Daisy Oldershaw, the author of The Lonely Planet, released her book in 2020. We wanted to catch up with the new author and see how life has been treating her since she was published.
Yes, I have dreamt of becoming an author since the age of twelve when I wrote my first story. I have always really enjoyed writing as it is a form of expression and gives me something to focus on. I only considered it as a career option when I began writing The Lonely Planet at the age of seventeen.
I got my first job at sixteen as a supervisor at an out-of- school club in West Bridgford, Nottingham. It was a fun job and I loved working with the kids. I’ve also worked in various pubs and restaurants as a waitress.
The idea came to me when I was daydreaming in a shop, actually. I’ve always had a wandering mind and I just thought it’d be a cool idea to write it down. It really just grew from there. I started writing and planning a few chapters, and then it became this big project. I never dreamed that this one daydream would come to life like this.
As a young author, I was feeling quite confused before I wrote The Lonely Planet because I didn’t really know what I wanted to do for a career. After I finished writing my debut novel during my gap year, I realised that this is what I want to do with my life. I attend university in Birmingham now, studying English and journalism. I also have continued dancing, which has always been a prevalent part of my life, on my university’s dance team. So, although not a whole lot has changed, I feel more settled and happier after my publication.
I have always struggled with anxiety and panic attacks ever since I was about fourteen. Mental health is so important and one of my coping mechanisms was to write because it allowed me to escape from life for a little while, giving me something to focus on. Being a shy kid, writing also gave me a way to express myself. I encourage anyone going through mental health issues to find something they are passionate about and work on improving, no matter how much of an amateur you are. Coping mechanisms are key. I also received so much support from my brilliant friends (Harriet, Ellie and Carys!) and my therapist at the time.
My life is really not all that different, to be honest, but I never expected nor wanted it to change drastically. Although I have had many messages of congratulation and support, I just see this as a massive achievement for my future career. If anything, it is my mindset and motivation to continue writing that has changed. I feel a lot more settled as I now know what I want to do for a career.
Every day differs with me. I like to keep active, dancing and running, so most days I have a workout. I also like to spend a bit of time each day planning my next novel. I really enjoy cooking, too, so I will try to cook a healthy dinner each day for me or my younger sister and dad.
The day I received the publishing contract was a huge moment for me. I was over the moon. It was a lifelong dream coming true! Although I have had moments where I was extremely nervous and overwhelmed, I have had a fantastic support network from my friends to help me through it, which I really appreciate.
Pegasus have been unbelievably good to me as a young, first-time author. They have always answered my questions about the process quickly and guided me through the experience fantastically. I have never felt like I made the wrong decision out of the three companies that wanted my book.
Because Pegasus seemed to me like the best publishing house out of the three that offered to take on my book. They talked me through the process and let me know what was going on, giving me so much support through it all. I would recommend Pegasus to any first-time author, or any for that matter.
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