It’s that time of the year, or the decade, where we evaluate where we are. So, I thought I’d give a brief summary of where I started in 2009 and where I am now.
2009 I’d had post hysterectomy complications and my third procedure to remove an ovary – a result of endometriosis- a horrible disease affecting many women, yet talked about by few.
I was working for DWP, and I was ill and desperately unhappy.
I escaped on 1st Dec 2011 – the day my new life truly began.
Whilst I was poorly, I’d started writing again, as a kind of therapy to get through my physical and emotional trauma. About 2010 I started submitting to anthologies, believing, like many newbies, that ‘for exposure only’ was a valid form of payment. For me, back then, it was.
I was getting my work out there, and in 2012, things changed.
Ian Whates at Newcon Press actually paid me proper money for a short story in his anthology ‘Hauntings’, where I appear with HWA Stalwarts Marie O’Regan and Paul Kane, Adrian Tchaikovsky and Mark West. We had a small press launch, organised by Ian and Danie Ware, at Forbidden Planet London. I signed sheets, sitting next to Adrian and was given a cheque – I bought a Zombie Racoon anthology and other books – and was given a gorgeous signed hardback edition of the book. My sister, my bestie and others came along. I was changed that day. Doooomed! “This is what I want to do,” I said. “I want to earn a small living and come off benefits.” Someone in the car lectured me. Told me I was having delusions of grandeur amongst other things. I don’t speak to them anymore.
But I chipped away, released my first collection ‘Monsters Anonymous’ through Anarchy Books and Andy Remic, who took a chance on me.
I then worked for two small presses, buying one – released about nine anthologies I edited including Dark Voices, then sold my business to LVP. Check them out. In the last eight years I’ve also had over fifty stories published and a total of three collections. I’m working in my fourth, ‘Sex, Slugs and Sausage Rolls’. Yes, you read that right. Featuring artwork by the very talented Hauke Vagt.
I became good friends with Joe of Crystal Lake Publishing; who has given me the longest extension ever, due to health grounds. I’m finishing Gods Vengeance in 2020 I tell ya! 2019? What a year! I was, after much work, awarded the Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley Scholarship for Horror Writing by the HWA. I started my MA in Creative Writing, started learning scriptwriting techniques. And through the scholarship, I’m halfway to Texas KillerCon next year as well as having access to courses and valuable texts to ensure my development.