The Joy of Writing

I accept that writing can be a difficult process. At the start of my career when a book was rejected I would deal with drying my tears, put on a pot of coffee, and stoutly concentrate on writing another book, taking any criticisms into account. Persistence, patience and practise are three essentials. I have no problem finding time to write, spending hours each day, being a full time job. In the past when I was running a business, I would write in whatever spare moments I could find, even behind the counter while waiting for customers, or late at night. I did my first five novels that way. Then and now, I’m forever thinking about a possible story and make sure that I know what I wish to write before sitting down at the computer. I’ve such a long list of ideas, I may not live long enough to write them all. But then I don’t write as fast as I used to. Such is the reality of age and being much more fussy.

Now, despite having written 49 books, including historical romantic fiction and biographical historicals, as well as more sagas, I thankfully became a Sunday Times Bestselling author. But panic can still sneak in on occasions, warning me that what I’m writing could be complete rubbish. When I feel this, I remind myself that it doesn’t have to be perfect in the first draft, as I will edit it later. Once the foundation is built and I know where I’m going, I sprint to the finish, or almost. I love to reach the end, although the final chapter might be a bit rough at that stage, then I go back and revise the whole thing, a notebook beside me to keep track of loose ends that need tying up, details to check, and so on. Scenes may get rewritten or moved, and I go over the book as many times as is necessary, till it is as polished and perfect as I can make it. This is a method that works for me. But everyone has their own system. And the more I keep faith in the story, the more I come to love it.

I was fortunate back in 2010 to get the rights of many of my backlist reverted from a couple of publishers. Hearing about ebooks in the US I set out to learn how to produce them, finally achieved that and regularly self-published some. Sales began quite slowly, which didn’t trouble me as I was also writing for another publisher. But once Kindles arrived in the UK in Christmas 2011, I must say my sales shot up surprisingly well and I was amazed by my success. As a consequence in 2013, I was contacted by Amazon Lake Union for an interview, then later offered a contract by them. My first book with them, The Amber Keeper, soon sold over a hundred thousand, and has now sold more. Such a thrill! Selling ebooks is now much higher for me than print books. My second book was Forgotten Women, which is also doing well, as well as my third, Girls of the Great War, which I loved writing too.

Cecily in this story about Girls of the Great War had enormous problems with her mother and there was no sign of her father, which was a great worry to her and her sister Merryn. Queenie was a most difficult woman, refusing to speak of him. She also greatly objected to her boy friend and plan not to marry a rich man. Her attitude did not please Cecily at all, particularly as the love of her life was currently involved in the war.