…this ol’ Jurassic is always fascinated with the tales of how other scribblers found their way onto the Literary Magical Mystery Roundabout… my guest today, Authoress, Heather Robinson (and how could I not have sumb’dy on here with a first name like that?) shares her writing journey… enjoy…
From essays on friction to stories of fiction…
My route to writing a novel began eleven years ago when I wrote Snowflake, a short story, specifically for the Mere Literary Festival, a renowned writing competition which was established in 1997. I believe the 2005 entries were for short stories of up to 3000 words on any subject, giving entrants huge scope for choice.
Why was I entering the competition? I’d just completed a Creative Writing course with the Open University and wanted to put my learning to the test.
How did I choose the subject matter for my short story? The old adage ‘write what you know’ came to mind, and prior to undertaking the Creative Writing course, I’d spent ten years achieving an Open University degree in Science, struggling through technical essays on varying topics from physics, biology, planetary science and oceanography. The latter was my favourite subject within the degree, thus the life cycle of water became my focus for fiction. To write creatively was a sudden sharp turn and by embracing the freedom of blending fiction with science, I personified a snowflake! If I’m honest, the writing within Snowflake is a little raw, but I’m proud to leave it in its original form as it was placed third in the local author entries and this gave me the confidence to take my writing forward and produce my first novel, ‘Wall of Stone’.
Historical fiction, but your background is science? I know, it surprised me too and came about following a family holiday to Northumberland. Having purchased English Heritage passes, I was determined to get my money’s worth! Suffice it to say that my children and husband were ‘all Romaned out’ by the end of the trip, but I was off on a new adventure. I had found my writing period, discovered my characters and learned facts to weave through my fiction.
How long did it take to complete Wall of Stone? In research and writing days, about a year but spread over nine years as I was working as an administration manager then as well as nurturing family life. Wednesday was my writing day. Then Wednesday became my ‘pursuit of a publisher’ day. A year on, with many solid rejections and two near miss rejections, I self-published via Amazon’s Createspace and Kindle Direct. Much time since has been spent on promoting and marketing ‘Wall of Stone’, with some results but not enough.
How do you go about self-promoting? I’m learning! My natural English diffidence holds me back in this field, but the passion I have for my book is pushing me to overcome my reticence. I am in the process of re-wording the back cover blurb and looking for a new front cover picture. What do you think of my new blurb below?
‘In AD121 the Twentieth Legion of Rome stands at the northern frontier of Britannia. Forgotten, neglected and dour in spirit, they must still do their duty for an Empire whose meaning is becoming lost to them. As the lives of the local Teviot family intertwine with the legion, relationships of love and bitter anguish unfurl. Will the invading army push north? Will the disputing native tribes unite in an uprising? Can Marcus be with Jolinda? When peace is fragile, friendships count for everything…’
Facebook page for Wall of Stone:
I would like to thank Seumas Gallacher for this opportunity to introduce Wall of Stone to you. Thank you Seumas.
…ye’re most welcome, m’Lady, Heather… thanks for the meander through yer author’s pathway…
…see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!…
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