We have a treat for blog followers today as Anna Jacobs tells us about her writing career.
In January 2015 I had my 70th novel published. I’m in my 70s too, so it seems a lucky number for me.
When I got my first novel accepted in 1992, I sat and thought about my future career. I was 50 then, so I figured I might manage to get 10 novels published before ‘the end’. After all, it’d taken me ten years and six books written to get to this stage.
I smile now at that naïve analysis, but in the days before the Internet it was far harder to get information. I was very wrong about the numbers. The years before 1992 had been spent learning my craft; the years since have been spent using and developing my skills – and learning to write far more quickly.
It wasn’t that I knew everything about writing novels by the time that book was accepted, but that I knew enough to write to a professional standard. Those are the two key words. I’m really glad I’m not starting as a writer now, particularly glad I wasn’t able to rush to self-publish when no publisher wanted my first ‘darling’. Because that made me work even harder to hone my skills.
My first story is the only one of those six books that I haven’t rewritten and had published. Why not? Because it doesn’t deserve it. Writing that story taught me so much and it was an incredibly valuable exercise. But oh dear, it has an extremely trite plot and a lot of errors in how it was told. RIP.
One of the best things about being a novelist is that you never know it all. There’s always something you can do better next time. I absolutely love that.
My agent said I seem to have moved to a different level with my latest series, which starts with ‘A Time to Remember’. That remark from an expert made me beam with delight all day.
So, to sum up, I’m in my 70s, I’ve just had my 71st novel published and I’m still learning. What a wonderful job this is!
Oh, and I’ve revised my estimate of how many novels I plan to write. I have so many ideas that I’ll need to live to at least 120 to tell all those stories. What fun!
Anna’s two ‘70s’ books so far:
‘A Time to Remember’ is set just after World War 2. It’s a historical novel, they tell me. It doesn’t feel like that to me, because I remember those times with a child’s eye. It’s the first of four novels set in Lancashire. Mayne is about to lose his family’s ancient home because his father has lost the family money. Esherwood was requisitioned during the war and is in a mess. All Mayne can do to save it is convert the old house into flats. Judith’s brutal husband is about to return from his posting overseas and she needs to get away. Both of them discover secrets that will tear their lives apart and yet, may offer hope for the future.
‘Legacy of Greyladies’ is the third and final in the series, set on the Home Front during WW1. Phoebe Latimer is holding the fort at Greyladies while her husband is serving in the army. But someone is targeting the old house—and Phoebe—in order to get rid of the German internees. Her life is at risk, and that of her unborn baby. Olivia is helping found the new Women’s Institutes in Wiltshire and loves the old house on sight. Can Alex help the two women save the old house and the friendly ‘enemy aliens’?
Award-winning author Anna Jacobs writes both historical and modern romantic novels about families and relationships, producing three novels a year. January 2015 saw her 70th novel published and she’s the 6th Most Borrowed Author of Adult Fiction in the UK, and is similarly popular in Australia.
You can find out more about Anna’s books on her website. Each of them has a separate page, where you can read the first chapters and find about what gave her the ideas for the various stories. Go to:
You can also read the latest news on her Anna Jacobs Books page on Facebook
Thank you, Anna, for such an interesting insight into your writing life. We both agree that a writer never stops learning.
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My website URL has slipped out of the blog. It's at http://www.annajacobs.com
Thank you for writing such an interesting piece for the blog, Anna.
PS Your website is shown through the blue hyperlink
This is a very interesting take on the craft of writing. Hard work always brings rewards.
Congratulations, Anna. You're a wonderful storyteller.
And very thankful we are that you learned to produce books faster!
Thank you for your kind words. I just love story-telling, Vonnie.
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