A lot of people ask me about my journey to publication. Although my debut novel THE SILENT HOURS was my first full length novel it certainly wasn’t my first attempt at writing. So what led to that phonecall from my agent telling me my first novel would be published? Reflecting on this question I believe 3 things really helped me:
Reviewing books for the women’s fiction website Novelicious (www.novelicious.com
) helped me immeasurably and I didn’t even realise it at the time. I reviewed books for ‘Alternative Thursday’ which meant I essentially had carte blanche to review a whole range of books from different genres. I learnt so many lessons in writing from studying how writers managed (or failed) to pull me into their books. I learnt about gorgeous characterisation from Claire King, how to get people to turn the page from C L Taylor and how to write beautiful descriptive passages without boring the reader from Hannah Richell.
For me short stories made an enormous difference. They allowed me to experiment with my own style of writing and take risks. They were also a great break from the full length novel and a chance to write something new. Better than that you can enter them into lots of competitions and a short story I entered into the annual Woman and Home Competition made the shortlist and prompted me to go on and write THE SILENT HOURS
GETTING AN AGENT
It is a reasonably lonely world when you’re writing and rejections come all the time. You didn’t win that short story competition, you are not the under 21 year old that has signed a 6 figure deal etc An agent is another person on your team. They believe in you and your writing and they take you seriously when you tell them you want to make writing a career. Clare Wallace at Darley Anderson (www.darleyanderson.com
) was that person for me and she gave me the confidence to keep editing, working on a manuscript until it was ready to send out into the world.
And then that phone call did come. “Cesca – we have news