BERYL’S TOP WRITING TIP: Believe that you can be successful. Persist with your ideas. Read your writing over and over again until you know it is the best it can be then be brave enough to put it out to the world. Don’t accept the first rejection, if it’s a good piece of writing someone will want to read it.
Beryl Coverdale lives in Perth, Australia. She grew up in County Durham in the north east of England. At 20 she married a submariner and spent the next 40 years moving from one naval base to another, becoming an expert at making friends, saying goodbye to friends, packing up houses and heading to the next destination. Beryl found the different lifestyles, accents and traditions of the various areas in which she lived fascinating, and they provided great inspiration for her writing.
Why do you write? Because it is my “me time”. I love to be on a roll with all the ideas coming together and when I can’t manage that, I read what I have already written. Whatever I’m doing my mind is often going through what I will write next.
What would you be doing if you weren’t a writer? At almost 70 I think I have done a lot of those other things. I worked, brought up my children, often alone when my husband was away for long periods of time, and moved to lots of different places. I will always be a reader – I cannot imagine life without a book to read, often more than one at a time.
What was your toughest obstacle to becoming published? Lack of faith in myself or perhaps lack of courage. I was fortunate enough to have my first novel published by the first publisher I sent it to but I wrote it some years ago and kept on revising it so that I had an excuse for not being brave enough to send it off. You can always find something to alter but in the end you have to decide that the writing is at its best and at its end.
What’s the best aspect of your writing life? At the moment it is the prospect of doing something new. It’s exciting seeing my book on the shelf in a shop and having people tell me how they enjoyed reading it, especially people who I do not know. Others, friends and family could be being kind, but why would a stranger contact you to say good things about your book? That’s a buzz!
—the worst? Waiting for the professional reviewers’ comments.
What would you do differently if you were starting out now as a writer? I would devote more serious time to my writing earlier in my life and try to meet up with other writers to hear about their success and failure and learn from it. I did read advice given by famous writers; one said: “Always plan your work – write the plan down and stick to it”. Another said: “Never stick to the plan, let your characters go where they will.”
What do you wish you’d been told before you set out to become an author? That every writer started alone, with an idea that needed to be nurtured and as it was your idea you were the only one who could nurture it. Your writing belongs to you – whoever else reads it, loves it or hates it, it’s yours forever. You will never get approval from everyone.
What’s the best advice you were ever given? Be brave, take chances – get on with it!
The Lazarus Quartet
Clarrisa Peterson had no idea when she met the handsome soldier Michael Darrington while working as a war volunteer that this union would bind together four people through two wars, tragedy and eventually lead to murder. All she knew was that she was in love and family, society and poverty were not going to stop her from being with the man she loved.
The Lazarus Quartet examines the delicate balance between loyalty and betrayal, and what happens when bonds become too tight. It is available from http://classic-jojo.com/shop/fiction/the-lazarus-quartet/