Wendy Beasley, the author of Charlotte and the Fairies, released her book in June 2020. We wanted to catch up with the new author and see how life has been treating her since she was published.
Yes, I wrote a book when I was 14 in an exercise book by hand. It was called Ponies in the Forest, but when we moved house a couple of years later it went missing. Might have been a best seller!
Office Junior in a solicitor’s office.
I wrote Charlotte and the Fairies for my granddaughter Charlotte when she was five years old and moved to a new house. I used to read it to her bit by bit as I wrote it, but when she outgrew it I just left in on the computer. I changed computers several times over the years but always carried this story over to the new one, with no thought of doing anything with it and was only when she was 23 that I finally sent it off to a publisher.
I had previously had a couple of non-fiction books published and had been a columnist in a National Dog Journal writing a weekly column for over 20 years; which along with a full-time job left little time for creative writing. However, when the publication went into administration, and I retired from my full-time work around the same time, I found myself with a great deal more spare time, which has allowed me to start writing again.
In addition to my work I have a very active hobby, a competitive dog sport called working trials, in which I compete all over the country with my homebred line of border collies. When not in the midst of a pandemic this is an ongoing hobby so not much will change here.
I wrote an adult novel which I really believed in and sent off to several different publishers, but although I had several offers of shared contracts, none offered the traditional contract that I was looking for. I tried to find a literary agent to help but none of them replied to my enquiries, and I was about to give up, but instead decided to send Charlotte and the Fairies off to Pegasus, and was delighted to be offered me a traditional contract. This has given my writing career the boost it needed and since submitting Charlotte I have written a further two children’s books and am working on a second adult novel. I also have ideas for more books and seem to have had the push I needed to carry on writing and believe in myself.
My two previous published non-fiction books were, not surprisingly, dog sport related. These had little or no impact on my life so I was not expecting too much to happen with this new book. However, there has already been a lot of interest on social media and Pegasus talk of book signings and interviews, so I may be surprised. It really is too early to say as the book was only issued in the last few days.
The thing I am most enjoying about writing fiction is that anything can happen. Especially in fairy stories where I can literally write anything that comes into my head and make it happen. The freedom of this is so exciting after years of making sure every word of non-fiction was accurate and relevant. Even when writing the adult novels, the twists and turns of the plot are totally mine to decide; and although these initially involve much more research, they can go in any direction that I can make my readers believe.
When not in lockdown I work for my husband on a part-time basis, looking after the business accounts and delivering work. In addition to this, and my household duties, meal preparation and dog walking, I write. I probably spend at least 3-4 hours a day on writing, or in research for writing, and my fear is that I may end up writing more than the publishers want to see.
Last Thursday I received the copies of Charlotte and the Fairies from the publishers; there it was, fresh from the press, a lovely looking proper book. On the same day came the congratulations, flowers and messages from friends and family celebrating the book launch. A special day indeed!
Pegasus have always been approachable, friendly and helpful, perfect for first time writers.
Pegasus was a name I knew, which in some ways was a bit daunting but in others was reassuringly familiar. I looked them up and liked their easy to navigate website and clear submission guidelines as well as their online submission facility so decided to try them.
Pegasus has offered me a shared contract for my original adult novel ‘Beasts and Butterflies,’ which I have accepted, so this too should be released in the near future. In addition to this, I have written a sequel to Charlotte and the Fairies, called Charlotte the Fairies and the Monster, and another story, this time for the 8-12 age group, called The Sheepdog that didn’t like sheep; both of which are in the submissions stage and I’m waiting for decisions on them.
Finally, I am well into another adult novel called ‘Angel’ which I hope will also be accepted for publication, and continue my association with Pegasus.
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