3 March 2017
Blog Tour: Author Article by Charlotte Butterfield
My journey to getting published
My Dad had a fax machine that printed things on a shiny roll of paper, and every page invariably had streaks of ink running down the centre of it. Nonetheless I made him photocopy my stories that I would then take to school to sell. I was about seven or eight and had already made up my mind that I was going to be an author. I dallied with the idea of being a marine biologist when I was a teenager as it sounded big and clever, but as soon as I found out it involved permanently wrinkled fingers and large sea creatures, I went back to Plan A of being a writer.
After finishing my English degree, I did a masters in Women’s Studies, and then got a writing job on my local magazine in Bristol that paid the princely sum of 75 pounds a week. I was rich! Fifteen years of being a journalist followed, until one day when I set myself the challenge of writing a short story. Which somehow turned into a longer story. Which then became a novel.
I’d read with terror about writers receiving enough rejection letters to paper a bathroom with, but who wants a hefty kick to their self-esteem every time they need the loo? So I decided to self publish. I was delighted when my friends and family gave me great feedback for my book, but then I figured, that’s what family and friends are for, so my head didn’t swell too much. On a bit of a whim I entered the Montegrappa First Fiction award at the Emirates Lit Fest in Dubai, where I live, and couldn’t believe it when I came second. The agent who was judging the competition signed me as a client and within three weeks I got my two-book deal with Harper Impulse!
It’s been an incredible year, from tentatively trying to see if I could write fiction to working with a living, breathing publisher, and actually seeing my name on the cover of a novel. I’ve yet to give up the day job of being a journalist completely, but I can say hand on heart, when I’m writing my books I’m dancing through the day.