I’m always interested in reading about the journeys of other writers.
The writing community is vast, yet strangely close-knit. There’s a lot of support
around for new writers, re-invented writers, or writers changing genres. Most writers are incredibly supportive and encouraging to each other.
‘Never give up is probably the best advice’ I’ve ever received or given, and I’m pleased to see Carol says the same. I’m only too pleased to give Carol a bit of a promotion on my blog, and I hope she sells gazillions of books! Berni x
Please Meet Guest Blogger Carol Hedges
First, I'd like to thank Berni for her generosity in letting me invade her blog site to share some of my writing journey with you.
So. Here we are. It is April 2012. I am waiting for an email from my agent telling me she's read my new novel, liked it, and is sending it straight out to publishers. I check my inbox. There is an email from my agent. She has read my new novel, liked it, but is not sending it out to publishers because nobody is interested in 'mid-list' writers like me any more.
This is the fifth time in as many years that I have been here. Five separate novels have done the rounds and been rejected. Previously, I have had 11 YA crime thrillers published. I have been nominated for many awards - including the Carnegie. I have had stories broadcast on the BBC. I think: I am 61, it is too late to start building my writing career from scratch all over again. I put my head down on the desk, and cry.
Fast forward to August 2012. I have an ebook, Jigsaw Pieces, out on Amazon Kindle. I have a blog. I have a Facebook page. I have a Twitter account. I contribute to an American writing-site. How have I accomplished this in such a short space of time? Pig-headed determination to 'beat' the system, a lot of very hard work, and the support and friendship of the online writing community.
Jigsaw Pieces is an ebook rewrite of a novel published by OUP in 1998. Based on my experiences as a teacher, and my love of World War 1 poetry, it is a coming of age story about 18-year-old Norwegian student Annie Skaerstad. Like all my heroines, Annie is strong minded, feisty and a trenchant observer of life around her.
The book touches, in part, upon some difficult areas – teenage suicide and the exploitation of vulnerable young people. I decided to revisit the plot in the light of the various cases that have been in the press recently. And I wanted to write more about Annie, a teenage mix of Sarah Lund and Lizbeth Salander. She narrates the story, and her wonderfully wry personality stops it from being a totally tragic read.
The response to the ebook has been brilliant: I already have a 5 star review on Goodreads. Right now, I'm working on my next ebook, a 'Victorian-lite' crime thriller called Diamond Girl, which will be available to download in the Autumn. My advice? Never, ever give up on yourself. I am living proof, that even in the latter stages of decrepitude (sic), marvellous things can still happen.
www.Facebook Carol Hedges
www. Shewrites.com (American)