I first became a writer because my mother gave me a writing kit. I’d been talking about wanting to write for years, but thought because I had three children, a dog, two cats and a husband who was away at sea a lot of the time, I wouldn’t have time to write. Nevertheless, my mother bought a kit full of paper, dictionaries, a thesaurus and Tipp-Ex, wrapped it up in a big bow and gave it to me for Christmas. It was the big kick that I needed. My New Year’s resolution for that year was to start writing my novel, and I’m ashamed to confess it’s the only New Year’s resolution I’ve ever kept.

Everyone is different, but for my three top tips for aspiring writers are...

1. Read a lot

You learn more about writing from reading than you would believe. I think it’s very hard for people who don’t read to become writers. Read anything and everything.

2. Persevere

It took me eight years to become a published novelist. I just refused to give up. I think if you’re really determined and you really want it enough, you will do it, but you have to want it more than anything. I’ve wanted other things in my life, like to be a size 10, but I haven’t achieved them because I didn’t want them enough. I did want to be a writer enough and I persevered and eventually I made it.

3. Listen to criticism

Learn to see when criticism is helpful and when it’s not. If somebody says “I can’t get into this book because it’s boring in the beginning”, don’t disagree with them and say, “But that’s how I wrote it, I want them to know all that!” but listen. The fact is, people aren’t going to want to read it if it’s not compelling enough. There are, however, people who will say “No one wants to read a book about a girl who goes climbing without equipment; who would?” But if you know differently, if you know that there are people who would be interested, then take no notice of that criticism. When it comes to editorial criticism, usually people are telling the truth and it is best to listen to it.

The main thing is to really persevere and you will do it. Anyone can if they want it enough.

  • A Secret Garden

  • _________________
    ‘Thank goodness for Katie Fforde, the perfect author to bring comfort in difficult times. She really is the queen of uplifting, feel good romance.’ AJ PEARCE

    Will opening the door lead to love and happy endings?

    Lorna and her friend Philly work together in the grounds of a beautiful manor house in the Cotswolds.

    But even though they are surrounded by family and friends, the door to true love remains resolutely closed - until the day they discover a beautiful secret garden deep in the manor's grounds.

    Could this be the sign that their luck is about to change?
    The whole world loves Katie Fforde's work:

    'Like a good wedding, it will leave you wiping away the tears' SUNDAY EXPRESS

    'Modern-day Austen. Great fun' RED

    'Katie’s writing is life-enhancing and, like the love affairs, delicious. I enjoyed every minute!' ELIZABETH BUCHAN

    'Top-drawer romantic escapism' DAILY MAIL

    'Warm, brilliant and full of love' HEAT

    'Delicious - gorgeous humour and the lightest of touches' SUNDAY TIMES

    'Effortlessly lovable, warm and fun' CLOSER

    'Curl up on the sofa with this book and dream ... delightful' THE LADY

    'Deliciously enjoyable' WOMAN AND HOME

    'Uplifting and delightful' HOT BRANDS COOL PLACES

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