Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Guest Post - Living the Dream by Lauren Westwood - Blog Tour

A recent survey by Microsoft showed that being a writer is one of the top ten dream jobs in the UK. After all, who wouldn’t want to be JK Rowling and create an amazing fantasy world and rake in lots of money?

I was (and still am) one of those people. A lawyer by trade, I started writing ten years ago in the hope that someday I’d be able to give up the day job and become a full-time published writer. 

On March 1st, my second women’s fiction novel, Finding Secrets, will be published. I haven’t given up my day job yet, but I’m proud of what I’ve achieved amid my other commitments (being a mum of 3, a lawyer for a renewable energy company, and also having published a children’s book). Best of all, I love hearing from people who have actually read my books, and also aspiring writers – and I’m always happy to share my stories of rejections and hard knocks on the way to get where I am so far.  

My top five tips for aspiring writers are as follows: 

1. Write what you love – if you write a book you want to read, then hopefully others will too. This is one reason why I like to write romantic mysteries. I read these sorts of books as a teenager in the 80’s. It’s both fun and challenging to try to come up with a good story that also keeps the reader guessing. And as for writing romance – well, what can I say? It’s always fun to dream . . . 

2. Have a thick skin – In the process of becoming a writer, you are very likely to experience rejection and/or receive lots of ‘constructive’ criticism. I think this has helped me become a better writer in the long run, but there were definitely days when it would have been easier to give up. But one thing that kept me going was knowing that if I didn’t finish a book, I’d never publish a book . . .

3. Turn off your inner critic – Especially if you’re just starting out, the most important thing is getting the words down on the page. Don’t worry if it’s rubbish – most first drafts are! Remember, once you have a beginning, middle, and end down on paper, all the rest is just editing. 

4. Make time – If you really have a great idea for a book, there’s no time like the present to get started. I know that most of us are crazy busy, but it’s not going to write itself, is it? Start small – keep a notebook and jot down your ideas. It’s also good to get the support of other writers – NaNoWriMo is a great online resource for this. 

5. Be kind to yourself – It took me years of trial and error, submissions and rejections, and millions of discarded words before I got my first novel published. It may be a ‘dream job’ to be a writer, but it’s also a lot of work. There are easier ways to earn a living, so try to keep hold of the joy – that thing that made you want to start writing in the first place. 

And most of all, good luck!

Lauren Westwood

Thank you so much Lauren for sharing your tips with us.

About Lauren Westwood

Originally from California, Lauren relocated to England in 2000. She works as a lawyer for a renewable energy company. Laure’s first novel, 'Finding Home' was inspired by her family's 3-year search for a house that made them the bane of home county estate agents. She currently resides in a pernickety 400-year old house in Surrey with her partner and their three daughters. She enjoys travel, visiting old houses, baking with her daughters, dance, playing piano, and hates tennis.
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About Finding Secrets

A country house, a precious jeweled locket, and a puzzle dating back to the London Blitz and Imperial Russia. Utterly captivating, a fantastic romance from beginning to end. Perfect for the fans of Carole Matthews and Milly Johnson.
Alex Hart loves her dream job as manager of Mallow Court, a historic Elizabethan house, even if her friends think she needs to get out more. But a discovery in the pocket of an old coat – a jewelled mechanical locket shaped like a bird – changes everything, and Alex discovers that things are not as they seem.
From an old diary, to a handsome barrister, a mysterious clockmaker, and the darkest hours of the London Blitz, Alex must follow the trail of the jewelled bird to uncover the truth about the things she holds dearest – and someone is determined not to let sleeping dogs lie!
Only by finding the secrets of the past can Alex find the keys to her future – and her heart.

Links to buy

Google Play:

Lauren’s previous book, Finding Home is out now:

Google Play:

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