Article published on September 23, 2015.
On 1st January 2000, I took a deep breath, gave up the day job in libraries, moved to Lincoln and became a full-time writer. I had to do something to mark the New Millennium, and I didn’t fancy climbing Everest! That year I subscribed to the first issue of newbooks. It felt auspicious – a new beginning for both of us. But my ambition to see one of my books mentioned in the magazine seemed more of a fantasy than a realistic goal, because at that time I was writing commissioned non-fiction. So I decided I wouldn’t put it off any longer, I would write that historical novel I’d been researching for five years.
Six years later that novel was finished and thanks to a chance meeting with a talent scout at a book event, I found an agent. Company of Liars was published by Penguin and it was featured in newbooks! Four more medieval thrillers followed. Then, two years ago, I moved to the glorious Devon countryside where I now have the luxury of writing in a converted blacksmith’s forge instead of a broom cupboard.
Technological change has been very rapid in the last 15 years – e-books weren’t even mentioned in my contract when my first historical novel was published in 2008! But one of my greatest joys, which I never foresaw, was that thanks to email, I would make some wonderful friends from among readers who’ve contacted me, most of whom I’ve never met, but we’ve shared hopes and fears, laughter and tears, that’s been the best thing of all.