It’s been my life ambition since I was a teenager to write novels. For one reason or another (I like to think I was just too young!), it remained a pipe dream for many years until the desire to write burned inside me stronger and stronger until I had no choice but to sit down at a laptop; it was a choice between putting in the hard work or spontaneously combusting. And I quite like life, so I didn’t want really want to go down in flames.
It took me a long while to work out how to practically get this idea out from inside my head into novel form but, with a hell of a lot of elbow grease to create this fictional world that I like to think is now happily existing in real life across the pond, I did it!
It’s now two weeks since I revealed the cover of Half the World Away and got early copies out to reviewers, and to say I am overwhelmed at the response so far is a hell of an understatement.
One of the happiest things is seeing how well the cover has gone down. I used a young designer, fresh out of university, called Lily Wilson, who is a huge fan of contemporary romance. She just got me, what I liked and what I was trying to achieve and she designed me a cover for this book that just felt like mine when I saw it. I know they say you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover but really, that’s not true is it! People are drawn to covers of books that they think they’ll like based on their taste for a genre, and I am thrilled with what Lily has done. It’s nice to be able to share with her the positive response it has got when she’s just starting out too.
As well as the incredibly supportive messages from people I know from real life and social media, the reviews so far from complete strangers have been really encouraging. It’s pretty terrifying putting your art out into the world as art is entirely subjective, so there are always going to be people that don’t like what you do and you’re soliciting opinion; some of which might sting!
But broadly I have had such generous, kind comments from people that like and review this genre, and that has left me pretty speechless on occasion in the past fortnight!
There’s now just ten days until the release date when that life ambition gets realised. I’m very much trying to enjoy the ride, as much as it doesn’t really feel real!
You can pre-order Half the World Away here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B08Y6VMNBQ