Thursday, May 25, 2017

Anne Harvey: My Path to Publication

It has been a delight to welcome Anne to the RNA blog and read about her path to publication. 

My path to publication has been a long and winding one. The thought of being a writer never
crossed my mind until the early 1960s when I started work as a typist for a popular newspaper in the area where I then lived. I loved working there and got a real buzz when the printing presses started up. Naively, I decided I wanted to be a journalist. Sadly, it didn’t happen because I didn’t have the
necessary qualifications. Still, I was able to write snippets for a feature called Town Topics and I still treasure those cuttings. The features editor said my writing had 'a warmth and cadence some journalists lacked.'
Occasionally, over the years, I managed to get the odd article published in national magazines or articles about my family history research, though they were limited to family history society magazines. It wasn’t until I took early retirement that I started writing seriously, first with an article in a newly published national genealogy magazine back in 2003. I went on to write many articles for them, all commissioned, so at last I could call myself a writer. About that time, I started writing what was to be my debut novel, A Suitable Young Man. I know now that first draft was dire!

In 2010, I joined the RNA through the NWS and I went to my first meeting where a whole new world opened up to me, being able to talk to and learn from other writers. I learned even more as A Suitable Young Man went through the Scheme, rewriting and editing according to various Scheme readers’ suggestions. I tried sending the MS out to various agents/publishers but with no success. I decided, in the end, to self-publish. I wasn’t getting any younger and I didn’t feel I had time to wait around for an agent to accept my book then tout it round various publishers.
With the MS having gone through the Scheme, I knew that it was of a reasonably high standard so in December 2014, I published A Suitable Young Man with Kindle Direct Publishing and, a little later, as a paperback version with Createspace.  A family history contact who sends out a genealogy newsletter to some 90,000+ followers, gave it a wonderful review and sales, not just in this country but in the USA, Canada and Australia, soared. In March 2016, I released the follow-up novel Bittersweet Flight and, although sales have been steady, it hasn’t reached the heights of its predecessor. Both books have been a Do-It-Yourself projects on a limited budget, the major expense being the covers designed by the talented Berni Stevens, to my brief.
I’m proud of what I’ve achieved, even if I haven’t reached best-seller heights. I’ve decided I prefer the independent route to publication. It gives me overall control and I’m not under pressure to produce one to two books a year. And best of all, it’s enabled me to join the RNA as an independent member!

Short blurb for the books
A Suitable Young Man and Bittersweet Flight are nostalgic tales of family, friendship, love, loyalty and loss set in a small Lancashire mill town in the 1950s, centering round the Roberts family. Book three is my WIP where I bring together all the characters from both books to reach a satisfactory conclusion. The working title is In The Thick Of It.

Author bio
Anne started her working life as a weaver in a Lancashire cotton mill before taking shorthand and typing lessons. Although she never really fancied office work and was rubbish at shorthand, she ended up spending most of her career in secretarial work. After living in various parts of the country for one reason or another, she has finally settled in Derbyshire with her third (yes, you read that right!) husband and loves it. Latterly, health problems have prevented her getting to any RNA events but hopes that situation will improve eventually.

Twitter: @annelharvey.1

Thank you, Anne and good luck with your next project.

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Jean Fullerton-East End Girl & Author said...

Well done, Anne, great books.

Lizzie Lamb said...

Sorry to be so late coming to comment. I was in London last night at Romance in the Court. I love both your books Anne, and when I get a moment I'll review the second one.

Unknown said...

Lovely post, Anne. Good to get to know you. I love these blog posts, you learn so much about writer friends that you didn't know. Bittersweet Flight is on my list for when I take a writing break. I'm looking forward to reading it. xxx

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