Saturday, 5 June 2010

Guest Blog: Leigh Russell!

I'm pleased to offer another writer for a guest blog post, Leigh Russell! Leigh wrote Cut Short, and has the second book, Road Closed, out now. I'll hand you over to Leigh to chat about her road to publication

It’s no secret that I completed the first draft of CUT SHORT in six weeks, and two weeks after I’d sent out the manuscript I received a phone call from a publisher who offered me a three book deal. After editing, rewriting and research, my first book hit the shelves and sold out so fast that it was reprinted three times in under a year. Following that success, ROAD CLOSED has just been published ahead of schedule as WH Smith’s Travel selected it for a promotion. It’s been a thrilling rollercoaster but my publishing deal turned up so suddenly and unexpectedly that I still can’t believe this wildly exciting experience is really happening to me.

I only discovered my passion for writing three years ago when an idea for a story popped into my head and I began to write it down. Since then, I haven’t been able to stop writing. As a school teacher my days are tiring, but I have evenings and weekends free for writing, and time before the school day begins if I arrive at work early, and lunch times… and the school holidays are no longer holidays. As Eugene Ionesco said, “A writer never has a vacation. For a writer, life consists of either writing or thinking about writing.”

I’ve heard it said that finding a publisher is like climbing a high mountain. Once you reach the summit, you see an even higher mountain ahead – book sales. This week is half term so I’m doing four book signings, giving a talk, appearing on a panel of bestselling crime writers, and completing the first draft of my third book. I enjoy giving talks and going to book signings, getting out and about meeting readers, but all this promotion is another demand on my time.

Sometimes I think I must be slightly insane… but I love writing and everything associated with it, and the pressure of limited time seems to help my creativity almost as much as a deadline from my publisher! Another benefit of being so busy is that I have no time to stress about how my second book will be received, and no time to worry about “writer’s block”. If I have a free hour or two, that’s it – I’m writing!

Thank you Leigh! I know Gerry, who reviewed Cut Short, is looking forward to reviewing Road Closed. Be sure to check out more from Leigh on her blog.


Clarissa Draper said...

Leigh, It's more difficult to get your books here in Mexico and the US but I'm excited because I just ordered your book Cut Short and it shipped yesterday. When I read it, I will do a review and hopefully get to ask you a few questions.

I plan to buy Road CLosed as soon as it's available in the US.


Leigh Russell said...

Thank you, Clarissa. I look forward to receiving your questions and reading your review. I hope you enjoy CUT SHORT!

Talli Roland said...

What an amazing story! It's so nice to hear that writers can have successes like Leigh's. Thanks for the postive post, Leigh!

CarlyB said...

Wow that's a great post, really interesting to hear about your writing journey Leigh. Thanks for sharing :) x

Leigh Russell said...

My pleasure, Talli and Carly and thanks for your good wishes. I hope you both have success - and a lot of fun! - with your own writing.

Anonymous said...

Hi Leigh, this is wonderfully encouraging for a novice writer like myself. You have done so well and to hear such a success story as yours gives new writers an incentive to carry on, passed those rejections and days of writer's block.

I have recently finished a paranormal novel of which I am now editing, but it is taking a long time and I hope my next book won't be so time consuming.

Best wishes, Kathryn (CJ) xx