Today I’d like to introduce author Carol Hedges to my blog to tell us about her work as a writer and about her latest book – welcome Carol.
So. Here we are. It is April 2012. I am waiting for an email from my agent telling me she’s read my new novel, liked it, and is sending it straight out to publishers. I check my inbox.
There is an email from my agent. She has read my new novel, liked it, but is not sending it out to publishers because nobody is interested in ‘mid-list’ writers like me any more.
This is the fifth time in as many years that I have been here. Five separate novels have done the rounds and been rejected. Previously, I have had 11 YA crime thrillers published. I have been nominated for many awards – including the Carnegie. I have had stories broadcast on the BBC. I think: I am 61, it is too late to start building my writing career from scratch all over again. I put my head down on the desk, and cry.
Fast forward to August 2012. I have an ebook, Jigsaw Pieces, out on Amazon Kindle. I have a blog. I have a Facebook page. I have a Twitter account. I contribute to an American writing-site. How have I accomplished this in such a short space of time? Pigheaded determination to ‘beat’ the system, a lot of very hard work, and the support and friendship of the online writing community.
Jigsaw Pieces is an ebook rewrite of a novel published by OUP in 1998. Based on my experiences as a teacher, and my love of World War 1 poetry, it is a coming of age story about 18 year old Norwegian student Annie Skaerstad. Like all my heroines, Annie is strong minded, feisty and a trenchant observer of life around her.
The book touches, in part, upon some difficult areas – teenage suicide and the exploitation of vulnerable young people. I decided to revisit the plot in the light of the various cases that have been in the press recently. And I wanted to write more about Annie, a teenage mix of Sarah Lund and Lizbeth Salander. She narrates the story, and her wonderfully wry personality stops it from being a totally tragic read.
The response to the ebook has been brilliant: I already have a 5 star review on Goodreads. Right now, I’m working on my next ebook, a ‘Victorian-lite’ crime thriller called Diamond Girl, which will be available to download in the Autumn. My advice? Never, ever give up on yourself. I am living proof that even in the latter stages of decrepitude (sic), marvellous things can still happen.
Blog: http://carolhedges.blogspot.com; Twitter @carolJhedges; www.Facebook Carol Hedges;
www. Shewrites.com (American).
You can buy Jigsaw Pieces on Amazon here: