I have been in love with words for as long as I can remember.
I spent many years writing stories based in locations I didn’t know, featuring characters I thought would be popular and storylines that I thought would be appealing. This garnered me some wonderful letters from Publishers. However they all contained the word ‘unfortunately’ somewhere.
Eventually I decided to write a story just for me. I set the book in my local area and offered an ear to a character that had been nagging me for years. You will now know this voice as D.I. Kim Stone. As I wrote I didn’t care that the setting was not glamorous or that my character was not always likeable. I wrote Kim’s story and it came from the heart. I filled the pages without an editor on my shoulder or a critic in my ear.
Eventually I passed the novel to my most fierce critic. My partner, Julie. Anyone who thinks the people closest to us writers are obliging and appeasing should spend a day in my house. These people know us best and therefore know what we can do!
She read it in one day and loved it.
At her urging I polished it and released it into the big wide world. This time the risk of exposure was far greater as it held the most of myself that I had ever poured onto the page.
The following day I was plucked from the slush pile of a top London literary agency by Ms Keshini Naidoo who was reading my submission on her way into work.
The two years that followed were a rollercoaster of emotions and although the relationship with the agency did not work out I was blessed in all that I learned and most importantly for my connection with Keshini.
We stayed in touch right up until she called me September 2014 with news that was destined to change my life. She told me she had passed Silent Scream to a young and dynamic publisher called Bookouture and asked if I minded. I was blown away. I can’t recall my exact response but there was shrieking!
For the next couple of weeks I kept everything crossed. This made some tasks slightly more tricky: cooking, driving, well anything really but it was worth it. The reaction from the team at Bookouture was everything I could have hoped for and more. They were enthusiastic about my writing, my characters and even the setting of the book.
The day I was asked to join the Bookouture family was truly one of the best days of my life. The team: Oliver, Claire, Kim and not least Keshini are all committed, knowledgeable, inspiring and passionate about everything they do and the authors they have.
For me, it is like donning a comfy pair of slippers and a warm, woollen cardigan. It is a team I am proud and honoured to be a part of and a place that definitely feels like home.