Secret Santa (May 28) BUY ON AMAZON = amzn.to/3MULPc1
Secret Santa (May 28) BUY ON AMAZON = amzn.to/3MULPc1
Who are you? Tell us a little bit about yourself...
I am Laura Glynn, a 39-year-old Pharmacy Procurement Technician in the NHS from Kent. I have been married to Ian for nearly 10 years; we met working in hospital pharmacy nearly 20 years ago and were friends for a year before getting together.
I grew up with my mum (Irene), dad (John) and two little sisters (Gemma – who is severely autistic and Carla – who followed me into hospital pharmacy and currently works alongside me in the same department).
I am heavily involved in GirlGuiding and have run a Guide company and Brownie pack for over twenty years, enjoying camping, crafts, activities and baking. I love Christmas and everything about it and am happy watching Christmas movies in the middle of July. This time of year finds me organising a Christmas Fayre for the Guides, baking loads of Christmas cakes for friends and family and trying to spread the Christmas cheer.
What first inspired you to start writing?
I have always written short stories since I was at school, but they have always ended up hidden in a box in the loft as I believed they were not good enough for publication and no one would want to read my stories. A few friends and I decided to write down wish lists for what we wanted to achieve, places to visit, etc., and one of my dreams was to have a book published. My husband saw the list and said I needed to start writing. I mentioned that I had a book partly written and he encouraged me to show it to a publisher and achieve my dream.
What made you want to work with Rowanvale and be published?
I searched around the internet for a while and came across a Facebook page where published authors gave advice to budding authors. One piece of advice recommended Rowanvale Books as a great publisher for self-publication. I looked at their website and loved the fact that they are a female publishing company. After contacting them I found they were extremely supportive and genuine. My book needed a lot of editorial work (English is not my strong point) so I am extremely grateful to the whole team for correcting my many mistakes.
When you’re not writing, what are you reading?
I love a romance novel, so quite often will read authors such as Debbie Macomber and Mariah Stewart (I love the Chesapeake Diaries series). However, my favourite author is Mary Stewart; I love her exciting mix of romance and mystery in books such as Touch Not the Cat, Thornyhold and Airs Above the Ground.
Which work are you most proud of?
This is my first published work, so from a writing perspective, Secret Santa is what I am most proud of. It was a long time in the making and I was not very confident in letting anyone read it at first, but once I was told it was publishable, I realised that my dream of having a book published was about to come true. My proudest moment was receiving the artwork for the front cover and the chapter headers, as it was then that I truly realised it was real and the story that had been purely in my imagination for so long was recognised and put into drawings and print.
What’s your best advice for handling writer’s block?
To be honest, I put the book down once I had finished the first draft and was unsure how to proceed and left it hidden away in a drawer for nearly a year before getting it back out again determined to complete it. I re-read it from start to finish and gradually took each chapter at a time, correcting and making changes, adding extra dialogue and more descriptive details. Having the break from the story and the characters gave me a clear mind to go back and start afresh.
What’s one thing you always have with you when you’re writing?
A brand-new notebook and biro. I write the first draft by hand; I have always found that easier, then I type it up into a Word document and edit it, making amendments as I go. It is at this stage that I tend to add most of the dialogue between characters and bulk out the details. The first handwritten draft is usually written down as quickly as I can to enable me to get the bare bones of the story down in black and white, which I can later embellish.
What is one book you would like to have with you if you were stuck on a desert island?
This would have to be the Triple Jeopardy omnibus book by Mary Stewart with the three titles, My Brother Michael, The Moon-Spinners and This Rough Magic; it’s probably cheating a little as although it’s one paperback, there are technically three novels within. These stories are ones you start reading and cannot put down, filled with mystery, suspense and romance. All her books were written in the 1950s and 60s so have that old-fashioned charm but with a strong independent woman as the central character which gave me the foundations for my central character Lizzie.
What is the best part about being an independently published author?
Holding my book in my hands and being so proud that I have actually achieved my dream of being a published author. I couldn’t believe it was really happening until I saw the proof arrive in the post for my approval. It is a great feeling knowing that your story is available for others to read and imagine.
What’s next for you?
Quite a few people who have read my book have asked if I will be writing a sequel. To be honest, I would love to, but I need to come up with a plot first. I seem to have no ideas for ages, then all of a sudden a whole story comes to my imagination and I can’t get it on the written page fast enough before it disappears again. Until that story manifests itself, I will continue with my Pharmacy Technician career and spreading Christmas cheer to friends and family.