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Sunday, 2 June 2013

Dreams do come true

When I was small I longed for three things, a brother or a sister, a horse and to overcome my shyness. As it turned out I couldn't have siblings or a pony to call my own and it took me more years than I could have imagined to learn how to cope with my extreme shyness. But, as a child, although I couldn't have any of these things in real life I could catch hold of what it felt like to have them when I picked up a book. In some books I could identify myself, in others the person I wanted to be.

You will realise why the above book was a particular favourite of mine. It is a little pocket Collins called First Pony by Jane Eliot whose real name is Patricia Leitch. I absolutely loved this book in which Sandy dreams of owning a pony of her own. I read it again and again and wrote my full name on the front cover, underlining it twice, as if by doing that it would ensure that no-one else dared to walk off with this book. This book was at the same time aspirational and comforting. If we are down the right book can lift us. If we are afraid it can empower us. If we are worried it can re-assure us. Books add richness and stillness to our lives and I believe that books can change lives. Both as a reader and as a writer, they have certainly changed mine.

This week I have been counting down the days until the publication of my latest book, Last Chance Angel. It is three years since I sent this manuscript to Templar and two years since I got the phone call to say they would like to take it, and me, on. It was a dream come true, but publishing is a slow business and although I am used to this and totally accept it, I think some people who asked about the book initially, have actually wondered whether it really was going to see the light of day after all. In the intervening time I have written a second book for Templar, due to be published in 2014 and am in the process of editing that. So I am involved with new characters and a different plot. But for the next month I will be visiting schools and re-visiting my relationship with Jess, the main character in Last Chance Angel. I love Jess. She has and always will have a special place in my heart. I grew to love Darren, the Angel of Death too although he's not the most cuddly of characters!  It's a nerve-wracking time in many I wait for any reactions to my creative enterprise but incredibly exciting too especially as this time around I have decided to have a launch party. I've never done this before but this time, with Templar's support, I've decided to go for it and this morning took delivery of this amazing cake.

It was made by a very talented lady called Justine who runs a company called Jus bakes and I am absolutely thrilled with it. This party is an opportunity for me to thank family and friends for all of their support, as well as to meet some new people in the book world as well.

So, to all of you writers out there, struggling with your plots, trying to breathe life into your characters, wiping away the tears as you get another rejection I urge you not to give up. It can take time, you can experience many highs and even more lows and a lot of people will think you are chasing rainbows. Many will not understand why you are doing it at all but you know the reasons and that is all that matters.

One of my dreams is about to come true. This week I hope some of yours will too and, as always, thank-you for taking the time to read my blog. If you've got a bit of extra time, I've also got a post on the Templar blog this week, talking about making your readers cry! Here's the link…


  1. Have a lovely party, Alex! You deserve it. I, for one, am really looking forward to reading Last Chance Angel.

    1. Thanks Pippa. Sorry you couldn't make it. You were missed!

  2. Great book launch. Delicious cake. Excellent company. May your book ride right up to the top of the charts :-)

  3. Thank-you Ros. It was lovely to see so many people there, especially friends who have supported me over many years.