This is the first post for my blog, which seems apt, coming as it does in a hectic year of firsts: my first ever book published by Bookouture last Spring, my first Christmas book published last Autumn and, next month, my first trilogy will be complete with the publication of Annie’s Summer By The Sea.
It’s been a crazy, rollercoaster 12 months which have taught me a lot about the book world, and about myself. There’s nothing like reading first reviews through your fingers, or 2am editing when a deadline’s looming, for stripping off the layers and showing what you’re made of – which all too often in my case, appears to be hyper-excitement laced with doubt.
But, taking a measured look back, here are five things I’ve realised over the last year:
- Writing fast is a skill that can be learned. Before I had deadlines to meet, I faffed about and gave up when the words didn’t flow. Now, I push on through – fuelled by copious quantities of crisps – and it works. So the words aren’t great? I can go back and polish them later.
- Being published is wonderful, and utterly terrifying. Rather than enjoying the moment when book 1, Annie’s Holiday By The Sea, came out, I was a nervous wreck. But the fear is lessening a little with every novel – and by the time it comes to book 50, I’ll be positively serene.
- Sometimes, when words are hard to find or a tricky plot issue seems unfixable, it’s easy to forget just how fortunate I am to be doing a job I love. When that happens, I think back to the years spent trying to get published, and thank my lucky stars for the opportunity I’ve been given.
- Social media is an art form I have yet to master. Enough said.
- The book-loving community is huge and fabulous. During the last year, other authors have been generous with their support, bloggers have taken the time to post lovely reviews, Team Bookouture have been incredible, and messages from readers who’ve enjoyed Annie’s adventures have regularly made my day. I truly appreciate it.
Overall, the first year of being published has been wonderful and I’m looking forward to what the next 12 months will bring.