Jane Newton, the author of Know Yourself, Understand Others, released her book in May 2019. We wanted to catch up with the new author and see how life had been treating her since she was published.
Did you always dream of becoming an author?
No. Never thought it would happen to me. I always imagined people who wrote books had to have degrees in English, be the top of their profession or famous. Hope it encourages others to have a go.
What was your first job?
Secretary to a physics professor at London University. Did nine-month secretarial training after school, having done ‘A level’ sciences, so had a vague idea of some of the words. Made a lot of mistakes. Fun to work at the university with all the students.
How did you come about writing your book? Was that your intention or did you start writing for fun?
Retired early, unexpectedly, from my job as a surgery counsellor. My husband was diagnosed with terminal cancer and there were other family difficulties. I could not carry everyone else’s emotion too. I started writing down a few things I felt I wanted to pass on. I had met such wonderful people, dealt with some amazing situations, and heard the most incredible stories. It seemed terrible to just forget. I noted things down in a small note pad and eventually pulled it into a book, with lots of rewrites.
What was your life like before becoming an author?
Becoming a author took many years. My life was, and still is, busy. Then, I was working, but not every day. I am full of admiration for full time counsellors. It is a wonderful but challenging job. It is a great privilege to have glimpses into other peoples lives. In my spare time I played sport, met up with friends or family, gardened, played bridge, wrote poetry occasionally, enjoyed re modelling clothes, and generally kept busy and happy.
Did you face any struggles before becoming an author? If so, how did you overcome them?
I loved the actual writing. Ideas just overflowed. The problem came to get it published. Where do you send the book? Who is interested? Quite a lot of research and a few rejections. J.K. Rollings had rejections too, not that I am in that category, but it helped to know it is not easy. Got really fed up at one point and did not bother to do anything for a year or so. Looked at it again sometime later and revamped the whole thing. Sent it off again, this time to publishers that you have to make a contribution. They do most of the work, so it is worth it. Apparently it is not much more expensive than self publishing.
Now that you are a published author, how has your life changed, if at all?
My life has not changed much at all. It is not me I am trying to promote, it is the book. The publishing process seemed to take ages, so it was difficult to get very excited until the book was completed. Friends are amazed that I have written a book as I only told a few people. The reaction has been very rewarding since. I have had to learn how to be on Instagram etc. in order to promote the book, and find I enjoy the challenge. Still a lot to learn.
Can you please describe a typical day in your life now?
First thing in the morning, I check the internet and have a cup of tea. Pleased if there are more followers and potential readers and I enjoy others ideas and comments. Sadly on my own again after the death of my partner and getting used to widowhood for the second time. Lots to do with paperwork etc. See friends, play tennis, grocery shop, perhaps do some gardening. See family and generally keep busy.
What is your most memorable moment of your life as an author?
Being accepted for publishing was uplifting. Having to pay was a downer but ..... When the book finally arrived, I thought I would be ecstatic, but I just felt overwhelmed with responsibility. It was good to see it all in print and I was pleased with how it looked. Delighted now with some of the reactions I am getting and the reviews people have written.
In a few words, how would you review your experience with Pegasus Publishers?
As I am a first time publisher, I had no idea what to expect. The brochure and information were good. They did all the things necessary to register the book etc. Sorting out each draft took a while but the ultimate outcome was good. I was pleased with the standard of book and they are very prompt at answering e mails, which is reassuring as I do need help occasionally. The publishers got my book on Amazon and sent details to other book promotors round the world. They also sent the forms to arrange for the book to be included in libraries. The book is to be published as an e book soon.
Why did you choose Pegasus Publishers?
It was more the other way round. They accepted me, which was great. They presented a professional and competent company which I was prepared to trust and they came up with the goods. I just hope the book helps other people. Thanks to Pegasus.