Elaine Everest, wishing there were more hours in the day and days in the month!
I know it’s been said before but where has the year gone? It doesn’t seem five minutes since I was writing last month’s blog piece and only days since I declared my writing intentions for 2014.
For some crazy reason I’d decided back in January that I was going to increase my output of articles and research new markets for my journalistic work. This was mainly because the Everest household was facing redundancy. ‘Him indoors’ was being cast aside by the American owners of the company he worked for, along with every other long serving employee. The company was making excellent profits, and providing a much needed service to the medical industry, so it made no sense that the work force (most being over the age of 55) were faced with possibly never working again. Sorry, rant over! However, ‘Him indoors’ secured a lovely job after we wrote to over fifty companies in Kent enclosing an SAE, letter and CV – we didn’t mention that he was over sixty. Seven replied. I almost started a fresh rant about people who can’t reply to a letter… We tackled the problem head on by writing those letters. Employment agencies are ageist and can be so depressing to the older person. We needed to stay positive. It worked. In July, American Independence Day in fact, he leaves the employ of the Americans and joins a good old British firm.
Something else happened in January. I found myself an agent – imagine me dancing around the room at this point – I had to pinch myself. Had she made a terrible error? Did she mistake me for someone else? It seems not. Isn’t this the dream that every writer hopes will happen? So, instead of thinking about the aforementioned article research I found myself researching World War Two and the people of Kent once more. Yes, I have my dream job, writing Sagas set in the war years. Vera Lynn sings in the background as I work and old black and white films are constantly running on my television. I’m back in the zone. My word goals for the week, along with research, leave no time for much else in my life. I’m not even sure I’ve stepped outside the front door since then!
The other big event for me was in May when along with sixteen other novelists I attended the Romantic Novelist Association’s Summer Party as one of the nominees of the Joan Hessayon Award. It was fabulous. So many people were complimentary about Gracie’s War that I felt just like a winner even though that honour went to Jo Thomas. There’s nothing better than being in the company of so many lovely authors most of whom I first met on the shelves of my library and Waterstones.
Looking forward I’m hoping to be able to hand my new book over to my agent Caroline Sheldon, who has been so helpful as I move onwards in the writing world. Fingers crossed that a publisher will like my book. If not I may well be researching new markets for my articles!