I grew up in Northwich, Cheshire where my parents still live today. After meeting my husband, we moved to Manchester where all of our four children were born but recently, we have moved to a gorgeous picturesque village in the heart of Staffordshire where I am the proud owner of chickens and a mad Cocker Spaniel called Woody. My writing career came as somewhat of a surprise! Once hitting my mid-life crisis (but dodging the tattoo and the fast car) after wholly dedicating my life to the care of my children, they asked me what I wanted to do in life while we were discussing their career options. ‘I’ve always wanted to write a book,’ I found myself answering, and so the notion was born.
I self-published my first novel and will always remember the proud moment I showed my children the finished product. I stood in front of them, with a book that had my name on the cover and the message was loud and clear. If I could achieve something by setting my mind to it, then so could they. I would have been happy enough if my demonstration of what hard work and determination could achieve had ended there, but it didn’t. I knew that a strong Social Media presence would be necessary to promote it – and sure enough, it circulated quickly and became the talk of the town. Within a few months, the first novel I wrote became an Amazon #1 bestseller in the UK, USA and Australia. I landed a five book publication deal and an agent and recently I’ve signed a further contract with Harper Collins affiliate Harper Impulse. I am a full time writer of women’s commercial fiction, specifically romantic comedy.
After dropping the children off at school, I usually I go off for a brisk walk with my Cocker Spaniel, Woody. Then I come home to drink numerous cups of tea and settle down in my writing cave. I have read numerous blog posts about authors who have story boards and spend hours on mind plans, however I’ll let you in on a little secret … I write whatever is whirling around in my head at the time. I know my characters inside and out and the general gist of how I want the story to progress, but then I love it when all of a sudden the story goes flying off in a totally different direction than I’d originally intended. That’s the magic of writing! I write one draft from start to finish then I ping it over to my lovely editor and then go into complete melt down while I wait to hear her thoughts!
I have written five books so far! A Year in the Life of a Playground Mother and The Misadventures of a Playground Mother (these are feel-good comedies about life at the school gates). Kitty’s Countryside Dream (a feel-good romantic comedy about life, love and family), Lizzie’s Christmas Escape (a sparkling Christmas romance), Evie’s Year of Taking Chances (a heart-warming romantic comedy) and The Cosy Canal Boat Dream.
What advice do you have for any other aspiring novelists?
Go for it and write the best book you can. Always read and read widely. Writers always find time to read. Set time aside to write every day that way there will always be continuity. Find some people you can trust to read your work and give you honest feedback. Finally, only accept criticism if you respect the source. If my dream can come true, so can yours!
The past three years have been truly amazing in the land of books and that is down to all the lovely readers, bloggers, friends and family. I
absolutely appreciate that they have chosen my books to read and all the kind words and messages they send me. If it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t be doing the job I love, so thank you.
My new book will be published April 2018.
@christiejbarlow and read more about her on www.christiebarlow.com