Wendy Saunders – Finding her writer’s voice.

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I live in Hampshire, England with my husband and three children. I originally trained as a hairdresser but spent the last twelve years as a full time carer for my grandmother. I’ve always loved writing and have written fiction for years. When my Nana passed away I realised I needed a fresh start, something new to focus on. The perfect solution was to finally allow myself to pursue my dream of a full time writing career.

When I first started out writing properly for my own amusement, I was about seventeen years old. I knew I wanted to write but at that age I had no idea what to write! So I started in the genre I was most familiar with which happened to be fantasy. Being an avid reader as a teen and a big fan of David Eddings I decided to try my luck at writing a big high fantasy adventure as I’ve always loved magic. When I look back now I cringe at some of the earliest stuff I wrote, seriously it needs to be burned; it should never ever be allowed to see the light of day. Bad… is a huge understatement.

My descriptions were long winded, the plot so transparent it could have been made from cling film and as for my characters you could almost see the cardboard outline. I knew it was bad when I kept forgetting which character I was writing as; several of them had exactly the same personality. Needless to say after a few years of really bad writing I finally figured out, it really wasn’t the genre for me. After all my character didn’t want to ride a horse all the time, he was tired of all the epic sword fights what if he just wanted to shoot someone? And what happens when he wants a slice of pizza and a cold beer instead of broth and a tankard of hearty ale? Nope, definitely needed to hop forwards into the present day.

I tried straightforward romance, but it was boring I was back to the same dilemma, I loved my magic I just didn’t want it wearing breeches and a cloak and riding a horse. It was around this time my sister introduced me to a new author I hadn’t read before and it was like a light bulb going on in my head. This author wrote in the present day but wove magic through her books so subtly you didn’t question it at all. She wrote about Witches, spirits, demons, Celtic gods and goddesses. She wrote so effortlessly it was completely believable and I thought to myself this is what I want to write.

So that’s what I did for the next several years. I found I needed time to grow up, I needed the life experience to be able to write stories I was actually proud of. I needed to find my own writers voice.

Then when Nana passed away, I was just sad and lost, aside from my children she’d been every minute of every day for me and I just didn’t know what to do with myself. So I sat down and escaped into one of my stories. I converted her bedroom in my house into a study and kept her chair. So I’d spend days in there writing and what came out of that room was my debut novel and a new sense of purpose. It was time to start something new. I can almost feel her standing behind me with her hand on my shoulder when I write. So here we are, from an ending to a beginning and I can’t wait for the ride, I bet it’s going to be a wild one.

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