How does a woman in her seventies achieve publication of her debut novel in the current economic climate? I have done just that by publishing 'A Suitable Young Man' as an ebook on Kindle and as a paperback using Amazon's Createspace.
You can buy it here
So how did I come to be an author?
Well, I've always been a day-dreamer. My ancient school report very often says 'Anne would do so much better if she didn't day-dream so much.' Much of my childhood was spent with my parents in domestic service which can be a solitary life for a child so I made up stories to keep me company, a habit I've never lost. When I was fifteen, I went to work at the local cotton mill where we were then living. Although looking after three looms was hard work, it was repetitive and I was often bored. It was there I started scribbling down my day-dreams on any scrap of paper I could find, often to the detriment of the towels I was supposed to be weaving.
'I'm on the second right, a little to the right of the teacher
During my time in the mill, I trained as a secretary and worked in that occupation for the rest of my working life.
During the 1970s and 1980s, a particularly turbulent time of my life, I wrote three novels, all now gathering dust on the shelf, probably the best place for them. During the 1990s, I wrote some articles, mainly for family history society journals, occasionally for national magazines but when I took early retirement in 1998, I made up my mind I was going to devote more writing. And that is just what I did. At first, I concentrated on writing short stories and entering them in competitions, often winning second or third prizes, though never the first. 'Never the bride' springs to mind.
Then, in 2003, in my copy of Writing Magazine, I spotted an article about a new family history magazine that was being launched and seeking articles. Greatly daring, I sent an email query to the then editor. Much to my surprise, he replied and said would I be able to contribute a case study of some family history research I'd done. You would think I would have leapt at the chance but I didn't, I dithered, uncertain whether I could do it. I did though and was launched into a second career as a writer.
Since that first article, I've written numerous articles for Your Family Tree magazine. Still do, in fact, although I did have a gap of a few years when I concentrated on writing my novel.
Go to Part 2 here.