Holding a copy of my debut novel, Turning the Tide, for the first time was a thrilling moment. The result of lots of hard work, not just from me, but from everyone who helped to make my dream a reality. My book’s release was also tinged with a little sadness as it coincided with the fifth anniversary of my dad’s death. Maybe, if I’d taken myself seriously as a writer sooner, he might have seen a copy. As it was, it took the loss of someone who was so full of life to make me realise that time does run out.
I’d always written, but somehow The Novel never quite made it to the top of the list. Oh, I’d tried and failed to write a Mills & Boon, joined the Romantic Novelists’ Association and even got as far as attracting an agent in some early chapters of a novel I was working on, but I kept letting other things get in the way. Dad’s death made me reassess my priorities. I completed a novel that I’d thoroughly enjoyed writing then sent it to Hilary Johnson’s Authors’ Advisory Service for a professional appraisal and was delighted when Hilary liked it too.
After two very near misses, I had a Mystic Meg moment when I read in the book press about Sue Moorcroft being signed to Choc Lit. You see, it was winning a tin of chocolate at primary school in a national essay that started it all for me! It wasn’t just Choc Lit’s name that attracted me; I also really enjoy writing from my hero’s point of view so I felt that my novel would be a good fit for a publisher ‘where heroes are like chocolate – irresistible!’ Luckily Lyn Vernham, Choc Lit’s Marketing Director and the team at Choc Lit agreed.
Turning the Tide is based in a sleepy seaside town on the east coast. It’s the story of one woman’s quest to keep her father’s boatyard afloat and the town she loves unchanged. When a handsome property developer arrives with ambitious plans for the area and quickly gains local support, it looks as if thing can only go one way, but there are plenty of surprises ahead.
Choc Lit have wrapped my story up in the most gorgeous cover, but there’s one person who will never see it... if you’re reading this because you want to write a novel, take my advice – just do it!