This week we have romantic suspense author, Carol Warham, popping in to tell us how she became a published author. Over to you, Carol!
As with so many authors, I have written since I was a child. I started by creating small comics for friends to read.
During my school years, I dreamed of being a journalist and did achieve my ambition, but I soon discovered this was not the sort of writing I wanted to do.
Writing was inevitably put on hold while family, children, work and business took precedence. However a few years ago I was lucky enough to be able to retire early and I started to write again. I had a few short stories published and the occasional article about a holiday but like many writers I really wanted to write a novel.
I managed to make this very difficult for myself! While on holiday in Florida, we visited the Disney modelled town of Celebration. I was inspired to write about a similar town, but wanted to call it Resolution and decided the story would take place around New Year. I was thrilled with my idea and started to write as soon as I got home.
Three drafts and three years later it was clear the story was not working. I couldn’t understand what was going wrong and I knew I needed help. Fortunately I had writer friends who were honest and said I’d put Yorkshire people in America. One friend came straight out and told me I needed to bring the plot closer to home.
I really struggled against this. I was convinced this was not the answer. How could I bring it home to Yorkshire? Yorkshire towns just were not given names like Resolution. Eventually I conceded defeat. I changed the name of the town and called the hotel which featured prominently to Resolution Hotel.
This was the best thing I could have done. I submitted the (eventually) finished novel to four publishers. Three of the four were interested and I decided to sign with Tirgearr Publishing in Dublin.
The local papers were interested and wrote features on me and the novel, as it was now based in the Holme Valley ( the town was Holmfirth but given another name). The libraries were very supportive, inviting me to give talks and onto their radio programmes for the visually impaired.
I learnt a lot about the craft of writing from this, and I am so grateful to those friends and readers who were honest with me and willing to give advice and support. They were proved to be right, without them this book would probably never have been published.
Congratulations on getting your book published, Carol. And for persevering, being adaptable and listening to constructive feedback. All very important traits for an author. 🙂
Here’s Carol’s book, which was granted a ‘Chill with a Book Reader’s Award’.
Writing has been her love since childhood. She started by making small comics for her dolls, progressed to training as a journalist for a short while. Once the family had grown up Carol settled down to writing and published short stories, poems and holiday articles.
In recent years she has become a judge in the short story section for the HysteriaUK competition and also for the RNA’s romance novel of the year. She is also very involved in volunteering for the Huddersfield Literature Festival each year, and is a member of the Promoting Yorkshire Authors group.
Carol lives in Yorkshire, surrounded by some beautiful countryside, which is ideal for her other passion of walking, often with a dog called Sam. This lovely area is the location for her first novel, Resolutions.
Check in next week to read another ‘path to publication’ journey.
And if you want to read about my writing journey, I’ve talking about it over on Tom William’s blog here.