My Husband’s Ex by Rosie Walker | Magazine | Crime | Interviews
My Husband's Ex

By Rosie Walker

Losing sight of a dream and finding it again . . . Rosie Walker on realising her dream of becoming an author.

Every writer bio I read seems to contain a variation of the line ‘he/she has written stories since the moment they were old enough to hold a pencil’. I am no different: my first ‘novel’ was called The Witch and I made it on stapled-together dot matrix printer paper from my dad’s office and illustrated it myself in pencil. My stories were dark and inspired by ghostly tales and adventure stories. There were often secret passageways and death. I continued writing stories throughout school and surrounded myself with books and writing for my entire adolescence. Being an author was my dream.

Until it wasn’t.

As I approached the age where you need to choose your academic specialism ­– school exams and then university subjects – I realised that becoming an author was nothing more than a pipe dream. It was childish, like dreaming of becoming a famous footballer, ballerina, actor or astronaut. It didn’t happen to real people. Writing books wasn’t a realistic career path, and I needed to choose something that was.

I’d always been interested in people and their minds, so I ended up studying psychology at university and then found myself in a solid administration role. My family were proud: I was using my degree, the job had a good pension scheme, and a tangible career progression into project management.

But WOW, I was so bored.

My job was facilitating other people doing interesting things: I booked the meeting rooms and took the minutes instead of taking part in the interesting discussions. I refreshed my emails and made to-do lists, daydreamed and read every blog post that appeared in my GoogleReader (it was 2008). I was probably quite an irritating employee, to be honest. (Sorry, boss).

And soon, I got so bored that I remembered who I once was, and what I had once wanted to do. Why wasn’t I writing? What did I need to do to become a writer? And what if I wasn’t any good? Finally, I’d tuned back in to my author dreams, and now I wanted to pursue them.

Unlike writers in the movies, I didn’t quit my job and immediately write a bestseller. I decided to pressure-test the ‘what if I wasn’t any good?’ concern: I joined a local writing group and enrolled on a writing course. When those felt positive, I did an Open University Creative Writing module, which I passed with distinction. Finally, I applied to do a Masters in Creative Writing, ostensibly buying myself a year of writing time and utter immersion in literature.

That’s when I quit my job.

I moved to Edinburgh to spend a year studying writing and books. Even then, I didn’t write a novel yet. I spent that year in the pub with my fellow writing students, talking about writing novels instead of actually doing it. But there was a difference now: I was finally engaged, my brain fizzing with excitement at the things I was learning every day, both on the course and from my classmates.

I’m ashamed to say it was another six years before I finally wrote ‘The End’ on a manuscript and began querying literary agents. There were other jobs where I daydreamed: I worked in a bookshop and a library, I temped, I got into copywriting. I plotted lots of book ideas that ended up on the scrapheap, and I even tried writing a book together with two of my friends – reasoning that three people can write three times as fast as one. But we got caught up in disagreements as to where the plot needed to go next and that so-called speedy progress ground to a halt.

The thing that finally cracked it for me? I got a job where I wasn’t bored and I didn’t have time to daydream. Turns out, daydreaming and procrastinating is exhausting. With the extra energy, I wrote on my lunchbreak and commute to and from work, on a tiny Chromebook that fit into my handbag. My target was 500 words a day, but I often managed more. And I logged it all in a spreadsheet so I could see my progress and feel proud of the words adding up, until they reached novel length.

Finally, my debut novel came out in the pandemic-laden year of 2020, into a world where bookshops were closed and everyone was afraid. With three novels out in the world – Secrets of a Serial Killer, The House Fire, and The Baby Monitor – I now have another: My Husband’s Ex, out now from Bookouture.

I’m a writer now and I’m so glad I re-discovered my long-lost writing dream. I have no regrets about how I got here (except I wish GoogleReader was still around).

Maybe I needed to lose sight of my dream in order to get here. And the key first step that got me here took place on the day I finally remembered who I was ­and always had been – a writer. After that, there was no looking back. 

(c) Rosie Walker

About My Husband’s Ex by Rosie Walker:

‘Hello, stranger,’ says the beautiful woman on the doorstep. Pushing past me, she throws herself into my husband’s arms while I stand frozen in shock. I’ve never seen this woman before in my life… but how does she know the man I married?

The colour drains from my husband’s face as she releases him. When Ted says her name – Alice – my blood runs cold. Because I’ve heard her name before. Alice is the woman who broke my kind husband’s heart. Ted told me she vanished from his life after their breakup, but has he been lying this whole time?

I stare at him in disbelief, but he swears he never invited her. Can I believe him? Whatever actually happened, I want her out of my house… but as thunder cracks and the sky turns dark, a huge storm sets in. We’re stuck here: is this my chance to discover the truth?

While everyone is distracted with my two young children in the next room, I search through her coat pockets. I thought she’d come to try and steal Ted back… but the sharp silver knife I find hidden away changes everything. Looking at the blade, I’m more scared than I’ve ever been in my life – why does Alice want to hurt us? How can I keep my beloved daughters safe?

My heart beats out of my chest, but I have to stay calm. Because I know something Alice doesn’t. She has no idea who she’s dealing with, who I really am. After all this time, I won’t let her take what’s mine…

This unbelievably gripping psychological thriller will keep you speeding through the pages, with your heart racing, until you reach the final jaw-dropping twist. If you absolutely loved Gone Girl, The Housemaid or The Perfect Marriage, you will be utterly hooked!

Order your copy of My Husband’s Ex by Rosie Walker here.

About the author

Rosie Walker writes psychological thrillers about mysteries, secrets, lies, and strange people. Rosie was born in North Yorkshire and has lived in Lincolnshire, Lancashire, Birmingham, Ohio and Texas, and has yet to live in a house with a secret passageway, hidden basement or a long-forgotten sealed-up room, but still holds out hope. She now lives in Edinburgh with her husband Kevin, their daughter Elsie and their Cypriot rescue dog, Bella. She has a Masters in Creative Writing and a degree in Psychology.

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