I am pleased to be welcoming Beth Moran to the blog today. Her newest novel, I Hope You Dance, is out now.
Guest Post by Beth Moran
According to one of my children, it is only now my second book has come out that I can officially call myself an author, rather than a one hit wonder. So, now I`ve finally made it, is the reality what I thought? Was getting here worth all that effort?
Well, the short answer is, of course, yes. I completely agree with Martine, one of the characters in I Hope You Dance, when she says that life is too short not to spend it doing what you love. And I still love the process of writing. It`s hard to believe I get to spend my days making up stories, and call it work. Five years in, I`ve not yet suffered from writer`s block, although some days the words flow more easily than others, and it can be hard to resist the lure of the internet, only a swipe away.
Getting some great reviews and winning a couple of awards has been a wonderful surprise. And when people contact me from the other side of the world to tell me how Making Marion made their week – it makes all the hard work, and the nervous waiting absolutely worth it.
I`ve got to do some fun things over the past year: I love going up and down the country speaking at events and meeting different people. I judged a writer`s competition this summer and did a photoshoot for a national newspaper. I was paid to spend a night away with my husband, so I could take part in a late night chat show.
But. There are aspects to being an author I thought would get easier, that haven`t. I still question if the stories are working, if they`re boring, or believable enough. If people are going to care about the characters. If the next one is going to be a load of rubbish. Writing a book is nine months of just me, with no other input or feedback, suggestions or affirmation. That`s two-hundred and seventy days of guessing and trusting something worth reading is going to emerge at the end of it. It`s mentally tough, and I thought it would be easier by now.
And the question I get asked most often – how many books have you sold – is the answer enough? My hope for Making Marion, was that I sold enough books to keep writing. That`s happened, but does it mean I should be aiming to sell more copies of I Hope You Dance? Do the reviews have to be better? Will I be disappointed if I don`t win another award?
Whatever we do in life, we could always want more. More sales, more money, more accolades, more success, more followers on social media. And I think it`s ok sometimes to want more. To get better at what we do, work hard, aim high. But at the same time, when our focus slips towards more too often, we forget to enjoy what we have.
The truth is, after years of waiting, I`m living my dream. I look forward to Monday mornings because I love what I do, and I am very, very grateful for that. So, really, it will always be worth it as long as some other people out there love what I`m doing, too.
About the book
(published by Lion Fiction)
‘My mother always told me I had lousy timing. Of course, she was talking about the Viennese waltz, the Argentinian tango and the foxtrot. My current timing issue involved five Chinese businessmen and a psychological breakdown.’
Since the death of her partner Fraser in a car crash 18 months ago, Ruth has been struggling to cope with a never-ending mountain of his secret debts while trying to hold it together for her 14 year old daughter Maggie and keep on top of things at work – despite her boss’s sleazy advances. One morning, she has had enough. After a very dramatic and public resignation from her job, there is only one place left to go.
Ruth arrives back at her parents’ home in Southwell, Nottinghamshire after 8 years away – exhausted, thin, and past caring. Will her well-meaning whirlwind of a mother manage to inspire her youngest daughter to seek new adventures and new friendships? Will her estranged father, to whom she has always been a disappointment, ever approve of her and his unconventional wild-haired granddaughter? Will the pink-cagoul-clad Ruby’s friendship with her father threaten her parents’ future happiness? Will the attractive and persistent Dr Carl win Ruth’s heart? Or is there still a chance for Ruth with the boy next door, the childhood sweetheart who broke her heart 15 years ago?
As Ruth settles back unsteadily into life in Southwell, new bonds are formed and secrets are shared. Can Ruth be persuaded to hope, to love and to dance again?
I Hope You Dance is a feel-good tale of love, loss, friendship and new beginnings – guaranteed to bring a smile to your face this autumn.