I am Mary Wood, author of three bestselling novels on Amazon.uk kindle.
I moved to Camposol in August 2012 to trial retirement here with my husband, Roy, (not the famous one of Wizard, so don’t expect him to burst into singing, ‘I Wished It Could Be Christmas Everyday’, though he may do when he has had a pint!)
I really love it here and feel like I have been taken back in time to when I was a child and our village community talked to each other, helped one another, supported those that needed it, and enjoyed each other’s company at the events those wonderful ‘few’ give up their time to organise, not to mention the ‘S’ factor – Sun, Sea, Sand and any other ‘S’s’ that comes into the equation… Sorry, but I love silly jokes!
Now I am thrilled to contribute a series of articles in the Costa Cálida Chronicle, about writing and becoming a bestselling author on kindle – something I still have to pinch myself to believe is real!
Born into a family of fifteen children, I often found space for myself inside my own head – daydreaming and making up a pretend world – a world that I wanted it to be. Add to this my hunger for the escapism reading a book offered me, mix them together, and it is possible this is the equation that nurtured me into becoming an author, giving me a highly developed imagination, the ability to take on other’s experiences as if they were my own, and making me into a convincing storyteller.
My love of reading soon turned to wanting to write novels, not that my many attempts amounted to anything. I could paper a wall with my rejection letters. It took an agent, giving me feedback with a rejection, to help me to see I needed to learn my craft. She said that I ‘told’ my stories instead of ‘showing’ them. What was all that about?
Finding this out led me to study ‘Creative Writing’. Doing so opened up the nuts and bolts and tools of my trade, but, and there is always a ‘but’, when all the elements were in place and I actually had the knowledge and the time, after bringing up a family, following various careers, running a business and then working for ten years as a Probation Service Officer, to finally produce a fully rounded novel. The clock had ticked away my window of opportunity.
By then, all books publishers wanted were written by, or about, Celebs, or were in the genres of Science Fiction and Fantasy – Harry Potter had arrived. In all other genres and in particularly mine, Historical Fiction, they were content with the authors they already had.
My saving grace came along with Downton Abbey. Suddenly, my genre was back in fashion and new voices were needed. Ahh, but not this new voice, not by the Big Boy publishers – I was too old! Yes, ageism is rife in the publishing world. I was told that to invest in a new author they need to know they can develop that author’s career over a number of years to even begin to get their investment back. That meant a final death knell on the dreams of this grey-haired sixty-something – or did it?
No! This was my time! I went it alone and published under the heading of ‘Books by Mary Wood’ and with great success. How I did that is the subject of my next article. I look forward to sharing my journey with you and hope you enjoy it, and hope too, it will help others of you out there who are writing a book, or have one that has been rejected. Until then, keep safe and continue to enjoy life.
All three of my books are available from Amazon outlets as kindle books and paperbacks. I am hoping to persuade local outlets to stock them on a, sale-or-return basis, soon. I also intend to donate a copy of each of the paperbacks to the local library run by Welcome, and may have done so by the time you read this.
I am available to give talks to groups who may be interested in my life and my journey to becoming a published author. Email me on firstname.lastname@example.org for any enquiries or questions you may have.
We will be reviewing Mary’s books in next month’s Chronicle.