A Writer’s Story Where Anything is Possible
January saw the release of my debut children’s fantasy novel, Truth Teller. This may not seem out of the ordinary that another author has released a new novel, but I’m not like your average author. In fact, I was probably the least likely person in the world to publish a novel.
I grew up in
Stevenage and went to Collenswood school. My English teacher, Mr. Score, was a great fellow, but never really held much hope for his students being in the bottom group. I remember the day he almost leaped out of his chair with excitement when I handed in an essay that had obvious potential. He did well to hide his disappointment when I confessed to copying the lyrics from my favourite Jam album, and he even asked me to bring in my albums so he could see the lyrics. Poor thing, teaching our class, he must have craved creativity.
I left school with absolutely no qualifications in English and headed off into the building trade to follow in my father’s footsteps. I liked reading, but I wasn’t very good at it. I immediately fell in love with classic fantasy tales like Lord of the Rings when my mum introduced them to me at about the age of twelve, but not being the best reader in the world, I struggled with them. I always longed for a story that was just like this, but written especially for readers like me.
Many years later, working with young children in the evenings as a volunteer inspired me to write for children. Don’t ask me why, it just seemed like a good idea at the time. So I started writing the fantasy novel I always craved for as a child. I spent the next two years scribbling away whenever I found the time and finally wrote a whole novel. It was a masterpiece! Or so I thought. I was hopelessly poor at grammar, terrible at spelling, couldn’t read very well and knew absolutely nothing about writing whatsoever. I will leave it to your imagination to how good my masterpiece actually was.
After taking advice, I took my story to an online critique group where I first met other writers from all over the world. They took my work and completely ripped it to shreds. They started telling me all this stuff about writing, and I didn’t have a clue what they were talking about. That was the beginning of my life as a writer. They were the most amazing people I had ever met and became my best friends. They encouraged me and made me believe in myself and my writing. I grew a thick skin and continued writing while learning to write properly. I soon came to learn just how difficult it was to become a published author. For those who have never tried it, it’s even harder than you could ever imagine. For someone like me, it became an almost impossible task. But nothing is impossible.
I began sending my manuscript to agents and publishers, and the rejection letters started rolling in. My youngest daughter started calling me, The Rejectionator. Kids are great, aren’t they? This is a difficult time in a writer’s life, but the writing community was there to support me and guide me in the right direction. They convinced me I had what it takes to do this, and urged me not to give up. So I soldiered on, wrote more books and continued to learn. The problem with trying to attract the attention of a publisher or agent is they are only interested in what the market is selling, and what will make them the most profit. This is understandable as they are a business just like any other business, but this doesn’t help all the talented writers out there who will never be given a chance simply because they are not writing what the book sellers want to sell. But with the rise of indie publishing, the publishing industry is going to change dramatically over the next few years. Like it or not, self publishing has given the power back to writers and given them the opportunity to take control of their own writing careers. From my personal experience, I believe this is a good thing, but not a route I would suggest to any writer as a fast-track to fame and fortune. Going through the traditional route is a great exercise for anyone who wants to become a published author. It will teach you to become disciplined in your craft and encourage you to be the best you can be.
I have come a long way since I started this amazing journey into the publishing world. I have learned so much from the experience. I now moderate the Novel Workshop that took me under its wing and taught me everything I know today. I help mentor published and new writers, and this is my way to pay back all the kindness and help shown to me when I first started out. With the help of these amazing people, I created my own publishing company, UK Children’s Publishing, from which I published the first book in my children’s fantasy series, Truth Teller. It’s still early days, and this is just the beginning of a whole new journey for me. My story is available in all e-book formats and will come into print later on in the year. If all goes well, I will also release the next two books, The Wrath of Siren and Favian’s Law in a timely fashion while I’m working on book four in the series, Lost Magic. I also have another middle grade novel, Unknown Reality, that I’m submitting through the traditional route, and so far, I have had some very encouraging feedback from top
publishing agents. I wonder what my old English teacher, Mr. Score, would think of me now. I’m sure he would be very proud. UK
There is a moral to this story. It doesn’t matter who you are, or what background you come from. Never stop dreaming. You can make your dreams come true if you want something enough and are prepared to give it everything you’ve got. You should always believe in yourself.
Truth Teller by Kurt Chambers is free to all readers
How can ten-year-old Charlotte ever envisage that magic really exists? The place for other realms belongs in a child’s fairy tale. Or so she thinks, until she discovers the strange shopkeeper and begins an adventure that changes her life forever.
Discovered alone in a far away forest, Charlotte embarks on a journey encountering heart-stopping dangers and real life monsters, but a far greater threat shadows her every move. Even the strength and skill of her new companions cannot protect her against a ruthless druid assassin.
But in this realm, Charlotte is not the vulnerable little girl she thought she was.
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You can connect with the author at:
Author’s Web page http://kurtchambers.net/
Author’s Blog http://geniusborderinginsanity.blogspot.com/