I love words; books are my heaven and not being able to write is my hell. For me, reading and writing are two sides of the same coin.
Writing has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. I’ve never done it yet as a full-time career, although that doesn’t mean I’m not trying. Throughout my career, I’ve always written alongside it, and had some successes and failure along the way.
One thing I wish I had known as a younger man setting out in the world; that being a writer was an option. It could be a hard option, certainly, but an option nonetheless. To me, being a writer was something that happened to other people. I adored the idea of being a writer, but I didn’t know how; those people who were writers had achieved their goal by magic and an unbelievable amount of talent.
In my twenties, laptops had really been a thing; it meant that I could sit in comfort at my first home and write. That eventually became a novel, and because it was my first one, it wasn’t good – certainly the first draft. I wanted to send it out to literary agents and publishers and, for some reason I can’t entirely fathom, I sent it out without very much editing or tidying up. Oh, the stupidity of youth – or maybe it was just stupidity unique to me. That’s entirely possible.
In any case, no-one returned my calls, except to say that the book wasn’t for them. Looking back, I’m not surprised; at the time, however, I was depressed. However, I picked myself up and started working on something new, and I’m glad I did, because I eventually got published.
There might be a leap there, but I was thrilled when I discovered that a short story was going to be included in an anthology – and then another short story was going to be in a second anthology. Both of those little entries gave me a huge book psycholgically; I could write something that people wanted to read. It was my own style, and everyone was different, but I had been accepted into some anthlogies!
To then have a book accepted for publication nearly knocked my socks off; to say I was happy is the understatement of the century. I had completed a new novel in my late 20s, and I had done it very differently; I had written, edited, asked for advice and opinions, and worked hard to make it a good read – at least in my eyes. A new publishing house – Inspired Quill – were just setting up, and they sighed me up; I was actually the second author to be signed and the first to be published. What a privilege.
Over the next few years, I had three books published with Inspired Quill, and I had great hopes for more; the third book, in fact, was the start of a trilogy (or perhaps even four). But life isn’t always easy, and the relationship I had with Inspired Quill wasn’t always easy. Now, I could give you my full experience here as a signed author with them, but I haven’t spoken to the MD of the company for quite some time – that’s been a mutual decision on both sides – and I don’t think it’s fair to give just one side of the story. I was sad, disappointed, and angry when the relationship stopped and my next book wasn’t published, and also sad that the relationship seems to have broken down so utterly and completely, but I am not one to hanker for the past. I can’t change what is done, and the time is clearly right for something new.
I don’t know if the remainder of my series will ever get published – I hope so, I love writing it – and I don’t even know if I will ever get published again. At the moment, I don’t have a publisher; that’s sad. I am working on a new book, which is fun to do, and I will determinedly give it my all; both the creative force of putting the words down, and then looking for an outlet for it. I hope I succeed, but it is a very competitive market; I must ensure that my work is the best it can possibly be, and that’s the bit I thoroughly love doing – creating and investing in stories.
I love being a writer; it’s the best thing I can do professionally, and everytime I sit down to work, I feel a sense of peace and a sense of drive. And isn’t that what work should feel like?
Unsurprisingly, I didn’t get a response from anyone, except to say, “No, thank you.” I was upset, of course, but the truth slowly sunk in; you idiot, Matthew, it takes a lot more work than that to get something published. So I went back to the drawing board and started on a new book;