For as long as I can remember, I have dreamed of making a living as a novelist, of working from home and creating stories that people might want to read. As I dreamed, I worked as a supermarket deli assistant, a fiber tester, a data entry operator, an apple picker, a cider bottler, a home help, and a despatch worker. Eventually I sold a novella to a magazine in Scotland. Then I sold a few more. But I realised that this would never provide me with the means to give up my day job and write full-time. So I started writing novels. But several novels and a pile of rejection letters later, I decided that if I was ever going to achieve my dream, I would have to take control of my career and be proactive.
Last year I set myself some goals. I would write a novel, publish it, and promote it myself. Then any success or failure would be down to me. So I wrote a novel about a subject I love—a scrapbook novel, I bought a self-publishing package, I set up a website and blog, and I chased my dream.
I chose Abbott Press to publish my book. As a division of Writer’s Digest, whom I have found to be a valuable source of information and resources over the years, I knew that they were all about helping authors realise their dreams. Abbott Press have been wonderful, helping me to produce a book I can be proud of. With their guidance, I felt in complete control every step of the way. I learned a lot about my writing and about the whole publishing process, from formatting to editing and design.
These are exciting times for writers, with so many opportunities to take control of your own career, and not have to wait around forever to be noticed by an agent or publisher. With self-publishing and e-publishing, and the great opportunities available for self-promotion through social media and blogging etc., it has become easier than ever for a writer to turn their dream into reality. With a little imagination and a lot of hard work, the possibilities are limitless.
Last week was an exciting time for me when I got to hold my book for the very first time. Although it was incredibly exciting to have my first story published in My Weekly all those years ago, there is nothing quite as special as seeing your name on an actual book.
What the future holds, nobody knows. Although I am not yet making a living from writing, at least for now I have been given the chance to live my dream, to stay at home and write stories—and hope that they bring people enjoyment. I have many more stories to tell about Wattle Lane Keepsakes and the people who gather there to explore their creativity and embellish life’s magic moments. I look forward to sharing more of their stories with you, my readers.
Scrappy Cupcake Angels
Nothing can quell Angeline Dunwich’s excitement as she stands before Wattle Lane Keepsakes. As she opens the door to her scrapbooking shop for the first time, Angeline hopes to encourage the residents of her small New Zealand town to explore their creativity and capture memories. Little does she know that Wattle Lane Keepsakes will very soon become the weekly destination for four women drawn to scrapbooking for widely different reasons.
Every Thursday Angeline teaches the Scrappy Cupcake Angels how to find joy through scrapbooking, and each of the four learns to confront her fears and to understand what is important in life. As Grace works on a scrapbook for her mother who has dementia, she wonders if it will help her mother cling to her last memories. Tegan scraps her travel photos with an insatiable wanderlust while contemplating where her heart really belongs. As Jodi creates beautiful layouts of her daughter, she questions whether any of her efforts will help mend her broken family. Kayla finds it easiest to express herself through her art, but secretly speculates whether she will ever gain the confidence to realise her dreams.
As Angeline opens her home and her heart to her new friends, only time will tell if the Scrappy Cupcake Angels can help her overcome her own greatest fear and fulfil a lifelong dream.
Scrappy Cupcake Angels is available as a paperback, hardback and eBook from:
Barnes & Noble
Fishpond (New Zealand)