People sometimes ask me what my favourite part of the writing process is and I find that hard to answer because I enjoy everything, from the feverish bit at the start when I get an idea to combing the manuscript through time and time again for mistakes during final editing.
But a real highlight as an author has to be meeting readers who have enjoyed my book- or who maybe are about to- and signing a copy for them.
The launch party for Keeping My Sisters' Secrets in London earlier this month was really special because the book had already become an international bestseller ( I still can't write that without my heart skipping a beat). It was the number one bestseller in non fiction after its launch in Canada for eight weeks and is still in the top ten there at the time of writing this. In the UK, it achieved top ten status in the coveted Sunday Times book charts for five weeks over the summer and is still in the top twenty. It has been a #1 kindle best seller for months too- which I have to pinch myself to believe.
So, signing copies of Keeping My Sisters' Secrets marked a milestone for me. Like most authors, I have worked hard to get to this far and I have had a lot of rejection along the way. All too often, that is the bit that writers are reluctant to talk about; the times they had a really great idea, slaved over a manuscript and then got it rejected all over town. Rejection hurts and it can be a terrible thing when it happens- your manuscript is not quite what is wanted, an editor doesn't like your plot line or your characters. If you are just starting out, you might wonder whether you should give it up altogether but it is worth perservering. I really believe that being able to listen and learn from people who pass comment on your work is part of the writing process. If one book doesn't quite make it, the chances are another one will.
I have learned a lot from all the times things didn't work out- and believe me, there were quite a lot of those.
I loved writing about the lives of Eva, Peggy and Kathleen, the three sisters from 1930s Waterloo, but now I am about to embark on another adventure with my next book, so watch this space. There are more stories to be told and I really hope you enjoy them as much as you have enjoyed reading about these remarkable sisters.