I’m delighted to be bringing a guest post by Heidi Perks whose debut novel Beneath the Surface is published tomorrow 24th March 2016 by Red Door Publishing. As well as from the publisher, Beneath the Surface is available in paperback and e-book on Amazon UK and in e-book on Amazon US.
Beneath the Surface
‘An intriguing novel… with a dark mystery at its heart’ C L Taylor, author of The Accident
I don’t know where you are…
I don’t know what I’ve done…
Teenager Abigail Ryder is devastated when she gets home from school to find her family gone. Nothing makes sense. Things are missing from the house and her stepsisters’ room is completely empty. But the police think she’s trouble, and when grandmother Eleanor tells her to forget them all and move on, there’s no choice other than face the future – alone.
Fourteen years on, Abi and Adam are a happy couple on the verge of parenthood. But when the past comes back to haunt Abi, the only way forward is to go back and uncover the truth – and reveal the dreadful secrets a mother has been hiding all these years.
Taking the Leap from Corporate to Writing
A Guest Post from Heidi Perks
I always knew that one day I would try writing a book but up until a few years ago I hadn’t done anything about it. I’ve always loved reading books and writing but had never felt the time was right to try.
I was working for large companies in marketing for nearly fifteen years, and had moved up to a good position as Marketing Director. I liked my job a lot even though it wasn’t my dream and the thought of giving it up to write wasn’t something I could seriously consider – that was too big a leap. So in a way I felt lucky when fate played its hand. I was on maternity leave with my second child and was offered redundancy. At first the thought was daunting, I had returned part time after my first child was born and assumed I would do the same again. But at the same time here was a great opportunity to do something different – something I really love.
I have now been writing seriously for four years and I don’t doubt that there’s nothing I would rather do. But that’s not to say it’s always easy. There are some things I really miss about working for a large company and mostly this is the people. Some days in between school runs I don’t see anyone else and as a people person it can be very lonely. When you’re used to people asking you questions, constantly running things by you, being in and out of meetings all day then spending the day with only your own imagination for company can be hard.
Also in the early days, in particular, I was hugely reliant on other people, and this requires patience. Agents and publishers warn they may take 6 weeks to get back to you and that can seem like the longest 6 weeks ever.
Then there’s the rejections, or only slightly better the feedback that says they like what you’ve done but then ask if you can completely re-write it. After holding my head in my hands for a few hours I’d have to pick myself back up and get back to it again, and unlike working for a big company there was no one to help me do that.
So yes it’s tough, but then when you get a break you realise that it’s all worth it, and for me it really is. The first time I wrote the words ‘The End’ and realised I had strung together 90,000 words into a complete novel, the first time an agent called me and said ‘we love what you’ve sent us,’ and the first time you hear a publisher say, ‘we want to publish you,’ were all momentous occasions. The moment I held a copy of my book in my hands, and when brilliant reviews came into my inbox were both moments of pure joy that I would never have experienced if I wasn’t doing something I desperately wanted to do.
When I started writing I fitted it around my two young children, and I know many have full time jobs too, which makes it incredibly difficult. But whatever you’re doing, if it is something you love it will be worth it. It might not be the journey you expect, in fact it probably won’t be, but that’s half the fun of it!
Thanks so much Heidi – I think an awful lot of aspiring writers, including me will take so much from what you’ve told us today. Very best of luck with Beneath the Surface.