I know the New Year is generally about looking forward, getting excited about the year ahead, and making resolutions that most of us won’t stick too, but I really wanted to take a moment to look back on the year that has just past.

For me, it’s been a life changing year. I got my first ever book deal for two novels with Harper Collins, HQ DigitalUK and then got a second one with them for an additional book due this summer! Being contracted for three books in one year is more than I ever thought I could ever achieve! At the start of last year I’d had a good few rejections and was wondering when and even if, it would ever happen for me. Last New Year’s eve it all seemed a long, long way away.

But sometimes, if you really want something you just have to stick at it. Take what you can from each rejection and then dust yourself off and try again. It’s not always easy and often it can really, really hurt. But one thing I learned about the publishing industry is that it’s much friendlier than you think! I thought I had to be super formal and professional in all my correspondence but the replies I got were so warm and friendly it made rejections easier to cope with. And nearly every one gave me some great feedback. In fact, one of the nicest compliments I have ever been paid about my writing came from a rejection. I’ve got the sentence pinned to my wall. It reads, ‘You’re a natural storyteller.’ Every time my writing isn’t going well I look at that sentence and it always gives me the confidence to keep going.

For any aspiring writers, please don’t give up. You never know when your chance will come. This year could be your year!