My guest this week is Lynda Stacey. Lynda is the winner of the ChocLit and Whole Story Audio Search for a Star Competition, and has signed a contract for her novel, Keeper of the House.
Lynda very kindly agreed to take a little time away from working on her next novel to talk about her writing journey.
I finally did it. I finally made it through the shortlists, the masses of rejection letters, the hope, the despair and now finally the elation.
Everyone tells me how ‘lucky’ I am. How lucky I am to have the beautiful home that I have, how lucky I am to have a great job, how lucky I’ve been travelling the world as a scuba diving instructor and now, how lucky I am to have won Choc Lit’s Search for a Star Competition.
But it wasn’t always that way.
At 14 years old, my English teacher pulled me to one side and suggested that I went on to further education, did my A levels and followed it up by doing a Creative Writing Degree. But in my life, that was never going to happen. I left school with barely any qualifications. It was 1984 and there was a miners strike, I had no choice but to take any job that I could to help feed my family.
I always resented not taking qualifications, for not having proved to myself and to others what I could achieve, and have worked hard my whole life to make up for that.
It took me almost 30 years to build up the courage to begin to write again.
I joined the Romantic Novelists' Association New Writers Scheme two years ago and since then, I’ve met the most amazing people. Authors in every shape, size and with every perceivable type of personality that you could imagine.
The RNA is like a huge family. Over night you gain hundreds of brothers and sisters that you never had before and can I say… without them, I doubt I would have had the courage to keep going, to pick up the laptop night after night. To work every day, for over a year on a project that may never be published. To keep taking the continual knocks and the continual rejections. And somehow through the madness… manage to keep my sanity.
I’ve entered so many competitions. In 2013, my novel Broken Jigsaw was short listed for the Festival of Romance New Talent Award. In 2015, my novel Revenge was short listed for the Elizabeth Goudge Award and then finally my new novel Keeper of the House was short listed for ChocLit’s Search for a Star, in collaboration with Whole Story Audio books.
You can imagine how I felt when I was told that I’d won.
You guessed it… I really did feel ‘Lucky..!’
Congratulations Lynda and we wish you every success in your new career as a published author, and look forward to reading Keeper of the House in the not too distant future.
Lynda's novel, Keeper of the House, will be published in 2016 by ChocLit. More details of ChocLit's 'Search for a Star' competition can be found on it's website: choc lit search for a star