The Secret’s Out

Since ‘coming out’ as a would-be author, friends have made some interesting comments like “I knew you were up to something”, “I’m so jealous, I always wanted to write a book”, and my favourite from my nanna: “I’m glad you told me, I thought you were suffering from depression!” I had been a little cagey about the new challenge which is devouring my spare (hah!) time, but far from feeling depressed, I was exhilarated and delighted to spend so much time writing.

I’ve been a vociferous reader since the age of four. The usual stuff. Torch under the pillow for elicit after lights out reading sessions. I always finish the day with a few pages of my current book, no matter how tired I am. But writing is a different matter.

For most of my career I’ve been a PR consultant, writing punchy press releases of around eight hundred words or so. Sometimes, if I’m writing a case study or a feature it can be double that. When it comes to fashion PR the word count is minimal, the photography does all the talking. All we have to do is add the price and the stockist details.

Hence my decision to keep my writing under wraps until I’d made it to ‘The End’. My primary concern wasn’t whether I could write a compelling story with interesting characters, it was whether I could have the commitment to keep going long enough to write around one hundred thousand words.

It wasn’t until a friend asked me what I would do career-wise given the choice, that I admitted I was already doing it. At this point I was at about seventy-five thousand and was so hooked on writing that I knew there was no way I would give up before reaching the finish line. She was quite surprised when I told her about my book. Not as surprised as I was though, when she told me that her dream job would be an embalmer in a funeral home. She fancies the peace and quiet apparently!

I managed some one hundred and five thousand words in the end and am feeling very chuffed with myself. Not only did I keep plodding on until the last chapter, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed writing it and, dare I say it, my debut rom com is pretty good.

As I’ve learned in the short time I’ve been researching the publishing industry, making it to ‘The End’ is just beginning!

By Cathy Bramley

Cathy is the author of the best-selling romantic comedies Ivy Lane, Appleby farm, The Lemon Tree Cafe and A Vintage Summer. She lives in a Nottinghamshire village with her family and Pearl, the Cockerpoo. Her recent career as a full-time writer of light-hearted romantic fiction has come as somewhat of a lovely surprise after spending eighteen years running her own marketing agency. However, she has always been an avid reader, hiding her book under the duvet and reading by torchlight. Now she thinks she may have found her dream job.

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