Not long after I first began blogging I ‘met’ lovely Jane Lambert through social media and featured her in an interview on Linda’s Book Bag that you can read here. Since then I have met Jane in person and found her to be just as lovely in real life. Consequently, I’m absolutely delighted to welcome Jane back to the blog with a brilliant guest post to celebrate the publication of The Start of Something Wonderful. I really hope it is Jane!
Published by HQ Digital on 5th January 2018, The Start of Something Wonderful is available for purchase here.
The Start of Something Wonderful
Previously published as Learning to Fly
It’s never too late to follow your dreams…
Forty-year-old air stewardess, Emily Forsyth, thought she had everything a woman could wish for: a glamorous, jet-set lifestyle, a designer wardrobe and a dishy pilot boyfriend. Until he breaks up with her…
Catapulted into a mid-life crisis she wishes she’d had earlier, she decides to turn her life upside-down, quitting her job and instead beginning to chase her long-held dreams of becoming an actress!
Leaving the skies behind her, Emily heads for the bright lights of London’s West End – but is it too late to reach for the stars?
From Imagination to Publication
A Guest Post by Jane Lambert
Being an actress, I am used to rejection. With 92% of actors unemployed, you have to have a lot of self-belief and staying power to survive in this crazy profession. This determination has helped me enormously on my road to publication.
I first started writing my novel ten years ago whilst going through a painful divorce. Writing gave me something positive to focus on and helped me rediscover my love of life and sense of humour.
I sent my manuscript to several agents, but replies were rare and mostly negative.
I therefore decided to take matters into my own hands and self-published through Amazon KDP and Create Space, who were always on hand when I needed technical support.
The first time I held my book in my hand was a special feeling; it symbolised the new, independent, strong me. Now that I had a physical book to promote, I approached Blackwell’s in Edinburgh, who invited me to talk about my writing and to read a sample at Blackwell’s Writers at the Edinburgh Fringe. To see my book on display in their store and to hear the audience react so positively, was a huge confidence boost.
I organised a blog tour, was a guest on BBC Radio London, and my writing journey was featured in Spirit & Destiny magazine.
However, I hadn’t given up my dream of finding a traditional publisher and continued to submit my manuscript.
When I got the call from HQ Digital at Harper Collins, you could have knocked me down with a feather. They were so enthusiastic and encouraging about my book, that I convinced myself I was dreaming.
Only when I received the signed contract did I dare to tell my family and friends.
The title and cover were changed, and I was asked to make extensive cuts and rewrites: to introduce a character earlier, while removing another completely, which had a huge knock-on effect. I found myself culling scenes I had worked so long and hard on. At one point I lost my confidence and got into such a muddle with the sequence of events. I kept telling myself to trust the experts and not give up.
Then all at once inspiration started to flow, and I felt myself connecting with the characters more than ever before; so much so that when I read the final chapter aloud I burst into tears, as I knew I was saying goodbye to these people whose lives had become so much a part of mine.
I am so grateful to my editor, Charlotte Mursell at HQ for re-opening the door to my book and for showing me that there was so much more story to share.
To all aspiring writers out there – never ever give up, believe in yourself, and if opportunity doesn’t come to you, go to it!
Love & luck,
(Your post brought a tear to my eye Jane as I know how hard you’ve worked. I’m just thrilled for you that The Start of Something Wonderful is out there at last.)
About Jane Lambert
Jane studied French and German, taught English in Vienna then travelled the world as air crew before making the life-changing decision to become an actress.
She has appeared in “Calendar Girls”, “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time” and “Deathtrap” in London’s West End .
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