I'm starting a brand new week with a brand new interview! And today, I'm welcoming a multi-published author who celebrated their latest book release just last month!
Check it out..
Expiry Date, the latest in the Ant and Bea Mystery series, was published by Sandstone Press on 18th June.
Ant and Bea are back with their most personal case yet. Bea’s favourite customer, Julie, hasn’t been seen for weeks. Her abusive husband claims she left him but when a corpse is found, it seems to confirm Bea’s worst fears. As Bea investigates, the truth she and Ant uncovers will threaten everything Bea believed about her own family…
Who are you and what do you write?
I’m Rachel Ward and I currently write contemporary crime books at the cosier end of the scale, including the Ant and Bea Mysteries, set in and around a supermarket. The series started with The Cost of Living and Dead Stock, and the third, Expiry Date was published by Sandstone Press on 18th June.
Where and when and how did the writing life begin for you?
I didn’t start writing until my mid-thirties. I used to listen to the afternoon play on Radio 4 when I was driving back from work to collect my kids from school and one day I just sat down and started to write a play. It was pretty bad and was rejected, but by then I was hooked. I tried writing short stories, and novels four younger children and got my first publishing deal for a book for young adults, Numbers.
How has the journey to this point been? Can you give us a basic rundown?
I had 5 books for young adults published by Chicken House. The first three in particular did really well and took me all over Europe and to all sorts of festivals and events. During this time, though, my husband’s health deteriorated to the point where he needed a heart transplant. I couldn’t go out and promote my books and things were very uncertain. My young adult books are very dark. I started writing an adult book, which was lighter and even funny, and sent it to my husband chapter by chapter, at home and then in hospital, and that turned into my first cosy crime book, The Cost of Living. This started me in a new direction, which I’ve followed since.
What's been the hardest part of your writing/publishing experience so far? And the most enjoyable?
It’s difficult keeping going. Even after being published, I’ve had a few rejections, my sales haven’t always been what I would have liked, I’ve had ideas that I haven’t been able to translate into a sellable manuscript. You have to be really tough and patient to be a writer and keep believing in yourself. There are too many enjoyable things to list. Nothing can match the thrill of holding a new book in your hands or seeing it in a bookshop. Getting feedback from readers has been a wonderful thing. It’s also meant a lot to me that my parents are proud of what I’ve done.
Would you go back and change anything?
I think perhaps I would have diversified earlier, and written books for different aged children, tried adult books earlier, etc. It’s probably a mistake to have all your eggs in one basket if you want to sustain a career in writing.
Where would you like to be in 5 years time? And 10? Or, what are your plans for the future?
Well, my husband’s illness and ongoing recovery have taught me not to look too far ahead, so I can’t really answer that. I would like to think I’ll still be writing and being published, but life has a way of surprising you (in good ways and bad), so who knows?
What's one piece of advice you'd give to new writers just starting out?
You’ve got to enjoy the writing itself. It takes a long time to write a book, and, if it’s published, then there are seemingly endless revisions. If you don’t enjoy the bread and butter, day-to-day work of writing and editing, then it’s going to be pretty grim.
And most importantly...
Ketchup or Mayo? Ketchup.
Night or Day? Day (early morning).
Inside or Outside? Both.
Dogs or Cats? Both – I have two doggies who I adore despite everything, but I’m also a little obsessed with my daughter’s three cats.
Twitter or Facebook? Both. I struggle with Instagram, but love posting daily photographs on Twitter (@RachelWardbooks), where I host a fortnightly #cosycrimeclub in which we discuss our favourite reads.
e-book or Paperback? Both.
Sun or Rain? Can I have both and make a rainbow, please?
Keyboard or Pencil & Notebook? Keyboard.
Comedy or Drama? Both!
Chips or Chocolate? Yes, please.
Want to guest blog or be interviewed? Got a cover reveal or book coming out?
Get in touch today!