I often hear from people who want to write a book but don’t know how or where to begin. Or from people who have already written a book that’s ready for publication but don’t know how to get it published. I recently began a new blog series, Writing and Publishing Tips From Authors Around the World, to help writers.
The ninth contributor is U.K. author Fran Macilvey and she’s here to talk about writing.
Writing is a Funny Business, by Fran Macilvey
Writing is a funny business. It is compulsive, open-ended and exhilarating. It is also isolating, solitary and sometimes downright weird. Here we sit with our characters and our ideas, and who else is that bothered about them? I’ve written several books, the first of which, Trapped: My Life with Cerebral Palsy
is published by Skyhorse Publishing, New York,
and two others of which are submission ready. I have more ideas and books in the pipeline (including some chic lit) and I’m writing a radio play of Trapped. I also translate all my books into UK and US English, so that they are ready to go when the chance presents itself.
I am promoting my first book widely in the UK this year, with the help of Palamedes PR,
and meantime, I do everything I reasonably can to take up opportunities to speak and engage with readers. I really want to speak to people, about the good things in life.
There have been times when I think back and suspect that, if I had known what I know now, about the long hours, the pay rates (smile) the promotion, and the nerve-racking waiting to see, I might never have started on this writing road. As I say, it can be a strangely solitary pre-occupation…
But if I hadn’t bothered to tell my story about my life with disability, and if I hadn’t won the writers’ equivalent of the Lottery and found a publisher, I would never have met hundreds of truly wonderful and supportive friends, not only in Authonomy, but also on Facebook, Twitter, all my on-line networks, within my faith community and simply in the world at large. I would never have known what I was capable of.
Writing is often a way in which we grow through our lessons to something more powerful. We learn that we can do many things, and that we owe it to ourselves to try. Many writers worry about writers block, editing, publicity, promotion and all that goes with it. They worry about revealing their ‘babies’ to the public. They fret about the cost, the long hours and how they can fit in their writing around ordinary life. But there are not many writers or authors I know who would trade their obsession for something more ‘ordinary’, or who regret that they have learned valuable lessons. There are not many authors who find the same buzz in a day job. Because, when the chips are down, there is nothing more exciting, there is no thrill that compares to finding a story, writing it out and finally deciding to call it finished.
There is also my website,
Fran Macilvey is an author and motivational speaker based in Edinburgh, Scotland. She has a particular interest in social inclusion, disability studies, authorship and personal progress. Her first book, ‘Trapped: My Life With Cerebral Palsy’ (ISBN: 978-1-62873-761-5) tells the true story of her life so far. It is agented by Isabel Atherton, director, Creative Authors, and sold to Skyhorse Publishers, New York. It is an Amazon international bestseller (hardcover, e-book and audiobook narrated by the author).
Fran is currently writing a radio adaptation of Trapped.
Fran’s second book, Happiness Matters, and her third, Making Miracles, detail her quest for happiness and success. Both are submission ready.
Fran has further fiction and non-fiction works in progress and is comfortably on the way achieving a solid list of titles. As well as Trapped: My Life With Cerebral Palsy, Happiness Matters and Making Miracles, these include, The Seduction of Susan Scott, He Says/She Says, Pip, The Dream Maker (all fiction) Why Women Write and How To Get Published. (Both non-fiction).
Fran has a loyal and committed readership worldwide which continues to grow and which she works ceaselessly to broaden. She has written and facilitated a writers’ course, is a motivational speaker and gives readings of her work. On behalf of Capability Scotland, she recently appeared on BBC Radio Scotland and has been interviewed for The Sunday Post. When not reading, writing or promoting, she swims, and enjoys horse-riding with the Riding for the Disabled Association.