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Winnersh author Linda Fawke on her debut novel

PUBLISHED: 10:20 28 February 2017 | UPDATED: 10:20 28 February 2017

Linda finds the thought of people reading her book ‘exciting and quite scary’

Linda finds the thought of people reading her book 'exciting and quite scary'

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Linda Fawke of Winnersh made a New Year's Resolution for 2016 to publish her debut novel. She's now done just that, and tells us how it came about

I’ve always loved writing but for good reasons at the time, I chose a career in pharmacy. Many years later when I retired, I became the author I wanted to be. I did a writing course and as part of this developed the synopsis of a novel using my pharmacy background. I started on ‘A Taste of his own Medicine’, a story of love, lust, loss and revenge set at a 30-year reunion of a group of pharmacy students.

The synopsis became a novel as I took part in Na-No-Wri-Mo in November, 2012. (This is an event where writers are challenged to produce 50,000 words in a month). I managed an unfinished, scrappy story, greatly in need of revision and editing. But it was a start!

Litro magazine ran a competition for Na-No-Wri-Mo completers to describe their experience and I was delighted when I won it. That encouraged me and I wrote 30,000 more words. Much too soon, I submitted the book to agents and publishers – without success. I had simply not put enough work into it.

By chance, I was introduced to an editor who helped me improve my writing considerably and encouraged me to self-publish on Amazon. Ignoring warnings from other writers of how difficult it would be, I embarked on Createspace and Kindle with the help of my husband. We are not technological wizards, but we did it – quickly and at minimal cost. I had a professional cover produced, launched the book in November 2016 (four years from starting it) and am now making sales on Amazon, both as a paperback and a Kindle download.

Simply getting my novel published is a success in itself for me. It’s exciting and quite scary to think of people reading it. It shouldn’t be as it isn’t my first time in print. I write for Berkshire Life (there was an article in the January 2017 issue) and have published in The Oldie, The Telegraph (I was a winner of their ‘Just Back’ travel writing competition) and Scribble magazine, amongst others. But somehow, a novel is different.

So I kept my New Year’s Resolution for 2016. I have plans for a sequel which I will publish the same way. This year’s resolution is to complete the first draft! (No pressure then…)


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