I was inspired by Tolkien and wanted to write like him. I failed miserably and lost count of the many times that my manuscripts were rejected. Then, under pressure from my agent, Carolyn Whitaker, I started writing for children.
At first, I was reluctant to do that, feeling that I had failed to become a writer for adults but eventually Carolyn, won me round and I don’t regret that change of direction one bit. As a children’s author, I have travelled to many countries giving talks in schools as well as visiting many cities, towns and villages in the UK. In doing that you get to meet a lot of readers – far more than most writers for adults can dream of.
Of course, I still hope to achieve my original ambition and get published as a Science Fiction and Fantasy author. To that end, I am working on a couple of books now, grabbing time to do so between meeting my commitments as a children’s author. So, I have not given up! That’s what you need as a writer – perseverance! Lots of people write but, when rejected, they give up too early.
Keep trying! That is vital because life gets in the way – we all have distractions so, in order to succeed, you need to make time to write. I wrote early in a morning before going off to my teaching job. It became a routine that enabled me to complete one book a year. Each of those books was rejected until eventually I wrote ‘The Spook’s Apprentice’.
Where did I get the idea from? It had been an idea jotted in my notebook almost eighteen years earlier but I hadn’t realised its worth. So, make time to write and keep a notebook – that way you won’t forget your ideas! I still keep notebooks. I still dream that I will have a big new idea that will launch me as an adult Science Fiction and Fantasy author! It might still happen!
Never give up! Persevere!