I’m delighted to be here, following the publication of my debut novel The Trouble With Love. Some may ask, why did it take you so long – seeing as my age is close to Madonna’s. I say – it’s a long story . . .
I guess, like many of us, I can’t remember a time when I didn’t tell stories. My childhood being full of books, imaginary ponies, fairies, princes and goblins. I wrote my first novel when I was nine. But when I was at school writing was just something you were good at, not a career. And so, I became a physiotherapist, and then a health researcher.
Fast forward and my first baby is just 3 weeks old when everything changed for ever. My darling brother had a freak motor cycle accident leaving him severely brain damaged. That was when my writing – like a long-lost friend - found me. I wrote and wrote and wrote and wrote. I’ve not stopped writing since.
I went on to be short listed for the prestigious Ian St James Awards, where I met my first agent Maggie Noach, who arrived with Lene Lovich (yes, she of Lucky Number fame). I had my second baby clamped to my chest in a baby sling when Maggie turned to me and said, ‘Do you have a novel?’ Well, yes I did. And the rest might have been history, if Life hadn’t thrown yet another curve ball my way.
I’d finished my MA in Creative Writing, was close to securing a deal with a major publisher, when I was struck down/ completely floored by a neurological chronic illness. It rendered me bed bound, and my vocabulary dropped to around 200 words. My dream appeared shattered. But still, my writing did not abandon me. As I clawed back some health I wrote short pieces (all I could manage with limited brain stamina): poetry and short stories; I even performed poetry where I could – not once letting go of my dream to be a published novelist, come hell or high water. I began to realise it would take me longer than I’d hoped. Slowly improving, I began to teach creative writing online for the Open University, and returned to an abandoned story about Polly and Spike and their family of friends. In the midst of all of this – sadly Maggie passed away, my marriage broke up, and (I won’t lie) finding a new agent was tough.
So, where am I now? I have a new agent - Kate Hordern - and a debut novel published with Sphere –yay! It may have taken me longer, I may be older than I hoped I’d be – but then I suppose I wouldn’t have had all that fun performing poetry, gained such experience, or been honoured to inspire students.
There have been false starts along the way, I’ve certainly been tested, but I’ll always be grateful that - when I needed her most - my muse, my writing, my whatever, came back to me like a small ghost child, placing her hand in mine, and leading me to here.
It’s not over, I know – this is just the start of my new journey. I shall continue to reinvent myself and my new mantra, should I falter, will be to - Be More Madonna!
Rosemary Dun is a lover of words and a performer of poetry – she’s been known to whip out her ukulele (unless you ask her very nicely not to!) The Trouble With Love is her debut novel with Sphere, Little Brown, and she couldn't be more delighted. She’s also a creative writing tutor, mother to two grownup daughters (how did that happen?) and she lives close to Bristol’s historic harbourside with her bonkers labrador Tallulah.
The Trouble With Love (Amazon)
Many thanks to Rosemary Dun and we wish you all the best.
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This blog was compiled by Louisa Heaton.