Secrets, Shame, and a Shoebox

The road to publication"

They say your childhood shapes your life, but you choose which path you take.

Pinch me now. I am a traditionally published author! It’s amazing I can say I am a published author.

The thing is I have perpetual imposters syndrome, and for years I’ve never had the confidence to submit my work. That was until one day, when a new friend, who turned out to be an editor in our critiquing group, suggested I should get my story out there before ‘I popped my clogs.’ Yes, she was that blunt! But she had a point. It became the push I needed.

I have always written around the full-time paid job. My work took me to places that I never dreamed. I met people that were remarkable, honest, vulnerable, and wonderful. They shared their stories. Some so sad. Others were so awful at times I couldn’t sleep. Then there were those spoke of love and devotion. Each of those wonderful people were survivors. They were my inspiration. They are my hero’s.

As a result, my books reflect all layers of life. Real family life, in full technicolor detail. My latest novels Secrets, Shame, and a Shoebox and its sequel The Twenty-One-Year Contract are standalones and based around WW11 which leads to 1960s.

So, back to how publication all came about. When the invisible big bad wolf came knocking on everyone’s door in 2020, I was living and writing in Spain. When we returned to the UK my imaginary friends continued to keep me awake. Yammering away. Still telling me their stories.  Telling me what to write, what to say, and how important they were. I had to listen, after all, who am I to argue? ? Because my ‘little friends’ had so much to say, this particular book ended up being humongous! It weighed in way over 180,000 words. Of course, I knew I wouldn’t get away with that, but you can’t blame a girl for trying.

Then the search for the perfect publisher began. This may sound obvious, but often writers fall into the pothole by not submitting to publishers that:

Are open to submissions.

And equally important, those who published work that fitted with my genre.

Three months later, after ensuring the final product was polished, shiny and everything in between, I was offered a contract! I’m still stunned.

Though it wasn’t as simple as that as you can well imagine.  The 180,000 words needed some cutting back which was hard, but necessary and became another huge learning curve. Then believe it or not, writing is hard enough, but once you have a contract, the real work begins.

I put my fingers on the keyboard, listened to my editor and went for it.

To my delight it resulted in my debut, Secrets, Shame, and a Shoebox being born, followed by The Twenty-One-Year Contract.

Of course, there is more to this than I can share right here, but all I’m saying is if I can do it, and you are a writer with the dream, do it now.

Try before it’s too late!

One last word, or two: If you are a reader, or writer, thank you so much for taking the time to read my books. The reviews have been wonderful. They are important to any author, but I can’t thank you enough. I am still humbled, and always will be. All writers are encouraged to read, and I am naturally an avid reader. I don’t restrict myself to one genre, just check out my reviews on Goodreads or Ben Shepard and you will see for yourself.

With love


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