Sunday, 9 October 2016

Guest Post: My Life as a Writer by Claudia Carroll

Today it's my pleasure to welcome Claudia Carroll back to the blog on the latest leg for her new book All She Ever Wished For which was published on Thursday.

I was working as an actress on a long running soap opera in Ireland and, like so many others, had always dreamt of writing a book, but never really had the guts. Then one of our directors on the show, a good pal, published her first book and advised me to get three chapters of mine to her agent who she very kindly asked to look them over. So I decided there and then to stop messing around and just do it. Miraculously the agent, the fabulous Marianne Gunn O’Connor, took me on and had a book deal for me a few weeks later. All these years later and I’m still pinching myself. 

Funny, but I wrote my first three books while filming the TV show I was in at the same time, and seemed to find that even though my time was limited, I’d really use what little available time there was to write in. Even if this meant getting up at dawn to work. But now that I write full time I find that if you’re writing from home there can be so many distractions. Even as I’m typing this, I’m looking at a big mound of ironing, just winking at me to be done and it’s SO hard to ignore it….. But I have to remember, when I’m writing, I’m working, and just as if I was based in an office or business setting, I don’t take calls, answer emails from pals or surf the net when you’re working. 

Took me a long, long time to get used to this one though, but soon enough my family and friends copped on not to call during the day, which for me is writing time. So a tip to would be authors who may be reading this; just ignore the door, put the phone on silent, don’t go online and you’ll be amazed at how much you’ll get done. Really. 

To be honest, I’m always quietly petrified whenever a new book is released and always get moved to tears at the sight of one of my books on a shelf in a bookstore. I’m just so grateful to be able to do a job I really love and adore, but always at the back of my mind I worry; because you really are only as good as your last book.

Have to say, writing is without doubt, the single best job in the whole entire world and I’m so lucky and privileged to be doing it.  Even on the days when nothing’s coming and I’m half ready to fling my computer up against a wall, I wouldn’t change it for anything. I love the creative process and the idea of being my own boss, it’s the best. 

So to any aspiring witters out there, I’d say persevere, persevere, persevere! And write every single day, as every day that you do is a day that your work is improving, trust me. Be brave too; remember it’s highly unlikely that a publisher is going to knock on your front door and ask if you’ve any manuscripts lying around they could publish. Nothing will happen unless you take the first step and get your work out there. An agent is your best friend though, and I’d advice anyone starting out to secure and agent first and the rest will follow. And best of luck!

Marriage. It’s a dream come true. Isn’t it?

One wet winter night, two women meet on a bridge. One is Tess Taylor, a personal trainer on the way to meet her boyfriend for date night. The other is Kate King, a celebrity married to a handsome billionaire who just happens to make her cry. In the cold dark evening, there is nothing to link them together but the bridge they shiver on. Little do they know they’ll both hold the key to each other’s future marriage…

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