I’d like to welcome Emma all the way from Scotland as she talks about how she got from there to here.
Author of “Beyond Evidence” a YA Paranormal Crime Thriller
My writing journey- so far…
I was in Primary six, which means I was around nine years old when I wrote my first book. I cannot remember what it was called but I do know that it was about seven sisters who hated each other. I laugh when I think about it now but I will say that I have always wanted to be an author. I always enjoyed writing little stories when I was younger whether it was in school or at home and I would always create scenarios when I was playing with my dolls.
When I moved on to High School, I lost my ambition to write and became more interested in art and growing up too quickly (as I am sure many other teenagers do) but as I grew and got to know myself more and more I found a passion for English. I had a fantastic English teacher in second year called Mrs Grant and she was one of the most patient high school teachers I can remember. I think she was partly why I developed a passion for English, even though I didn’t show it much. I always got good marks in English and enjoyed writing essays. I ended up leaving school at the age of sixteen with eight standard grades and one higher (in Scotland the exam board is called SQA – Scottish Qualifications Authority and in fourth year you are required to sit Standard Grade examinations in English, Maths and a Language- either French or German and then a further five subjects of your choice. The standard grade exams were graded 1-7 with 1 being the highest grade and 7 being a fail. I received a 2 for English which I was so pleased about and a 3 for my Art. The rest were 3’s and 4’s which I was satisfied with. In 5th year I chose to do English, Art, Computing and Media Studies. I passed my Art- gaining an intermediate 2 grade A) and went straight into fulltime employment in Childcare. I literally left school on the Tuesday and started work on Wednesday, having time off for my higher exams. I then went on to study Childcare and gained an SVQ (Scottish Vocational Qualifications) 2 and 3 in Early Years Care and Education and Higher HIV, Hep C and other related illnesses (required to work in a local authority setting). I absolutely loved the job and I still do. I have been working in childcare coming up ten years and I am now based in a Maria Montessori nursery in Glasgow, Scotland. It is the best job in the world and I wouldn’t change my career choice, however I did begin thinking about writing again in June 2010. The reason being that a colleague of mine has a partner who has apparently been writing his first novel for eight years although he is very secretive about it and does not share it with anyone. My colleague and I discussed our love for reading and I just decided there and then that I would put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) so I went out and purchased a book named “Your Writing Coach” by Jurgen Wolff and began my research.
I absolutely love all things paranormal, especially since my Grampa died in June 2002. I was absolutely devastated about his death and to this day I still am. He was an amazing Grampa who worked as an engineer (which my Dad followed) and he travelled the world for years, living in places like Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Australia. I remember him being away a lot and when I was little he would always bring back these huge dolls for me and I would be as happy as a child at Christmas. Anytime I saw an aeroplane I would say to my parents “Gampa on the giminey” (that was my word for aeroplane till I was about four years old!) and sometimes when a plane flies over my house I think about him. I know he would be very proud of what I was doing if he was here today.
I decided a few years later that I was going to see a psychic medium just to see if they could give me any accurate information. I sat down with the man who’s name was Fraser and he instantly began talking about my Grampa. How could he know? All I had said was hello! He told me about his love for Whiskey, his bad health and his involvement in Scottish pipe bands. I know what you might be thinking- “All typical information on an old Scottish man!” – but there was something about the way he spoke that made me feel comfortable. Also, there were other things that he said that only I could confirm, things that I had never told anyone before! That’s pretty solid evidence if you ask me!
I was so pleased with my reading that I kept going back to the same place, once per month on a Wednesday evening, with my mum. There was another lady there, Anne and she was every bit as great, if not better, than Fraser. She gave me a private reading and it was from there on in I was totally convinced that after death, there is more.
You probably have me pictured as some crazy woman who worships the dead – but I am just your average twenty six year old woman who lives at home with her boyfriend and two cats.
Anyway, after I decided to write my book and purchased my help material, I asked Anne for some advice. She gave me tips on how to make my character (Patrick, a psychic medium from Glasgow) authentic and believable, even to a sceptic.
And so my novel began, based in Glasgow (my home city) and in the middle of a triple murder inquiry my character and his life grew and grew.
I am on the last few chapters and as the story is coming to a harrowing climax, I cannot imagine my life now without writing. I have made some amazing friends along the way and some of them are so supportive and encouraging. I was encouraged to start up a Facebook page to promote myself and my work and I now have 166 followers and I recently began my own blog, which has 10 followers. For an unpublished author, I think that is pretty amazing. Not only have I had amazing support from my new online friends but my family and friends at home too. My best friend Donna is an artist and she has agreed to design the cover, which I am thrilled about.
I have amazed myself by getting this far, and I am not going to stop until I am holding a copy of “Beyond Evidence” in my hands and whenever I cannot get to my laptop to write, for reasons such as laundry or cooking, my fingers itch and my brain overloads with scenes I am desperate to type up.
I already have an idea for my next novel, I think it is going to be a series, or maybe just a second to the first book. But whatever I do, I can be sure that there will be a laptop and an internet connection nearby. I mean, Google has been my source of research so I am definitely going to need it for my next project.
Thanks for taking the time to read this blog, I hope you have enjoyed it and maybe one day soon you will see my book for sale, if you do, grab a copy. You never no, if you’re a sceptic, I may change your mind! J
Touching post. I never knew either of my grandfathers, but I sense how very important yours was to you and to your writing. Best of luck with Beyond Evidence! And thanks for the great story of your journey.
Thank you for reading my post and yes he was very important to me. Still is! Thanks for your well wishes and your support x
Emma, thanks for sharing, and no I don’t think you are a crazy lady.’Life’ is far stranger than fiction! LOL. Best wishes with Beyond Evidence, and good luck with your writing career.
I hope you are surviving those terrible gales you are having up North right now. I lived near and in Perth for many years.
The wind is crazy but so far we have been lucky and haven’t experienced any damage. Thanks for reading and for your support x
Best wishes to you, Emma, on your writing.
Two particular comments:
1. That individual who’s been writing a book for 8 yrs and won’t / can’t show it to anybody — I’ve known some writers who are remarkably similar. It makes me wonder whether they have anything at all of substance. Of course, I’ve heard of best-selling masterpieces which took a dozen years to create … so I guess you can’t squeeze every writer into the same box.
2. Grandfathers — I never met either of mine. My Dad’s father died shortly before he was born. My Mom’s father died a couple of months before I was born. I’d love to have a conversation with my Mom’s father, because he actually knew I was on the way.
Thanks for reading. I know that the man I wrote about works full time in a very demanding job so I am sure that he would have more freedom to write without the added stress of the job. Some people can be very secretive about their work when it comes to writing but I am a girl who cannot hold her water! My Grampa was amazing and I definitely think that one good thing has come from his death, my ability to write about the paranormal, I would thank him if I could, but I know he would tell me not to believe in such nonsense and continue rearranging his garden gnomes 🙂
Emma, what a touching story. I was close to my great-grandfather more than my grandfather. He didn’t pass away until I was in college. Such an amazing man. I wish I could have shared more time with him. Good luck in all your future goals.
Thanks for reading my post, it’s nice to know my story touched you. I miss him like mad and 10 years only feels like 10 days. Thanks for your well wishes x