It’s been a while since I updated my blog, but I thought now would be an appropriate time to let you all know what I’ve been up to. 2016 is turning out to be quite a year, not least because at long last I’ve taken the decision to become a full time writer.
For those who have followed my writing career, you’ll know that publishing books wasn’t something I ever planned on doing. My first ever job was in local government, in waste of all things, and I’ve remained in the sector for a staggering thirty one years. I would probably have spent many more years ‘in waste’, if I hadn’t had my head turned by a completely different kind of career.
Although I landed my first book deal in 2011, I didn’t let my early success go to my head. I took the safe option and kept the day job, so for the last five years I’ve had to squeeze my writing into every spare minute. I’ve worked through most weekends, birthdays, and even Christmas Days, although I’m not complaining, how can I when it’s something that I love doing? There are so many aspiring writers out there who are working hard to get their first book published, and I never take it for granted how lucky I am to have six books published already and my seventh due out in January 2017.
To top it all, I’ve recently signed another book deal for four more books, writing two a year, and so it was inevitable that something had to give – and it wasn’t going to be my writing. Walking away from the day job was a huge decision to take, but I’m looking forward to being able to write full time, and who knows, I might even try to remind myself what it’s like to take time off?
I couldn’t have got this far without my wonderful agent, editor and publisher, not to mention all those readers who have read my books. I’m especially grateful to those who might have recommended my novels to someone else, or took the time to leave a review or send a comment; you have no idea how much reassurance it gives me that I’ve taken the right decision.
Doing this means so much to me for reasons I can’t even begin to express, but I’m going to try.
I’ll be finishing work in mid-November, which is shortly before the tenth anniversary of losing my son. I remember so vividly those early days of utter devastation and hopelessness. After spending months at his bedside, watching on helplessly as my little boy was destroyed by cancer, I had to leave the hospital without him, while the memories of that time will live with me forever. Ten years ago, I honestly didn’t think I could survive that kind of pain, I didn’t think I wanted to. But I carried on for the sake of my daughter and when I turned to writing to deal my grief, I would never have believed that it would eventually develop into something that could actually bring joy into my life.
It was part of the legacy Nathan left behind, and I give him full credit for my writing career. My achievements have been a direct result of his life, his influence, and his inspiration. He continues to change my family’s life in ways I could never have imagined and my decision to give up work is only one example. What an amazing little boy I was so blessed to have in my life.
Wish me luck!