This post is part of a 10 part series in the lead up to a writing conference being hosted by Fiona McIntosh (October 2019). Please follow along with my weekly posts about how I’m preparing my manuscript and myself ‘mentally’ for this wonderful opportunity.

If you’ve had a snoop across my website then you might already know that I’ve worked in the communications realm for quite a while now — over 15 years as a journalist and then in public relations. Now, however, I’m on a new path to becoming an author.

With this being the third post of a special series before I head off to a national conference where (gulp!) real life publishers will be, I wanted to write a post about me, the author. After all, I have to get used to thinking of my ‘author brand’ and putting it out there. So, here we go:

Why do I want to write fiction?

Is it too simple to say it’s something I need to do? It’s not even a want, it’s a true internal need to do this. There is this *feeling* that comes with me wherever I go. I chat to friends and hear something and think ‘That would be such a good book!’ I hear of names in my son’s class and think ‘That would be a great character’s name!’ or I’ll visit somewhere and can feel a story brewing from all around me. It’s like living with this never ending experience that makes me always think about stories and writing. I just need to give this a go and see where my creative writing can take me.

What kind of author do I want be?

A rich one — look out JK Rowling! Ha! Jokes aside, I want to be a career author. That means I’m quite serious about writing (and aware that it will take perseverance to get published, let alone make a living). I want to hone my craft so that I can research effectively, write efficiently and produce books consistently.

I would like to be the kind of author where people see my name on a front cover and know they’re going to get a good read. I know not every book will be to everyone’s liking but hopefully there’s always a good story arc that makes my work consistently solid.

In my pitch for publishers I’ve posed that I’m:

A writer for women, about women.
Mixing life, love, relationships,
and thought-provoking issues
into page-turning stories.

What genre do I fit into?

I definitely fit into the women’s contemporary fiction camp. There’ll always be a reflection of modern day, particularly the kind of lifestyles where women juggle, struggle and shine.

I also recently came across a genre term called ‘Up Lit’ where certain stories are deemed to be uplifting. I think that’s what will be at the heart of all the work I write. I want readers to finish with a sense of satisfaction, hope and joy. And no, that doesn’t mean my stories are all sunshine and lollipops the whole way through.

Who are the authors I hope to emulate?

I have several favourite authors across different genres. The ones I like in terms of writing style are Marian Keyes, Lauren Weisberger, Jane Green and Liane Moriarty.

I love a writing style that is chatty and entertaining. Being light with words doesn’t mean the subject or genre isn’t worthy.

Please share who your favourite authors are and why? I’d love an insight into what makes a great connection between writer and reader.

J x

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