Every week I cover books I love, amazing authors, guest posts, and general ideas related to life and writing. It struck me how important it is to remember for all the success stories out there, there’s thousands of aspiring writers trying to get published still. I’d like to give them an opportunity to share their stories, too. Today I’m happy to introduce Ms. Sarah Hitchcock, an aspiring writer from the UK. She pens YA and hopes to transition into romance.
My name is Sarah Hitchcock, and if someone asked me why I started writing, the answer is simple. Reading. In my early teens I spent most of my time in the local library. I borrowed a few books a week. After a while, I wondered if I could write my own stories. I did.
Of course, I had no idea what I was actually doing, but I sat down and put pen to paper. And my first story was born.
Today, I still have each story I wrote (back in my teens), and if someone asked me which was my very first I would sadly have no idea. Over the years I have adapted, expanding the length of one of my stories which I thought was a full novel. At only ten thousand words, over the course of seven years, I expanded it to a hundred thousand words. This is the first manuscript I want to publish. One of the first things I learned during my journey is that there are word count requirements for YA. They say it’s best to learn as you go, and I agree.
After learning word counts, I split the book in two. Now I have two fifty thousand word books. I consider this the beginning of a new journey. More hard work… I also discovered I need notes for plotting, lots of notes, not just for my characters! Everything—cars, houses, clothes, etc. Next, my first round of edits… I imagined one round would be enough, I was wrong. Very wrong.
After working hard, I landed my first publishing contract. But after six weeks on the market, I knew that company didn’t fit my needs. I decided to seek a UK publisher, and that’s where I am today.
I’ll never give up; writing is a part of me. It’s not about money or getting signed by the biggest publishing house (although both would mean a lot to me as a writer). What I want the most is to share my stories.
Let me tell you about my first book, Dream World. It follows the life of three teens.
Debbie Conway witnesses the death of her mother and uses her dreams as a way to escape the real world. She feels safe in the arms of her favorite T.V. show character—Victor. Of course, there’s her best friend Wendy Allan to keep her grounded.
Known as the school bully, Karen Langley only wants one thing, to be loved by her parents. Because they ignore her, she takes her frustrations out on those around her, especially her former best friend, Debbie.
Mark Hobson is being shipped to the UK to live with his grandparents while his parents are on tour. Unfortunately, he’s always lived in the shadow of his cousin, who also happens to be a singer, actor, and the star of the hit TV show Victor.
I am currently editing book two of this series, which is a sequel to book one. For NaNoWriMo, I am writing book three. I have plans for eight books in this series. I hope this series will improve my skills and help me transition into the adult romance genre.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us Sarah. Good luck with your career…