"This looks like a tree, but it is an average, ordinary, everyday, boring tree. Breathe life into it. Make it bend - trees are flexible, so they don't snap. Scar it, give it a twisted branch - perfect trees don't exist. Nothing is perfect. Flaws are interesting. Be the tree.”
Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
"It wasn't planned out. I just wrote for me. Besides, it was a horrible mess which only a mother could love. My mother did love it, by the way, when I apologetically asked if she'd read it. She convinced me to carry on writing.
"So I did. I went to workshops too. Writing Events, Bath, helped me hone my writing skills and gave me confidence. Alan Mahar, at Tindal Street Press (now absorbed into Serpent's Tail), gave me some great feedback which inspired me further.
"In 2014, I had the brilliant fortune to meet Imogen Cooper, previously Head Editor at Chicken House Publishing. Through the Golden Egg Academy, she took the novel I'd been wrestling with in hand. Make it first person, she said. Add a pet, more conflict, greater peril. More, more, more! I also met many fantastic writers through the academy who also gave, and still give, invaluable feedback - and cake.
"Two years on, and that novel landed at the feet of agent Kate Shaw, The Viney Agency. She unexpectedly saw its heart and took me on. Since then, I've written two and half novels and lots of shot stories. Writing is still very much an obsession."