Fancy a mentor? I’m now open for applications via The WoMentoring Project

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I always wanted to be a writer, but never had the opportunity to go to university, and every time I read a book I loved I would Google the author, reading interviews, and often they would say they had completed a degree in creative writing, or similar courses.

Later in life, I started looking into courses, but an accident left me with a disability, my business folded, and with three children to support I wasn’t able, physically or financially, to follow my dream.

When I first heard about The WoMentoring Project, a scheme offering free mentoring to up and coming female talent who otherwise might not be in a position to progress with their writing, I was hugely excited. Looking through the list of mentors I noticed Louise Walters, and having recently read her book Mrs Sinclair’s Suitcase, which I loved, I decided to apply. I was delighted when she accepted my application, and although the mentoring only took place for a few weeks, throughout that time my writing and my confidence flourished. You can read about mine and Louise’s first meeting here, and our follow-up meeting here.

It has now been 2 1/2 years since I was mentored, and during that time I have signed a 3 book deal, published my first two novels – The Sister and The Gift – both of which reached No.1 on Amazon UK, and Canada. I have sold over 750,000 books, and my stories have been sold to over 15 territories for translation. In 2016 I was nominated for The Goodreads Debut Author of the Year Award.

I owe a huge amount to the project, in particular Louise Walters. My time with her gave me a good grounding on how to structure a novel, and how a story should flow, and I really believe if it weren’t for the opportunity, my first novel would not have been of a high enough standard to be published and I wouldn’t be where I am right now. I am eternally grateful.

I am thrilled Kerry Hudson, the founder of this amazing project, has again accepted my application, but this time I am returning as a mentor. Paying it forward is something I strongly believe in and I feel privileged to now be in a position to give back.

If you are a female writer and feel you would benefit from mentoring, you can apply to me via the project. To see if we are a good fit you can read more about what I’m looking for here, and if you are writing outside my genre there are lots of other mentors available.

 

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The WoMentoring Project

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I have recently (and tentatively) entered the world of creative writing and subsequently felt slightly overwhelmed at times, both by the amount of words in my head and what I should actually be doing with them.

A fellow writer told me about The WoMentoring Project and when I checked it out and saw Louise Walters, author of the amazing Mrs Sinclair’s Suitcase, was volunteering her time as a mentor I couldn’t resist applying.  Ignoring the little doubtful voice in my head which was telling me not to bother, I will never be able to write a book, I pressed the send button.

Applying for a place on this scheme was a pivotal point for me. I was finally acknowledging to myself (even if I didn’t share with anyone else) that I was ready to work towards turning my dream of being a published fiction author into a reality. I made a conscious choice to no longer pay any attention to my insecurities. We are what we believe we can be, our thoughts create our world and the inner me is now offering a high five and a “you go girl”.

I was more than a little bit excited to hear on Friday evening that Louise Walters has agreed to be my mentor. Cue a celebratory bottle of wine, a take out and much happiness. It wasn’t really until Sunday that it suddenly dawned on me that I haven’t actually written or published anything yet. Best stop dancing on the table and crack open the laptop rather than another bottle then.

Yesterday was spent scrambling around trying to find discarded envelopes and old post it notes with odd ideas frantically scribbled on them (I really must develop a system). It was a challenge to say the least, trying to decipher my handwriting and attach meaning to random words, which I am sure at the time were integral to the story, but now make no sense to me. What I lack in a plot I make up for in enthusiasm though and a willingness to work hard, take all constructive criticism on board and learn a craft I have loved for as long as I can remember.

Whatever happens (and I am putting no pressure on myself or my mentor to produce something spectacular**) I am so grateful for this opportunity.

Wish me luck.

 

** I want to produce something spectacular 🙂