How I became an author … Wendy Salter

The pleasures to be enjoyed from reading books are innumerable.

The path to writing your own book is tortuous and lengthy … or is it?

You either like writing or you don’t, which immediately isolates a relatively small portion of the population
who are likely to write a book, and that was a revelation that came to me this year – the year I produced my own first book.
It is not a competition between writers; it is what writers do, naturally – produce books; like cooks produce food.
I realised that because some are doing it successfully, it doesn’t have to inhibit first-timers. Yes, some become famous and prolific in their creations, like pop stars, but, again, that doesn’t make them the best for everyone. I see now that that is more about marketing than writing good books.
Writing, and having something to write about, has never been a problem for me, but becoming a published author certainly was, before now.
I love a good book and am probably quite critical in how I choose an author and reading subject; for example,
I have read only five chapters of the Harry Potter polylogy and I have only read two books more than once.
They were ‘Tess of the Durbervilles’ by Thomas Hardy
and Homer’s ‘Oddysey’ .
Starting the book that I have just self-published was also alot easier than I could ever have imagined. It was as easy as 1, 2, 3…go!
A few words came into my head one night, just before going to sleep and instead of dismissing them as unimportant
I wrote them down the next day. A few hours later I had the first five chapters of a short story.
These words were very far away from being a book, and I had no thoughts around what I would do with them, until the story unfolded before my eyes and became a revelation in itself. One story led to another until, five months after starting, I had a potential book. The seed of thought of it being a book one day was germinated by several elements.
  1. There was at least one person, I knew, who would read my book, and, as it has turned out, many, many more.
  2. There was so much excitement for me in writing the book that I felt  there would be excitement, and therefore enjoyment, for the person reading it.
  3. The finished book seemed to offer something valid and enlightening to anyone who read it, beyond just enjoyment.
  4. I knew Tom Evans.
Tom, the Bookwright, has been a master key to turning my story into a book. Tom’s support, encouragement, knowledge and expertise, especially about self-publishing, has made the process extremely easy.
I wondered if I should use a pen and paper at one point, because it felt like such a rich experience, but I found my lap-top and
‘Word’ so useful for correcting and editing later. Sending the complete manuscript as a document via the Internet, to your chosen publisher, is so easy, too.
I can now see that once you recognise that you are a writer, everything else can follow on smoothly.
I have self-published on just to get a book in my hand and see what it looks like and to give the unabridged first edition to my family.
It is easy and cheap. Your book arrives within five days!

Having held my book in my hands – a real book called ‘Herstoria’ – and seen my words on the pages therein, I am now going to walk fearlessly along the path of authorship and urge you to do so too.

Tom encouraged me to start my own Blog. I have found that not only could I start serialising my first story on the Blog, but I could overcome my nerves about being exposed, criticised or even ignored. I also enjoyed posting short articles and poems. The feedback I have received by doing this has been very positive. It is great fun and very rewarding as well as a useful practice for being a published writer.
Tom is like a writer’s guardian angel. He will be there to help you overcome any self-doubt, writers’ block, loss of direction or lack of information and will be the first to celebrate your success with you.
Wendy Salter