It’s quickly coming up to the anniversary of the release of my first ever published story.
There Was A Time was published on 1 September 2014 by Affinity eBooks – now Affinity Rainbow Publications. (It is still available as a FREE ebook on their website.)
In 2014 I was very new to the publishing scene and recall my first Skype meeting with my publisher – it was a four-way conversation with JM Dragon in New Zealand, Erin O’Reilly and Nancy Kaufman in Texas, and me in the UK. Working out a time was hard enough. Anyway, I had a shower and wore a decent t-shirt, even though we wouldn’t be able to see each other. It felt like a job interview. I guess I must have done okay as they have published six of my novels so far, with number seven due out in November.
But back then; after they had accepted my debut novel for publication, Starting Over, I couldn’t quite believe I was going to become a published author.
When I received an email from Nancy with TWAT in the subject line, I wondered what I’d done wrong. Then I realised this was the acronym for my short story which was being published on their website ahead of the release of my novel. She told me later that she laughed when she typed it, imagining my reaction no doubt. Ever since, I’ve been more aware of acronyms in titles.
The blurb for the story:
Darts night at the Golden Dragon and Fin’s life is about to change forever.
Living in a small seaside resort she thought she was doing fine. Summer flings were great and winter evenings behind the bar were whiled away dreaming of the next conquest in the dunes.
Then in walked the stranger and Fin fell in love.
So, this very week, three years ago I was finalising edits for Starting Over, checking the blurb, approving a cover, and anxiously awaiting the release of my first story, There Was A Time. How would it be received?
What a great relief it was then to read the first review for the short story from Terry Baker. “This is the first thing I’ve read by Jen Silver. I know she has a full-length book due out soon, and if this story is anything to go by, I’m going to be first in line to read it.”
But, of course, that was just the beginning. As every published author knows, it doesn’t really get easier. Each time there is the wait…after the months of writing, editing, proofreading, agonising over blurbs, deciding on covers…wondering if anyone will want to read this. And if they do, what will they think of it?
I feel incredibly blessed that readers, for the most part, have enjoyed my books. And I’m always thankful that the team at Affinity was willing to take a chance on a novice writer three years ago.
It’s been a wonderful journey of discovery and it’s not over yet. (Very deep that – a metaphor for life, perhaps.)
Another anniversary: I may have mentioned this before – this year my wife and I are celebrating 30 years together. That has also been an amazing journey.
The Starling Hill Trilogy: