Saturday, 31 December 2011

oh what a year... and a bit

And really the title says it all.

Oh what a year and a bit I've had.

This time last year and a bit ago, I was off work, with a dodgy shoulder and arm, which meant I couldn't lift and carry much. And I was bored rigid.

This time this year, I'm still off work, with a dodgy shoulder and arm, which means I can't lift and carry much. But no way am I bored rigid. I don't have the time.

So those 14 or so months ago, I was playing on the net and saw a competition to write a romance novel. Submit a first chapter. so I did. It was abysmal. But I joined the newbies facebook group, and found some great friends.

 I duly (and luckily) went on holiday to get back to be told I was in a newly formed crit group—Up and Coming Writers. The best thing that could have happened!

We wrote a book together, and I really must re-read it,  (The brilliant Awakening by Doris O'Connor came from it) and it really gave us all the push to write and write and write.

I made a decision. I would be published before my big '0' birthday in December, and I would write as I could, not as I thought I should. And with the encouragement, nagging, pushing, shoving, and shouting from UCW, I did and I sent off Wallflowers Don't Wilt. The lovely Jackie at Breathless Press saw its potential, and it was released in the autumn.

It seems to be a long while ago now, but I haven't been slacking, and am in the lucky position of have 5 books out in the first half of 2012 and three shorts in antho's. Lucky or what?

Truly, I feel blessed. This is my dream, and I've realized it! And I still am realizing it. Yes, It's been hard at times, yes I've had to persevere and yes I've had negative responses from people very close to me. But I know I can't please all of the people all of the time.

LIkewise with reviews, I know what I write isn't for every one, Too risque, too tame, too short, too long, there will always be something that doesn't suit someone. (Be it an editor or a reader.) My skin has got a lot thicker I can tell you. Perhaps the only thing that does annoy me is getting negative comments from someone I know hasn't read my books. how do you KNOW you don't like it?

Thank's to all of you who have been with me on this incredible journey, please join me in 2012 as well.
I hope you all have had a good year and 2012 gets even better.

As the late, great, Dave Allen said, may your Gods go with you.

All the best Raven xxx


  1. It's been an incredible year for many of us in UCW and I count myself very fortunate indeed to belong to this incredibly inspiring and talented group of writers and to have a friend in you, Raven.

    I'm always amazed at your productivity. Long may it continue.

    Have a wonderful 2012. Knowing you, it'll be a blast! xx

  2. I am incredibly proud and humble to be your writing friend, Raven. You've done amazingly well and hope 2012 is even better than you imagined.

    And I'm so lucky that I haven't been kicked out of the UCW group (yet!!) lol.

    Happy New Year xx

  3. Congratulations on your dream and here's to hoping that 2012 rings blessed and prosperous for everyone!


    D. Dye

  4. we won't kick anyone out of UCW... really xandra!!! Doris, i'm so pleased I found you as well, and vitch36, thank you, and I hope all your dreams come true as well.