I did a library talk at Evesham on Friday 9 February along with poet Suz Winspear and non-fiction and fiction author, Helen Barrell.
More about my co-speakers later, but as I was preparing my talk about how I came to be a published author, several things occurred to me.
I began the talk by saying that I am a good advert for several things :
- It’s never too late to begin writing
- Enter competitions
- Attend writing courses
- Keep going
My mother always read to me when I was little. By age seven, my inner life was full of gold ingots, caves and big brothers – did you guess the reading matter? Enid Blyton was our favourite, my nan having acquired a big box of Famous Fives and Secret Seven’s from somewhere. You can imagine what my junior school essays were about. We always went to the library as a family on Saturday mornings too, so I continued to be an avid reader.
By age twelve I was hiding away in the little attic room behind the chimney at home writing stories and poems. On Friday, I showed the library talk attendees my box of treasures and inspiration from that time. Aged fourteen, I penned my first novel. After my O-Levels, my writing life became academic essays and work reports – life got in the way!
Or so I thought – after writing notes for my talk to the effect that I’d done no creative writing from that point until much, much later in life, I opened my box of treasures and inspiration referred to above and found whole novel plots and copious poems that I’d forgotten writing at all, some whilst I was at university.
Fast forward through my life and I found myself a little lost after a late pregnancy left me recovering from two operations and not returning to work. So I began writing more seriously, entering competitions, attending writing courses (including Sue Johnson’s courses who set up the library talk for me), joined the Romantic Novelists’ Association New Writer’s Scheme and then in 2016 won Choc Lit Publishing’s Search for a Star competition and got my break into publishing.
Back to my fellow speakers at the library talk.
Suz Winspear was Worcestershire Poet Laureate 2017. Her poems, performed in her own individual style were amazing. She described the initiatives she was involved with during her year as poet laureate, including combining poetry and dance. You can find her latest poetry collection The Awkward People here.
Helen Barrell is a fascinating lady who talks with great passion about her subjects. We share a love of family history. She has conducted in-depth research into poisonings in Essex in the 1840s and also for a book about Alfred Swaine Taylor who was instrumental in the dawn of forensic science. She has also written romance novels as Eleanor Harkstead. Links to Helen’s non-fiction books Poison Panic can be found here and Fatal Evidence here and her romance novel here.
Thanks to Helen‘s other half, Gordon for the photographs.
It was a very interesting morning in Evesham.
Thank you for visiting my blog – Morton S. Gray – Author. I hope you enjoyed this post. You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. My novel The Girl on the Beach published by Choc Lit is available from all ebook platforms – Amazon, Apple iBooks, Kobo, Barnes and Noble and Google Play. The Girl on the Beach will be available as a paperback from 10 April 2018 – to pre-order now click Amazon.