My Writing Journey: From Triond to a 5* Novel

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.

After reading Rask Balavoine’s article about my novel, RIPPER, MY LOVE, I have decided to share my writing journey with fellow Trionders.

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.

Book Description:

(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. 

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16 Comments
  1. Posted September 1, 2012 at 2:32 am

    Like share

  2. Posted September 1, 2012 at 4:27 am

    Thank you.

  3. Posted September 1, 2012 at 4:50 am

    Glynis, this is absolutely wonderful news and I’m so glad you shared it with us. You’ve shown that writing on Triond can indeed be the first step in taking a writer places undreamed of.

  4. Posted September 1, 2012 at 1:07 pm

    Thanks, Val! Never give up is my motto.

  5. Posted September 3, 2012 at 10:51 am

    This is quite encouraging. I wanted to know when did you start writing? When did you start writing seriously and wanted to get a book publish?

  6. Posted September 4, 2012 at 1:59 pm

    Glynis, I want othrs to know I bought your book and have nearly finished it – what a pity I have to go to work today. It is holding me in suspense. Well done!

  7. Posted September 4, 2012 at 2:19 pm

    Inspirational :) Look forward to reading your book

  8. Posted September 10, 2012 at 1:10 am

    Very inspirational Glynis. Thanks. I will possibly take up your footsteps to become a self-e-publisher!

  9. Posted September 10, 2012 at 7:45 am

    Thank you all. So glad I inspired some of you to move forward with your writing. Val, thanks!

  10. Posted September 11, 2012 at 1:11 am

    So very interesting indeed. and thanks for sharing this great article brilliant display of knowledge

    Not what we give,
    But what we share,
    For the gift
    without the giver
    Is bare.
    thanks for the support. :)

  11. Posted October 13, 2012 at 2:30 am

    Wish I knew you earlier, Glynis. It is amazing. With so much talent, it is surprising you didn’t start even earlier (even before joining Triond).

    I knew Louis Jerome. She was encouraging of me too. A warm person.

    Will read your work soon.

  12. Posted November 13, 2012 at 4:19 am

    Very impressive the beginning is hard but after that your rod will go up

  13. Posted December 7, 2012 at 11:54 am

    Your journey has inspired me to forge ahead to make my dream to become a sucessful Author reality!

    ThankYou:
    Kathy Sills

  14. Posted December 7, 2012 at 12:32 pm

    Good luck to you all. :)

  15. Posted March 18, 2013 at 11:44 am

    Sounds pretty amazing.

  16. Posted March 18, 2013 at 11:45 am

    And inspiring

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