Am I a writer? A proper writer?
I was first taken on by a literary agent in 2008. I have been a ‘published’ writer since 2009, with four novellas that have also gone into Large Print. I have been on the Romantic Novelists' Association (RNA) committee for the last two years. But I have to admit that I’ve only started to feel like a real writer over the last few months. Why? Because I suddenly have two full length novels out in paperback. And to someone of my generation that’s what a real book is – paper and ink that you can hold, with a proper cover and blurb and dedication.
I suddenly feel I can tell people I’m a writer, because my stories are no longer just in magazines or in Large Print in the libraries (not that I don’t appreciate having my books in the libraries – PLR is very welcome!). Now I can show friends the actual books. I can put cover photos on Facebook (or here). I can point people to where they can buy both the real book and the no-less-real (I suppose) e-book.
I can offer to give talks in schools and to book groups. I can go along to book festivals and feel like more than an aspiring writer. Why does it feel so different? Why is it so much easier to take myself seriously as a writer? It’s not that I’m making much money (yet ...). I think it’s that someone, somewhere is taking me seriously – and I need that final validation to take myself seriously as well.
So many thanks to fellow members of Paisley Piranha (https://sites.google.com/site/paisleypiranha/), the collective with whom I published my Young Adult novel Music and Lies in March. And many many thanks to the lovely Accent Press (https://www.accentpress.co.uk/) who have just brought out the first of my women's contemporary novels, Sunshine Through The Rain, in April. They are bringing out the second, The Lost Woman, in July.
I know I’ve got a long way to go, and will probably (definitely) never be a famous a name. But I am a real, published writer. And that makes me happy.