*Archive Post from March 23rd 2015*
If you’ve been anywhere near my Twitters in the last few days, you may have seen me going a bit crazy with a certain piece of news.
I have a book deal. A two-book deal. With HarperCollins. On their Borough Press imprint. Holy cow. Here is the announcement in The Bookseller. Anyone who knows me knows I’ve always wanted to be a writer, so really this is a big giant cliched dream come true. I genuinely couldn’t be happier.
Here is a little about the book – The Wolf Road, is set in a remote area of the Pacific Northwest, a land ravaged by an unnamed disaster, where a young girl, Elka, is being brought up by a taciturn animal trapper. When she discovers the dark secret he is hiding, she flees to the frozen north to find her true parents.
I wanted to explain my feelings towards this a little. Except for elation and pride, I’m reveling in a quiet contentment. I did my ‘shouting from the rooftops’, I ate all the cake in London, but now I’m hushed and can reflect a little better. One of the most common responses to the news was along the line of ‘that takes a lot of hard work’. This has always stuck out for me. Writing is something I’ve always done and always loved and it’s never felt like work. I’ve never found the physical act of writing to be particularly arduous, plots come and go and evolve, characters grow and warp and become real and the words flow. It was keeping the faith in myself that was difficult.
Over the last three years, I’ve written five novels. Four of them have not been good enough for publication. One has. That’s a simple fact and I don’t dwell on the failures. THE WOLF ROAD is the best book I’ve written so far and I know now that is because I followed my instincts. I let the characters wake up and create themselves, I let the journey run its course, I found the voice. Keeping the faith and trusting those instincts was hard over the years, keeping writing despite the odds and dispiriting statistics, that was hard. I just wanted to write a good book. I wanted my writing to sing for its supper and get fed.
I’ve never seen writing as hard work. I imagine being an Author is hard work, but writing? Not for me. I love it. I have fun doing it. I can’t not do it. What do they say? If you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life. Well, my debut-novelist-naivety is loving its new job.