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I am a writer - late developer since I wasn't published until I was 50. I have now written 23 novels, numerous short stories and articles.

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Monday, 12 December 2011

Well, I’ve done it!  I’ve taken that step into the unknown!.  I’m part of the brave new future from which there’s no turning back. I’ve put a book on Kindle.
  So what, everyone is doing it, what’s the fuss?  I can hear you say. I am aware of that, I’ve friends galore who have been up and running for months.  I didn’t expect the reaction I had, it took me by surprise how emotional I felt at sending the book into the ether. It was different and it was exciting and, in a strange way, it was moving.

   My backlist is long and choosing which novel to be first was difficult. Eventually I chose Love the Bright Foreigner. It was the first book I wrote though it was the second one that was published.  Subsequently it has a special meaning to me and, since it had been out of print for some time, it would be nice to give it a second chance.


   When I wrote it we were facing financial wipe-out from a disastrous venture into the hotel business - having converted our lodge in the Northern Highlands of Scotland - there was no Ruth Watson to come to our rescue in those days.  A stern letter from the bank arrived just as I was watching a programme on Charlotte Lamb on television, telling of her success and huge earnings from writing.  To console my partner and my sons and to lift their spirits from the doom which the bank manager had created, I was laughing as I suggested we wrote a best seller.   We trooped into the kitchen, the only warm part of the house, armed with paper and pencil and began.  Two hours later, I looked up and I was alone.  The others, bored had drifted off.  With a start I realised that I had become totally lost, immersed in my story, that what had been a joke was nothing of the sort.  I knew instantly that there was no going back, I had to finish it.

  There are people who are born under lucky stars and I am one of them.  For the year before, on holiday on Mull, we had met and made friends with, Mic, a literary agent who when we said goodbye had asked me when I wrote a book to send it to her.  I fell about laughing and explained I would never write, that I didn’t want to, it was the last thing I would ever do.  ‘I think you will - one day,’ she replied.
 
   So, when I had finished my novel, we had no idea what to do next until we remembered the meeting on Mull, I wrote to her, she phoned, I sent the typescript and twenty-four hours later I had an agent.  In my ignorance I had no idea how difficult it was and is to be taken on.  See what I mean about lucky stars?

    Still in Scotland, I had caught the bug and immediately started writing my second novel - Distinctions of Class.  From having no desire to write I now could not stop and twenty five years and twenty three novels later I am still writing.  The truth is I don’t know what I would do with my time if I stopped nor what filled it before I became a writer.

     I have met so many wonderful people during this career of mine, fellow authors, publishers, book sellers, journalists, students and readers.  It is a wonderful career path to take and it all started with a bleak day in the Highlands, a letter from the bank, Charlotte Lamb, a chance meeting on Mull and a book called Love the Bright Foreigner so I feel it had earned the right to be published first this time.

8 comments:

  1. Loved reading that and will love reading Love The Bright Foreigner

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  2. Thank you so much for that, Janie. And good luck to you for your courses in your wonderful house.

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  3. How fantastic! I've got my finger on the mouse ready for all your kindle books.

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  4. How fabulous and how moving to know the story behind the story - and congrats to you Annie for putting your work out on Kindle - what a treat for readers!

    Love, Janice xx

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  5. oh, I'll download it later today. So trhat was really true, Annie, running a hotel in Scotland. Well down on getting the kindle thing sorted. On my 'to do' list re The Damask Maker.

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  6. Apologies for the typo errors and a lesson to check before posting. Too early! But brilliant news.

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  7. I share your feelings about sending a book to Kindle - I've just done it myself with Fair Border Bride! weird, isn't it, to find such a technological thing emotional! Still, let's wish outselves lots of luck and mega sales!
    Jen

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  8. Good luck to all of us who are doing this! Loved reading the story of how you came to be published the first time and wishing you all the best with the exciting new opportunities.

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