Half A Million Books Sold
It’s a funny thing, writing. I don’t know how other authors feel about it, but quite often I struggle to comprehend my stories being read all around the world. Most days I sit happily tapping on the computer, my thoughts on hitting my word count for deadline day. Then an email will pop into my inbox or I’ll get a lovely review, and it makes me take pause. A smile grows on my face as I read how I’ve kept someone entertained for hours from the other side of the world. This week I’ve obtained over 510,000 book sales and it has blown my mind. I had a sneaking suspicion I was coming up to it, I even made a banner for my social media page. But even so… seeing those figures in black and white made me feel a swell of gratitude to everyone who has supported me along the way.
Writing Is Not Work
Being an author can be a solitary life, and social media is fantastic for sharing news. Having said that, I’d hate to be seen as someone who is constantly tooting their own horn. I love what I do, but creativity is fuelled by inspiration. I’ve seen lots of wannabe authors come and go since I published my first fiction novel in 2015 and I try to motivate when I can.
Let me tell you something, writing isn’t work. NHS workers walking three hours in the snow for a twelve-hour shift – that’s work. Police officers being assaulted, spat at and name called on the street as they race from one job to another – that’s work. But writing for a living? At it’s worst, it can be hard. Crazy hard. There are times you don’t want to write another word. In the early days when you doubt yourself you need something to cling on to.
I used to love stories such as these – an ordinary person hitting milestones and writing full time. This story about Amanda Hocking fuelled my writing for months. Mel Sherratt and Martina Cole are other female crime authors who have provided so much inspiration. It makes my day to hear that I’m inspiring others now too. So if I come across a little narcissistic please forgive me. But I’m a strong believer in paying it forward and if I help just one wannabe author to keep going then my work here is done.
I know the Oscars are over, but it would be remiss of me not to say thanks. It takes more than one person to make a book a success. I’m hugely grateful to the fantastic people who have helped me get this far. To my family for believing in me. To Bookouture for signing my first six books. To the Madeleine Milburn literary agency and the fantastic team at Thomas & Mercer. Last but not least, to the bloggers, reviewers, book clubbers and of course… the half a million readers who have bought my books. Thanks. I can’t stop smiling and it’s all down to you.