Sitting down to write this piece about my writing journey, has brought refection on how far I have come. Not only as a writer but as a person! The confidence in my writing I have gained. Earlier this week I was invited to discuss my books in the library with a book club. I can’t begin to tell you how good it felt and how much I enjoyed it. I love to write, and I especially love writing Contemporary Irish Literature. We live in a beautiful country, so why not share this beauty with the rest of the world by describing it in a book.
Before I introduce you to my second novel Under a Dark Cloud, which I am delighted to be launching in the Book Centre in Waterford, I feel it is important to mention this would not be possible without the wonderful response I received from readers on Amazon and Goodreads, while also receiving a phenomenal amount of feedback through private messages. I’m referring to my first novel, A Sweet Smell of Strawberries. A story of love, loss, heartache and retribution. A story I truly believed needed to be told, and I still believe in it after all I’d achieved my dream.
Having self-published A Sweet Smell of Strawberries, which is hard to believe was only last year, it was with all the enthusiasm of a five-year-old on Christmas morning. I admit, after the initial feeling of euphoria came self-doubt, something I am renowned for. Writing I love, the PR side and putting my work out there is a different thing altogether.
It may seem to some that self-publishing is a road taken by authors who are completely self-absorbed, but I can assure you the opposite can be said. Writing a novel takes a great deal of commitment and research, there is no easy option whatever path you decide to take. Most Indie Author’s go down the self-publishing route because it suits them personally for many reasons. Mine had been simply to hold my book in my hand, particularly before I reached an age milestone, something every blog and writing article advises writers against setting goals for. I don’t regret my decision, the idea of sourcing a mainstream publisher, sending letters and waiting for rejection or acceptance would have taken months and then it could be another year at best before the book would be in readers hands.
By choosing to self-publish means I am launching my second novel within that time span, a book which has derived from the huge support and overwhelming feedback received from readers. People looking forward to the next book because they loved A Sweet Smell of Strawberries, it’s all still surreal.
This time however, I am over the giddy first book euphoria and am launching Under a Dark Cloud, with a level-headed adult approach. I guess we all must grow up sometime!! Although I do feel like a goldfish swimming in an ocean when it comes down to it, but my books are selling and the feedback is positive, and this is also due to the support from resources like writing.ie, which is invaluable for both indie and traditionally published authors. Credit also goes to WLR and especially to Waterford Newspaper, The Munster Express for all the publicity leading up to and after the last launch.
Like I said, this second book would not have emerged if it had not been for the positive feedback, and support from family and friends. This time I’ve brought the story closer to home, with a stand-alone story whilst also entwining some of the characters from A Sweet Smell of Strawberries. Sarah had visited her friend Roz in Waterford, and although Roz is not the main Protagonist in Under a Dark Cloud, her story is incorporated. The story is about two women Kelly and Nessa with an unknown connection allowing for plenty of drama.
Writing about these two women felt like I was travelling on a special journey with them. Kelly’s determination, admiration for Nessa’s strength, I loved writing her scenes, the pen flowed. Many of us have gone through tough times in our lives like Kelly and Nessa, and sometimes when we read book, we get a connection that makes us feel we are not alone in our pain. I’d like to think my novels can touch people, giving hope and comfort as well as being a worthwhile read.
Under a Dark Cloud will be launched at The Book Centre, Waterford, on 18th October at 6.30pm.
About Under a Dark Cloud:
Under a Dark Cloud is a grippingly emotional story of shattered dreams and haunting nightmares. Two women battling to emerge from Under the Dark Cloud that shrouds their lives.
Kelly Henderson returns to Bunreen, a small town nestled in the South East of Ireland, weeks after her husband’s tragic death, wanting to re-establish a relationship with her mother and sister. However, as the taxi approaches her old home, she is harshly reminded of the night her mother Lorraine banished her to live with her father in Scotland, when she was only fifteen years of age.
Kelly’s heart is heavy and her grief raw, but she must keep strong as she soon discovers there are more secrets within the family. While Lorraine’s indifference to her pain gives renewed determination to right the wrongs of the past and prove she had not been lying about what had happened. A wrongdoing that led to the breakdown of her marriage and in Kelly’s mind, inevitably caused her husband’s death.
Nessa Quinlan has a simple but happy life with her devoted husband Liam; however, her life is turned upside-down when her estranged brother contacts her to say he is dying of cancer. Nessa had broken all ties with Donald, after he had killed a local teenager in a road accident showing no remorse.
Kind-hearted, Nessa becomes his carer which concerns her family and best friend Clodagh, but Nessa has more to contend with than the disagreeable Donald, with ghosts from her past threatening to cloud her happiness, which in turn puts a strain on her marriage. This is not helped by Donald refusing medical treatment, until one day Kelly arrives on their doorstep as his new Health Nurse.
Can Nessa save her marriage, and should she trust Kelly?
Order your copy online here.