THE SHORT STORY
Rosy is an author of lesbian romance fiction.
She has been a professional Graphic Designer for almost nine years but found a new passion for writing in 2016 whilst on holiday - where all great ideas are made.
In 2018 she designed the cover for Kiki Archer's The Way You Smile, followed by the cover for Kiki's final novel, Say You'll Love Me Again in 2019. She has recently designed the cover for Rough Around The Edges by Crystal Chard, as well as her own cover for debut novel I Love You, Lola Bloom. Click here to view.
Rosy is a big kid at heart and agrees wholeheartedly with Miranda Hart:
'For the last two days I've tried to be a grown-up but I have no interest in abiding by the adult rulebook. I want to do fun things that make me happy, which, by the way, for the record, include making vegetapals; Meet Mr Butternut. You might call me a child, good, for if adults had even the slightest in-the-moment joy of a child, then frankly, the world would be a better place.' - Miranda: Season 3, Episode 3.
She is a fan of Italian cuisine, crap puns, movies of a variety of genres and considers herself a huge cinephile (as long as she has access to the electric recliners).
Her debut novel is OUT NOW!
THE LONGER STORY
Everything I have done in my life, up until this point, I have done later than expected and intended; going to college followed by university, having a 'proper' career, getting a girlfriend, passing my driving test and buying a car (thanks mum). My mother always said I was too laid back with life, which I never saw as a bad thing to be honest (and much to her dismay). But there are some things you just can't plan.
I am a big believer in things happening for a reason and as time has passed, I have realised that everything that has indeed happened, both good and bad, have led me to this moment.
So where did it all begin? Well, it started in September 2016 whilst on holiday. I was sitting on the most comfortable beach chair of my life on a tranquil beach in Spain somewhere. I'd been through a tough year at that point and had never needed a peaceful break as much as I did then. I had my usual go-to reading material, a stack of real-life magazines including Take a Break, Chat and That's Life. I know, I know. I've had an obsession with these magazines for most of my life. Not so much now, though. After a couple of days, I was left with nothing to read and my girlfriend had given me her old Kindle (she'd had a lovely upgrade from me over Christmas, lucky girl!) and I asked her to recommend a good lesbian fiction novel. I wanted something with some steamy sex scenes (obviously) and I ended up with 50 Shades of Pink by KT Grant. If I remember correctly, it certainly was steamy. Mission accomplished. But the point is, I hadn't been so excited about a book in a long time, and it was at that point that I realised 'Yes! I can do this too.' I had a story I was desperate to tell and as soon as I got home, I started writing.
Note: This wasn't my first encounter of a lesfic novel, by the way, I just hadn't read one for a long time. I'm one of those people who find it hard to switch off, so you can imagine my difficulties reading on my daily commute. I wish I didn't get so distracted but I have tried. Honest. I end up re-reading the same sentence about ten times and it just drives me round the bend. Not just from the noise of the people on the carriage, sometimes it's very quiet. But then you have the other nuisances... 'The next stop is Clapham Junction. We are now approaching Clapham Junction. This station is Clapham Junction. We are now at Clapham Junction. This is coach four of ten... the next station has a short platform...' and so on, throughout the entire journey. My girlfriend, on the other hand, can switch off like a light. Completely oblivious to anything happening around her, and yes, I am jealous of her skill.
Anyway, sometime after my beach epiphany, I was asked to write a blog post for my work's company website. I'd never written a professional blog post before, but I gave it my all and showed it to my superiors; they loved it. They said it was well written, funny and that it had a good tone to it. This gave me the confidence boost I needed to take my writing seriously and after that, I decided to enrol in a creative writing course at my local adult college.
It was a great course which was run by a professional poet. He was an interesting character to observe and listen to, and during my first lesson, he announced that he was autistic and that he liked to close his eyes during his lessons in order to absorb our words. I must admit, a lot of the text he provided for reference went over my head because it wasn't my area of interest. However, it was great for helping us understand structure and different styles of writing. But the most interesting aspect was learning how many viewpoints a theme or subject could take on; it was a whole new way of thinking.
Every week we were given written tasks which we could then read out in the following lesson for feedback and constructive criticism. So, all in all, it was a very beneficial starting point as it enabled me to hear people's opinions of my work and it was a warm, encouraging environment.
You can read some of the pieces I wrote under the CREATIVE CORNER tab.
After the course had finished, I carried on writing my novel - long story short, I had some feedback from various people that I needed to be careful with my chosen plot due to the characters' circumstances. I couldn't think of a way around it at the time as I didn't want to alter too much of the detail, so I put it on the backburner and started thinking of a new idea - which was challenging at the time (and as a new writer) because I was desperate to tell the story that was burning inside of me. After all, it's what made me want to start in the first place. I will come back to it one day, but for now, it's on pause.
Then, in comes Kiki Archer.
Back in April 2018, Kiki and Jade Winters set up a production company - Winters Archer Productions - and put a post out on Facebook asking their followers if they wanted to be an extra in a featurette for Kiki's first novel 'But She Is My Student'. I emailed my interest, and to my surprise, I got picked! The day was fabby fun and it was amazing meeting both Kiki and Jade...
As you can see, Kiki is very VERY tall. I appreciated her squatting slightly for our photo.
After filming, and as the day was drawing to an end, I plucked up the courage to offer my services to Kiki (my design services, that is) and I was thrilled to get a message from her soon after to design her next book cover, The Way You Smile. And the rest is history, as they say.
But what else did I gain from this experience? A new 'novel' idea inspired by my chance meeting with bestselling, award-winning author, Kiki Archer. Finally, my spark had reignited and I was off!
The next part of my personal story was to gain a little more insight into the publishing world, and also, the rules of writing itself as I had little to no experience. And what do I find on Facebook? A publishing event with talks and advice from agents and authors - perfect! I attended and I ended up meeting Jacq Burns - who was commissioning editor at Random House & Editorial Director at Harper Collins. I went to say hello and she gave me a leaflet for The London Writers Club - a company she co-founded which helps writers at all stages of their careers. I signed up for the fiction masterclass and wasn't disappointed. I learnt so much and it helped me to structure my story and understand the fundamentals of writing a book - and Jacq was fantastic to work with, she never made me feel incompetent or unworthy (unlike the self-doubt that crept in every so often to torment me).
Here we are at our last masterclass after having pitched to an agent as part of the course...
That was back in August 2019.
And now? I'm about two thirds into my novel, trying to fit writing in where I can between my 9 to 5 and boring adulting duties, in order to make this dream of mine a reality.
I hope you enjoy the journey with me.