When I set out to be a writer I had no thoughts beyond getting a short story accepted and was thrilled beyond words when it happened within a very short time - and with the cheque I received for £34.
My short fiction continued to be published regularly and I had no bigger ambition than to continue as I was. It was joining a writing group whose members all seemed determined to get a novel published that sent me off on a different pathway. I felt a bit left out, to be honest, and felt obliged to have a go and see if I, too, could write a book. I chose to write romance for no other reason than that, at 50,000 words, it was the shortest genre - still a hell of a lot longer than a 1,000 or 2,000 short story though! I told myself that if I could get from the beginning to the end I would count that as a success, and no one was more surprised than I was when my second attempt was accepted for publication and then another one soon after.
Over the intervening years I made several attempts at writing longer books - but being widowed twice in seven years (in 1996 and 2003) knocked my confidence and eventually I went back to short story writing - just to prove to myself that I could still write.
I believe we have choices in this life and mine was to pick myself up, dust myself down and get on with my life again. Once my short stories started appearing in print again I went back to writing novels. Widow On The World (pure fiction, not an autobiography!) was accepted for publication in 2005 and I have had a book a year published ever since. In fact, there were two published last year!
Now novel number 13, Not My Affair, has been accepted and I can truthfully say that life is good.