I’m interrupting my blogging break today to introduce fellow Astraea Press author, Helen Pollard, and share her Path to Publication story.
Without further ado, here’s Helen…
As a child, my love of writing grew from my love of reading – especially Enid Blyton’s ‘Magic Faraway Tree’ stories, which I devoured every night long past my bedtime by the light of the street lamp outside my window. I loved the way she created whole new worlds, and I wanted to do that for myself.
In my teens, encouraged by one English teacher in particular, I experimented with moody, dystopian, apocalyptic … typical teenager stuff!
And then in complete contrast to that, in my early twenties I wrote my first full-length romance. This was an unexpected direction for me – I’d picked up a couple of romances to read (more by accident than design), quite enjoyed them despite my inner cynic, and in the arrogance of youth, decided I could do just as well myself, if not better.
Well, it probably wasn’t bad for a first attempt. Even though it was rejected by the publisher I sent it to, their reply was an individual one, complimenting my style and suggesting I submit something else.
Encouraged, I wrote another romance. It was rejected with a generic letter this time. I started a third. That was rejected too.
By this stage, I had two small kids, a house to run, no sleep and no time. I gave up.
Over the next few years, as I looked after my family and returned to work, I appeased my creative streak by experimenting with handicrafts.
In the meantime, my daughter was doing nothing but write, and clearly loving it. My fingers began to itch to hit the keyboard again. I’d had an opening scene for a humorous chick-lit novel in my mind for years, and the day I decided to type it up, it was like opening the floodgates. While I wrote, I also researched the craft itself and updated myself on the world of publishing – a lot had changed since I’d last tried!
Two years later – it was a long book and I’m an obsessive edit-and-polisher – I began sending it to agents, entering a soul-destroying cycle of post it off – wait weeks if not months for a rejection letter or indeed, get no response at all – re-polish it – send it somewhere else – repeat.
After two years of that, I decided the manuscript should take a long rest at the back of the drawer, although I still love the story and hope to find a home for it eventually.
With a small spark of determination still hanging on in there, I went back to writing straight romance, and Warm Hearts in Winter was born. It took me about six months to write (I still work full-time) and three months to polish it to within an inch of its life.
As I wrote, I researched romance publishers, and when I read about Astraea Press, my instinct told me to go for it. To my delight, they offered me a contract, and a few months later here I am, a published author.
It’s been a long haul – not just the writing, but the learning process too – but I’m so glad I rediscovered my love of words – and that someone else has shown faith in my work!
Forced by circumstance into the world of temping, when Abby Davis accepts an assignment in the wilds of Yorkshire as personal assistant to a widowed novelist, she assumes he is an ageing recluse.
Thirty-something Jack Blane is anything but. Still struggling to get his life and writing career back on track three years after his wife’s death, Jack isn’t ready for a breath of fresh air like Abby.
Snowed in at his winter retreat on the moors, as the weeks go by and their working relationship becomes friendship and maybe more, Abby must rethink her policy of never getting involved with someone at work … and Jack must decide whether he is willing to risk the pain of love a second time.
Barnes & Noble: http://tinyurl.com/B-N-WarmHeartsInWinter
About the Author:
Helen Pollard writes contemporary romance with old-fashioned heart. She firmly believes there will always be a place for romantic fiction, no matter how fast-paced and cynical the world becomes. Readers still want that feel-good factor – to escape from their own world for a while and see how a budding romance can blossom and overcome adversity to develop into love … and we all need a little love, right?
A Yorkshire lass, Helen is married, with two teenagers. They share space with a Jekyll and Hyde cat that alternates between being obsessively affectionate and viciously psychotic. Antiseptic cream is always close at hand.
When Helen’s not working or writing, it goes without saying that she loves to read. She also enjoys a good coffee in a quiet bookshop, and appreciates the company of family and close friends.
Find Helen at:
Website & Blog: www.helenpollardwrites.wordpress.com