Friday, July 10, 2015

Getting to Know You – Fenella J Miller

Although I've been part of this blog since its inception many years ago perhaps some of you don't know a lot about me. I've had a chequered career path but always knew from my early 20s that one day I would become a published writer. I have worked as a field worker, cleaner, waitress, restaurateur, hotelier, chef, and both as a secondary and a primary teacher. When I was offered early retirement from teaching I grabbed it with both hands, determined to finally become the writer I'd always wanted to be. My cupboards were full of half finished manuscripts and I hoped to be able to turn them into something publishable. Like many romantic fiction writers I tried writing for Mills & Boon – even got as far as having critical feedback and a request for the next story – but never quite made it. I never wrote the entire manuscript, but just the first three chapters as I thought that if they wanted the rest I could write it quickly enough to satisfy them.

I had written four complete contemporary novels over the years but none of these were publishable as they had all been written for myself. I continued to write contemporary romance until Katie Fforde, who I met at my first RNA conference in Leicester, said I should be writing what I read and at that time I no longer read contemporary romance. That remains the same today, I read mostly thrillers and historical fiction – the only contemporary fiction I read are those of friends This was the best piece of advice I've ever had and I wrote the first three chapters of both a Regency novella and a long book and sent one to DC Thompson, and the other to Robert Hale. To my astonishment, and horror, both were accepted subject to seeing the rest of the novels. You can imagine how frantically I wrote both those books and I'm happy to tell you they were both accepted.

Then along came Kindle and a whole new world opened up. For the first time in my writing career I had thousands of readers rather than hundreds and began to make a significant amount of money from my work. Things have gone from strength to strength, all thanks to those who read my books and enjoy them, and I now have around forty box sets and books available on Amazon. I am a grandmother of three, have two adult children and a husband and a half Bengal cat – I live in a four bedroomed, modern house in the pretty town of Wivenhoe in Essex. We used to live in the wilds of the country on a 5 1/2 acre plot, in a huge, ancient 400-year-old house. Moving here was the best thing I could have done as I am now my husband's carer and wouldn't have been able to get the help I need if I'd still been living in such an isolated place.

I don't define myself by my gender, age, or family status – I call myself a writer because that's what I am. I write because I have to, I hope I can keep writing until the day I die and hope that my books will continue to be read long after I've departed this world.

Fenella J Miller

Fenella's latest Regency romance is Lady Emma's Revenge.

Lady Emma Stanton is determined to discover who killed her husband even if it means enlisting the assistance of a Bow Street Runner. Sam Ross is not a gentleman, has rough manners and little time for etiquette, but he is brave and resourceful and Emma comes to rely on him - perhaps a little too much?

Available from all Amazons including US  UK 

No comments: