Guest post: Julie Shackman finds the write time and shares her journey to publishing
Today I have the pleasure to welcome Julie Shackman to This Chick Reads. Julie recently published her debut novel ‘Rock My World’ and today is here to talk about her book and her journey to publishing. Thanks so much for visiting our blog Julie!
I’m one of those people who stands and stares at the glossy bookshelves in supermarkets and bookshops, with a wistful smile on my face. Ever since I can remember, I’ve wanted to write. When I was around nine, I remember going into shops like Woolworths, gripping my pocket money for dear life and buying those cheap, bright orange exercise jotters. I would then rush home and fill them with my creative ramblings. Books too, form a young age, were an object of fascination for me, so that probably explains why I ended up training as a journalist. I also studied Communication & Media, but the longing to write for the romance genre was always there.
A number of years ago, I had two children’s’ picture books published but again, the longing to write romance was nagging away at me. Cue two sons, family matters, moving house and various other aspects of life and I finally decided to get on with it, do it and see what happened.
I wrote “Rock My World” whenever I got the opportunity to put pen to paper. When I finished the first draft, I felt that was an achievement in itself and spent time polishing it up. Then I lit the torch paper and stood well back – in other words, started submitting it to literary agents and publishers. Well, as any writer will tell you, this process is about as endearing as the common cold.
For months, rejections came tumbling in and although I received positive comments about my writing, there was no offer of representation from literary agents or publishers offering a contract. Feeling at times like I was swimming against the tide (well, several tides actually) I did contemplate giving up. But each time I was on the verge of saying “No more”, I’d read about other writers who kept writing, kept reading and kept going – and who ended up getting published.
Thank Goodness I heeded their advice.
In November, after having read an article about London digital publishers Not So Noble Books (NSNB), I heaved another sigh and e-mailed them my first three chapters, synopsis and query letter. Several days later, I received a reply from them, saying they enjoyed my first three chapters and could I send them my full MS? As I had been in this situation before, I was pleased but refused to get my hopes up and immediately fired off my completed novel.
About two weeks before Christmas, I received an e-mail from NSNB again – this time, saying they were offering me a publishing contract. Imagine a hyperventilating Mother of two, obsessively reading and re-reading that e-mail – yes, that was me.
The saying “Published authors are unpublished authors who never gave up” has stuck with me and helped me through those times when I was all for destroying my notebooks and heaving the PC through the nearest window. And that was on a good day.
Good Luck, keep writing and keep reading!
I trained as a journalist but writing romance has always been a dream of mine.
When I’ve not got my head in a book or drafting one, I write verses and captions for greetings card companies.
Writing at home seems to be incredibly difficult for me – I usually require coffee, music and noise. “Rock My World” is my first contemporary romance novel .
I have just finished writing my second novel and am polishing that at the moment whilst beginning to do some research for my third. These are also contemporary romances with a good dose of humour (hopefully!)
I’m married, have two sons and live in Scotland.