I'm thrilled to welcome a multi-published author to the blog today to talk about their journey to publication.
Here we go...
Amanda James has written since she was a child, but never imagined that her words would be published. Then in 2010, after many twists and turns, the dream of becoming a writer came true.
Amanda has written many short stories and has thirteen novels currently published. Her time travelling debut, A Stitch in Time, was published in April of 2013 and has met with great success.
Amanda lives in Cornwall and is inspired every day by the wild and beautiful coastline near her home. She has many suspense/mystery novels set there. Somewhere Beyond the Sea, Summer in Tintagel, Behind the Lie, Another Mother, Deep Water, The Cornish Retribution, The Feud and Dark Deception. Amanda has two women's fiction books. The Calico Cat, a family drama/coming-of-age, and The Cornish Connection, cosy crime with a psychic twist.
Amanda can usually be found playing on the beach with her family, or walking the cliff paths planning her next book.
Some important facts about Amanda...
Ketchup or Mayo? - Mayo
Night or Day? - Day
Inside or Outside? - Outside
Dogs or Cats? - Cats
Twitter or Facebook? - Facebook
Ebook or Paperback? - Paperback
Sun or Rain? - Sun
Keyboard or Pencil & Notebook? - Keyboard
Comedy or Drama? - Drama
Chips or Chocolate? - Chips
Where extraordinary things happen...you'll find Nancy Cornish
Nancy and Charlie Cornish are happily married and live in Padstow, Cornwall. Nancy works in The Whistling Kettle Cafe and Charlie is a DS in the Truro police. Charlie's a down to earth Cornishman, while Nancy, seemingly an ordinary member of her community, has an extraordinary gift. She is able to make psychic connections with those who have passed, and objects belonging to those still living.
Charlie mostly tries to ignore that aspect of his wife's personality, he can’t abide all that ‘mumbo jumbo’ as he calls it. Then, out of the blue, Nancy leaves her job and decides her mission in life is to use her gift to help others. This is not what Charlie signed up for, and he lets Nancy know about his feelings in no uncertain terms. That is, until he realises she might be a very useful detective...
Helping Charlie find a missing teenager boosts Nancy’s confidence, and makes her determined to continue her work. People come to see her because they want her to find a long-lost friend or relative, an object that is dear to them, or a pet who’s gone missing. Helping people find happiness is Nancy’s main aim. Charlie, however, wants her to help him solve crimes.
Will the couple find some common ground? Or will their connection be broken?
The Cornish Connection - a beautifully told, thought-provoking and uplifting story. The perfect feel-good summer read!
Dark Deception (Bloodhound Books November 2019)
The Feud (Bloodhound Books April 2019)
The Cornish Retribution (Bloodhound Books October 2018)
The Calico Cat (Bombshell/Bloodhound Books June 2018)
Rip Current (Bloodhound Books June 2018)
Another Mother (Bloodhound Books April 2018)
Behind the Lie (HQ Digital HarperCollins April 2017)
MY PATH TO PUBLICATION...
I asked my parents for a typewriter as a Christmas present when I was eight, and wrote short stories and poems. This continued into my teens and early twenties. But I wrote just for me, I never took it seriously and I certainly never even considered writing a novel, until I many years later. Well, you don’t, do you? Novel writing was not for people like me. I was just an ordinary working-class girl from Sheffield. But a few friends and family read my stories and thought I had something. In the end I started to believe them, and went for it! What did I have to lose?
My path to publication has been long, windy, bumpy, and at times has almost disappeared over a cliff edge. When I first placed my delicate and naive foot upon it in the early 2000s, I thought all you had to do was think of a great idea for a book, write it, and then it would be snapped up by an agent and sold to a publisher. Then of course the book would be in supermarkets, book shops and later possibly made into a film. Imagine my surprise when my first novel was rejected…and rejected…and yes, you’ve guessed it. These agents were quite correct in their assessment of my offering. It was a mess. The writing style was all over the place and it was clear I had a lot to learn about plotting. However, the idea was a good one and after a significant rewrite, I eventually got it published many years later.
Now, even though those agents were right, they aren’t always. Nor are publishers. I learned this from listening to the success stories of others, and trying to find out more about honing my craft. Besides, I am nothing if not as stubborn as an ox. I kept on writing both novels and short stories, and eventually in 2010 I had a short story published in an anthology for Born Free. This landed me on stage, reading an extract to over a thousand people at Hay on Wye Festival, next to Virginia McKenna. I thought I’d arrived! But still the path of agent, big publishing deal and world domination evaded me.
The next year, at last, I had my first novel published by a small publishing house. It wasn’t the one I’d had rejected, though this one was rejected about fifty times before it was accepted too! I now have thirteen novels published and have had two agents and quite a few publishers, as I’m impatient for my books to do well. I’m not getting any younger and I’m still on the quest for that elusive big deal and world domination. Joking apart, the main thing in the end is having people read and enjoy my books. It’s wonderful to get a great review from a stranger. This support and the love of writing is the reason write. I write too, because it’s part of who I am.
For anyone thinking of trying to get published, I have some advice. Over the years I have had so many rejections I could paper the walls with them. Yes, seriously. The key is to believe in yourself, improve your craft, and have the strength to get back up after a rejection has ripped out your soul and trampled all over it. If you can do that, you’ll get there in the end.
Want to guest blog or be interviewed? Got a cover reveal or book coming out?
Get in touch today!