Sharing my writing journey and success. Triond is where I ventured out into the writing world. How my novel came about and where my path is taking me in 2012/13.
Way back in May 2008 I decided to look for somewhere on the Internet to share my poetry. After browsing I came across Triond. I watched the site for a few days and then found the courage to join. My poetry received good feedback and I was encouraged to share more and write a few articles. My love of writing was spurred forward by a Triond writer, Louie Jerome (Jan Harper). She was a prolific writer on the site, and a became a supportive friend. With her encouragement, I produced two poetry books. Sadly she passed away, but not before leaving her mark.
I sent her a draft of a short story and she sent it back telling me it should be a novel. I laughed. She bullied and read through. The day she died, I wrote The End. Her family contacted me, and it touched me by how much our friendship meant to her. Hers meant a huge amount to me, and I was devestated to lose my daily writing buddy. ( I am still in regular touch with her family).
My novel gained standard rejections from agents and publishers. Then one day a New York agent send me a request for the full manuscript, and then came a rejection stating:
You write well and have a wonderful imagination. The premise of the book is fascinating. I cannot see where to market the book in the current climate, so have to decline representation.
I was spurred on, this was a positive rejection. It wasn’t a bogstandard letdown, it was a personal message. Two small publishers became interested, but I turned them down. YOU DID WHAT, Glynis? Yes, I turned them down. They wanted me to write only about the female. One wanted me to remove two key characters! The whole story would have been farcical without them!
In May 2012 I decided to self-publish and set myself up on Amazon.com. I paid $22 for extra distribution, and the novel now sits on many on-line bookshelves around the world. Including Barnes & Noble, The Book Depository (ideal as they deliver free worldwide), and Smashwords.
I bought the image with rights for a few euros and created my cover with the assistance of a friend. To my delight the cover received positive responses. The original cover had historical suspense, but friends said I was missing out on the romance readers. Now I could understand where the agent was coming from, what genre does my novel belong too? In short it is a mix. Historical romance with a twist, is how I now describe my work.
I set up a launch via various blogging and writing friends, and from day one the book has sold copies on a steady basis.
The reveiws have been amazing. On Amazon I have achieved 20 5* and 4* positive compliments. It is overwhelming to read such words from complete strangers.
A recent reader left these words:
Ms. Smy has created a wonderfully Hitchcockian novel; we readers know The Ripper’s secrets nearly from the outset. Our characters – especially Kitty and her extended family – do not. We realize (à la Mr. Hitchcock) that the figurative bomb is on the bus. When will it go off? Who will live? Who will die?
One would not imagine any aspect of Jack the Ripper being sympathetic, but Ms. Smy has not only accomplished that devilish feat, she has also kept every loathsome bit of his villainy and treachery intact. We are never quite sure what will happen next, and as the novel progresses, pages get turned faster and faster!
Not only are the characters and plot absorbing, the details of life in London at that time are exquisitely drawn. Without letting the story get bogged down in detail, Ms. Smy creates fully populated, artfully dressed, and atmospheric scenes. The reader is so fully drawn in that one can almost hear the clopping of carriage horses’ hooves and feel the chill, surrounding fog.
I highly recommend RIPPER, MY LOVE.
(From the author’s own page)
Growing up in late nineteenth century East London, Kitty Harper’s life is filled with danger and death – from her mother, her beloved neighbour and the working women of the streets.
With her ever-watchful father and living surrogate family though, Kitty feels protected from harm. In fact, she feels so safe that while Whitechapel cowers under the cloud of a fearsome murderer, she strikes out on her own, moving into new premises to accommodate her sewing business.
But danger is closer than she thinks. In truth, it has burrowed itself right into her heart in the form of a handsome yet troubled bachelor, threatening everything she holds dear. Will Kitty fall prey to lust – and death – herself, or can she find the strength inside to fight for her business, sanity and her future?
And who is the man terrifying the streets of East London?
I then concentrated upon marketing my work, and promote it on Twitter, Facebook and Google+. I decided to create a Youtube video.
In December I will be releasing my second novel, Maggie’s Child, another Victorian romance with a twist. In 2013 the plan is for a sequel to Ripper, My Love; RIPPED GENES, and another historical romance; The Man in Room Eighteen. These are exciting research projects for me, as the first will be based in the USA, and the second I will return to my birth town, Harwich, UK, and write about places I know in another romance with a twist set in the mid-nineteenth century.
I have been published in on line magazines such as The Vine Leaves Literary Journal, and featured in many other areas. My writing life is now that of a full-time novelist. Who would have thought all those years ago this nervous scribbler of poetry would ever achieve her dream. Triond gave me the platform to achieve that dream, and to that I am forever grateful.