Five Things I Wished I’d Known About Being an Author
by Allie Spencer
1. Getting a book deal is not the end of the process but the start of an even longer one! When you’re not published and desperately praying for an agent/ editor/ anyone to give you a break, getting your hands on that first contract is the only thing that matters; however, always remember that – when the longed-for break comes your way – you’ll be expected to write another one, and another and possibly even one more after that – so get that second book started ASAP.
2. Writing your second novel is terrifying. Everybody says so – and it’s true! Your first novel is your baby: you lavish time and attention on it; you tend to its every whim; tweaking and polishing it until it gleams like the sun. As far as you are concerned, it is wonderful – the best thing you could ever have hoped to produce. Then someone asks you to write a second one, which has to be as good if not better than the first. Under a deadline. And with a scary, binding contract that promises all sorts of legal repercussions if you fail. Keep the faith and believe in yourself.
3. Your third book is only slightly less terrifying than the second. The good news, though, is that by the time you get on to writing the fourth, you’ll have forgotten what it feels like not to be facing down the barrel of a deadline and you accept The Terror as part of normal life.
4. When people discover you are an author, they will probably expect that you: a. are very famous (‘Have I heard of you?’); b. Are very, very rich (‘Do you earn as much as that JK Rowling, then?’); and c. spend most of your time sitting on a pink sofa, stroking a Pekinese and eating Belgian chocolates. This is, of course, a complete fantasy but no one will believe you if you tell them that you live in saggy track pants, spend most of your time swearing in frustration at the computer and eating cereal out of the packet. Sometimes it’s sometimes best just to smile and reply: ‘something like that’.
5. Writing a book is hard – and I understand ‘hard’ – I used to work as a divorce lawyer! However, having written a book is absolutely the best thing in the entire universe and I wouldn’t swap it for the world!
Allie Spencer is an award-winning author of romantic comedy novels and has had her work short-listed twice for the prestigious Melissa Nathan prize. She is on Facebook and Twitter (@Allie1Spencer) and her next book, Save the Date! is published by Arrow Books and will be released on June 21.