Tuesday 26 February 2019

The Day My Life Changed

Today, I watched a group of school children and their parents pass my window on their way to school. Nothing unusual in that, you might think - the half term holidays are, after all, at an end. On any other day, I wouldn't give them a second thought but today... well, today is a milestone. Eight years ago, to the day, I watched a similar group of children walking to school. That day would be the first time in years I would not be getting into my car and driving to my own small primary school to start my day as an English teacher. You see three days earlier, I'd been given the devastating news the school would be closing and we were all to be made redundant.

People often talk about the pivotal moments in their lives and this was mine. My life, as I knew it, was about to change, but I had no way of knowing then how much. I could have stayed in education but (even though I'd been happy at my school) I'd never felt teaching was what I really should be doing. It wasn't a career I chose carefully, rather I fell into it. My mum and sister were both teachers and, in all honesty, I just hadn't come up with a better plan.

It was my chance to try something new... but what?

By chance, my brother had just completed an online creative writing course. He'd enjoyed it and thought I might too. Why didn't I give it a go? I did. I loved it. Then I did a second. A little voice in my head said, this is something you're not bad at. Why not give it a go?

At first my ambitions were small. I wanted to have a story published in a magazine. But when, to my delight, I did, I wasn't satisfied. I'd got the bug. I wanted more. I began to take my writing more seriously. I had more stories published. I had serials published. I wrote a novel... then two more. What had started as a hobby was becoming something else. Without me realising it, I had a new career.

Today, after the schoolchildren had gone past my window, I thought about whether I had any regrets. Whether I missed those days in the classroom. I realised I hadn't missed them at all. Not once in the eight years. And that's because I've been doing something I love.

As May, when the first of my novels will be published, creeps closer, and my excitement mounts, I know that sometimes adversity can bring its own rewards. Misfortune can have a silver lining.

I might complain about the edits, the deadlines, the mind-numbing dullness of reading your manuscript for what feels like the zillionth time, but I wouldn't change it for the world. 

Really. I wouldn't.

Sunday 10 February 2019

So Excited to Reveal the Cover of my Debut!

It feels like I've been waiting so long for this moment... the cover reveal of my debut psychological thriller, What She Saw, which will be published by Bookouture on 1st May in e-book, paperback and audio.

I was first sent the cover (along with the new title) in November. The email from my editor arrived while I was on holiday in La Gomera, sunning myself by the pool. I loved the cover immediately and I had to restrain myself from showing the woman on the sun bed next to me! 

The official cover reveal day was actually over a week ago but it's taken me this long to update my blog as I'm in the thick of edits for book two. But what a day it was! 

At 4.45 pm precisely, Bookouture made the above announcement on Facebook and other social media, and then the fun began. Good wishes, wonderful comments about the cover, shares and re-tweets began and all of these lovely well-wishers needed to be thanked and replied to. Not that I'm complaining - I was truly thankful to know that my cover reveal was being well received.

That wasn't all the good news though, as at the same time as the cover reveal, the e-book of What She Saw was also put on pre-order. So exciting!

Not that I was Amazon rating watching (well only a little) but it was exciting to see my novel race up the charts even though it won't be published until May!

If any of you lovely readers would like to pre-order What She Saw for just 99p (it's a great opportunity as the price will rise on publication) you can follow the links below.

Apple Books: https://apple.co/2t1mQfv 

I'd love to know what you think of the cover and tagline. Just leave a comment in the box below.