Guest Post by Heidi Swain
Heidi Swain’s debut novel is being published in July and I for one can’t wait to read it. Heidi has written a fabulous guest post for my blog.
How did I get here?
Hello Sonya. Thank you so much for inviting me to feature on your fabulous blog ahead of the eagerly anticipated The Cherry Tree Café publication day of July 16th.
It is always exciting to chat about writing and current projects but for this post I thought it would be an opportunity to think back over my writing journey (for want over a better word), to when it all began. One of the most common comments I have received recently is how lucky I am that everything has happened so quickly for me but actually, it hasn’t happened all that quickly at all.
As some of you may already know I submitted to the thoroughly fabulous Books and The City Team at Simon & Schuster on July 15th last year through their #onedayonly call for submissions and The Cherry Tree Café is scheduled for publication exactly one year and a day from that date. So yes, I guess that is pretty fast, but the commitment (and kernel of confidence), to jump in and take my writing seriously actually happened years before my submission last July.
My daughter was recently raiding my bedroom bookshelf and discovered a little book titled Tales from the Old Dining Room which was printed after the second creative writing course I took. The blurb reads;
‘Don’t think, just write. The idea was simple – write every day for two weeks and see where the story takes you. This book is a collection of unedited stories produced by the Friday morning Creative Writing group at Wensum Lodge in Norwich.’
By the time that book was printed by my wonderful tutor Neil Mason in 2010 I had already completed a writing for children course with Paeony Lewis and would go on to take two further creative writing courses with Norwich based poet, Julia Webb.
During that time I also wrote a variety of short stories, (one of which was a Christmas competition winner), for the online community Shortbread Stories (http://www.shortbreadstories.co.uk/#axzz3ZdUSmCvH), ran a blog alongside various features I wrote for our local magazine and attended as many writing related functions and seminars as possible.
I didn’t find the confidence to begin writing my first novel until sometime in 2012, however since then I have written four. I joined the RNA New Writers Scheme in 2014 and struck gold straightaway with The Cherry Tree Café.
Taking the time to look back I can’t quite believe just how many years have slipped by between filling in that first creative course application and signing my contract with Simon & Schuster, but if I had to do it all again I wouldn’t change a thing. Five plus years of hard work, trials, errors and triumphs are now being beautifully rewarded in ways I could have only ever dreamt of and for that I am so, so grateful.
No matter where you are on your own writing journey, whether you are just taking that first step and putting pen to paper, submitting your first manuscript, or crossing your fingers as you check your inbox just remember that if you want it badly enough and you’ve put in the hours, you will get there. You will find a way to make your writing dreams come true and I wish you the very best of luck.
Never lose faith, no matter how long it takes.
The Cherry Tree Café will be published on July 16th but is already available for pre-order via links below.
iBooks pre-order: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/the-cherry-tree-cafe