Long, long ago, longer than I care to remember, I stood in Charing Cross Road and stared in awe, half unbelieving, at my baby sitting proudly in the window of Foyles. I even took a photo.
I thought this success made me an established author and that therefore from that point on things would get easier. But they didn’t. For life intervened: children, the need to earn money … you know the story.
Well, I’m back now … and how the world of publishing has changed since I was last in print. The traditional industry is now dominated by a handful of commissioning editors frightened to take a chance because of the cost of failure, while at the other end of the spectrum, the Brave New World of unfiltered self-publishing is drowning in an ocean of uneven content.
My background is a little different from most. My mother was a painter and set designer at the Old Vic and my father was an author with 13 books published, so I grew up in a literary environment. But I studied the sciences. Perhaps it is not surprising then that for my career I chose technical writing.
Now, with hundreds of thousands of (extremely boring) words published, I am turning to fiction, a rather belated attempt, I suppose, to follow in my father’s footsteps.
Whether I succeed or fall flat on my face we will have to wait and see.