Thursday 16 July 2020

Celebrating a BIG Milestone

I have some BIG news to celebrate. I hope you don't mind me shouting it from the rooftops but it is a huge milestone in my writing career. 

So what's happened

Well, today I heard from my publisher, Bookouture, that in the year since I published my first psychological thriller, What She Saw, my three thrillers have sold a total of 100K books. Yes, you read it right, a hundred thousand... I can hardly believe it either!

When I gave up writing short stories for the magazines, it was always going to be a risk. I'd had over three hundred stories published over the course of six years and become a regular writer for The People's Friend. It was a nice little earner. Whatever I'd thought, and I really did try, I found I couldn't write stories and novels alongside each other. I didn't have the time, but also, I didn't have enough head space to allow the ever-changing cast of characters that wandered through my short stories to co-exist with the ones in my thrillers - ones whose voices were louder and more insistent. 

So many things were going through my head when I made the decision to swap to novels: What if I couldn't do it? What if no agent or publisher liked what I'd written? What if the magazines no longer wanted my stories if my novels failed and I wanted to go back?

But I wanted the challenge. I needed to prove to myself that I could do it and the only way I could do that was by taking the plunge.

My journey from short story to novel has been documented in this blog, both the ups and downs and the highs and lows... and, yes, there have been many of both! It's been both exciting and terrifying and I couldn't have done it without faith. 

I'll be honest, there have been times when I wanted to give up, such as when the agent who plucked me out of the slush pile dropped me soon after, or when I had my first mean review. There have been great times as well, though: my debut winning the Flash500 Novel Competition for example or when I signed with Bookouture only a week after sending my novel to them. In fact, every time I hold a new novel in my hands for the first time, I want to burst with joy and pride.

This news today is the icing on the cake. When I took my first tentative steps along the novel-writing road, I imagined it would only be friends and family who might want to read my offerings.That a hundred thousand people (most of them strangers) have bought my psychological thrillers is humbling.

Mind you... my mum does have a large bookcase!