Written by Flora-Beth Edwards
Writing is a strange beast and if you are unfortunate enough to be bitten by it, your life will never be the same. I say unfortunate as although you will love it in the first throes of passion, those around you will never understand your preference to be alone with your thoughts, pen, paper, and laptop. They will never completely share your enthusiasm for stationary or a new writing journal, or a brand new up to date dictionary.
Writing has a lifeforce all its own, and if the muse descends upon you, woe betide any appointments that day, as they are just not happening. And its not even a case of choice, as writers know, you don’t have a choice, you have to write and listen to the muse.
My Writing Career
I have been writing for over thirty years with moderate success, not enough to retire on or even live on with a part time job, and so you write around your full-time life because writing is not a choice, it is that lifeforce that pulls us.
I write children’s books: picture books, and YA. I self-published many but was fortunate to have a local publisher take my Fae Sagas on. I started writing The Hieroglyphic Fae: The Sacred Language of Fairies over a decade ago and self-published it. I had sent it out to all and sundry but to no avail, you see I’m a strange kind of writer: I have an imagination! Which was actually written in a rejection letter as a criticism!
I still have the rejection letter, in which the editor states, “Well, this writer certainly has an imagination but it is unrealistic and involves too many genres!”
I did not apologise for my imagination and instead self-published the book, it was the first in the series of the Fae Sagas, a series of 14 books covering the adventures of Ava and the world of Avalonia. Her father is an eminent archaeologist who has gone missing in a strange cave in Wiltshire and so Ava has to go and live with her aunts at Candlesby Manor.
The aunts are a group of thirteen women, all unique with their own, individual powers, and all witches. Ava is then asked by the Fae King and Queen to help them find the thirteen treasures in order to free her father and the Fae world of the dangerous enemy which is closing in on both worlds.
The books are steeped in history, female power, magic and mystery and was originally intended for the children of pagans as it follows the wheel of the year. The first book starts at Midsummer or Litha, as some know it, and the second book features Lammas, complete with a dragon breathing fire onto a dragon’s egg. The books are like a historical, fairy Dan Brown Da Vinci Code mystery with clues like this:
A sword of fire, a sword of flame.
Upon the thirteen find a name.
A sword of Kings, a sword of Queens.
Six of each the sword does keep.
And one witch’s soul forever weeps.
The Faery Codex, came out last year and was published by Hawkwood Books, and the second book, The Dragon, The Witch and The Thirteen, is out in August of this year. Although each contract I sign with the publisher is only for that one particular book, so who knows where the other books will be published but one thing is for sure, they will be published if not by a publisher then by me.
Hawkwood Books is a small independent publisher, who uses the local printers and by doing so helps the local economy which has been very hard hit during the pandemic. So many big, traditional publishers print their books in China which is a shame.
Hawkwood Books is a small publisher who publish children’s books, the authors do not receive royalties as not many are sold but if there are any profits, they are given to St. Joseph’s Hospice in Hackney. As a self-published author myself, I know how limited the sales are, and how little financially you receive but that’s the lifeforce you see, a writer doesn’t have a choice, you have to write and to see your book in print is all that’s needed to feed that lifeforce.
My Love Of Writing
I do still send books to agents, publishers, competitions and have done so for over 30 years but I do not give up, the lifeforce doesn’t let me. You have to believe in yourself 100% and when people ask, why don’t you give up, you know you can’t because it is not a choice, it is the lifeforce, your lifeforce.
Writing is not like smoking, although it is hazardous to your social life, but writers do not have the fortune of choice and no matter how long it takes us to see our work in print, we never give up. And although, I have those days of doubt which scratch away at my soul, that lifeforce yawns and stretches its way up through the dark doubts of negativity, and I start writing again.
I do believe writing is like a muscle and that lifeforce needs exercise, therefore I try to use it every day, even if it is writing a sentence, or a title. I write every day, the most I’ve written in a day is 10,000 words, the least, a character’s name but at least it is something. That lifeforce likes to be used and if it doesn’t have its daily run, the rest of the day feels like a total waste. I apologise if this seems repetitive but I cannot stress it enough, writers never give up, writers have no choice, the lifeforce will not allow it.
The Writing Lifeforce
During the pandemic I have noticed online and on social media, so many people turning to their ambitions of ‘one day writing a book’, it will be interesting to see when furlough finishes how many will continue on that path. I wonder how many will continue writing with no hope of ever being published as the market is now so saturated that books are given away free.
How many will that lifeforce take for its own? How many will be scooped up by the muse as she descends issuing new demands for attention? I am here and I listen to that lifeforce, it has definitely taken me. Are you coming to join me, as a writer you don’t have that choice?
More from Flora-Beth Edwards:
The Faery Codex by Flora-Beth Edwards:
The Dragon, The Witch and the Thirteen by Flora-Beth Edwards:
Instagram – Tudorbeth7