still under a 100 year rule.

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