In an earlier post for Oapschat I described how, for me, life really did begin at 55 when I realised my dream of becoming a published author. I could not have succeeded without the help and support of my three best friends –Adrienne Vaughan, June Kearns and Mags Cullingford. Together, in July 2012, we formed The New Romantics 4 and chose as our theme song: SISTERS ARE DOING IT FOR THEMSELVES and went on to become indie authors.
Here's a little bit about us and our writing success – we went out there and MADE it happen. If you have a dream, perhaps you can form a band of supporters who will help YOU make your dream come true? Go for it.
Two years ago I uploaded Tall, Dark and Kilted on Create Space and tentatively pressed the 'GO' button. That kick-started my adventure as an indie author and it's been a whirlwind ride. I now have two books available on amazon, a raft of reviews, thriving social networking presence and a growing number of readers. It's been hard work but I've done it and I'm proud to have travelled the road with my fellow New Romantics: June, Adrienne and Mags. What does the future hold for me? Hopefully a new novel published early 2015 and one a year after that. I have also bought a second hand caravan so that I can go away for long periods of time with my husband and our parrot and get down to writing, without distractions. As I have said on my blog – Life is not a rehearsal, if you have a dream go for it. That's what I've done.
Without Adrienne, June and Lizzie, my debut novel, Last Bite of the Cherry, was unlikely to have been published in 2012, nor would I be about to bring out my second (eBook and paperback), Twins of a Gazelle. Both have a similar theme – clever woman, emotionally naïve, initially makes disastrous choice of man (men) before meeting 'The One'. Not the conventional Girl-Meets-Boy love stories, so not instantly appealing to agents or publishers, yet my select band of readers seem to have enjoyed Last Bite. Some say they look forward to my next novel. To quote Russell Grandinetti of Amazon, "The only really necessary people in the publishing process now are the writer and the reader" [see The Observer, 17.08.2014]. With 30,000 words of as-yet-untitled novel number three in the bag, I hope he's right.
I'm on the verge of moving house after 30 years and so, for the moment, writing has been put on hold. But I can tell that the other three won't let me off the hook for long! So, where am I now, with my current WIP? My 1930s novel hadn't been going well – piles of clean white paper glaring accusingly whenever I sidled past my desk. Then a plea came, via Twitter, for 60's memorabilia, and as I rummaged through bits and bobs – match-book covers from jazz clubs, Biba receipts, photos – BINGO! I had one of those EUREKA moments, (the sort that usually strike in the middle of the night, only to be forgotten the next morning!) This, I thought, is what I should be writing about. The Sixties! So, in the next 6 months, I hope to be well on the way to completing a first draft of said novel – 60s London setting, photographer hero – while still keeping abreast of all strands of social networking (gulp) – because failure to do these things will result in being beaten with a big stick by Lizzie.
I recently rediscovered my 'long lost novel' aka first attempt at writing a romance, and was horrified to find I first typed 'The End' nearly 30 years ago! It wasn't until I hooked up with Lizzie, June and Mags that this long ago dream finally came true. With two books published, The Hollow Heart and A Change of Heart, and the final in the trilogy, Secrets of the Heart now with a proof reader and scheduled to be published in November, I'm well underway to achieving the first stage of my dream. But we can't let the grass grow under our feet. So - this summer, Lizzie and I crossed the hallowed portal of Waterstones, High Street Kensington, London and persuaded the lovely manager Michael Korel to host an Author Event for the New Romantics 4. That will be the icing on my birthday cake in November 2014 - three books under my belt in two years and a launch in a landmark London book store with fizz and canapés.
Who knows what 2015 will hold for us?
Thank you for letting us share our journey so far with you.
Lizzie, Adrienne, June and Mags
Check out www.newromantics4.com if you want to learn more about us and our books