I started writing more or less as a child. I would lose myself in fantasies of Neverland or in the Faraway Tree. For me, good writing is when I can (or the reader) lose myself in the book. Books for me have been a pathway to another world. Where else can I imagine myself in the roaring 20’s as I run down darkened corridors trying to capture a criminal? Where else can I transform myself into a hawk and soar high into the sky to catch my prey? Books have limitless creativity and I find the art of reading is slowly dying.
This is a very sad thing for me because as I get older, I do see people getting smarter. Technology is a wonderful thing, but the age old art of reading is disappearing, fading away. I see Libraries getting emptier, books lying untouched and many writers struggling to make ends meet. I must confess, I did fall into the struggling writers’ bracket and I have to say, it wasn’t an easy life. Bills had to be paid and I had to work two jobs just to complete a book.
I made the rounds and sent copies off to various publishers but I never heard a word. Until one day. It was my first book and I was still very young. A publisher called me up and offered me a deal and to my young, inexperienced eyes, it seemed like a great deal. I sold all rights to my book in exchange for £5,000. For a young woman of 20, who worked two jobs, this was an enormous sum. But I soon saw it published and in various bookstores – but the book didn’t have my name on it. I didn’t know what to do and even though I made a lot of enquiries, I found out that the document I had signed was legally binding and that I had no rights over my book any longer.
This made me really mad, but I knew what was done, was done. I researched and found this society that seemed to help out authors. I had to pay a small fee (which I could afford, thanks to the payment for the book) and I became a member. I have to say, this was one of the best moves I had ever made. The publisher got back to me and asked if I had more books I wanted to sell and even though I was still angry, I was polite and I declined.
I asked for advice from the members and they helped me immensely. I got more books published and they became huge successes. Thanks to the Society, I wasn’t screwed over by any publisher. They helped me by going through all contracts thoroughly without having me pay an extra fee. If it weren’t for them, I would’ve had to shell out a lot in terms of legal fees or have a bad deal. They helped negotiate terms and if I have done well, it is because they watched out for me. As they do with all their members. Joining SoA was the best decision of my life, apart from sticking to my guns and following my passion for writing.