Thanks so much Better Reading for having me on your blog. I honestly can’t believe we are about to launch my second novel, The House of Second Chances, after what’s been a roller-coaster ride since I received the offer of a two-book deal from Hachette Australia back in December 2015. Success certainly does not come overnight when it comes to writing books, but I am glad I stuck in when the going got tough.
My writing journey began about twelve years ago when I lived in Norway and fancied having a go at a distance learning course in creative writing. Without a social element, however, that didn’t last long. As anyone who knows me will tell you, if a project doesn’t involve conversation over cups of tea or coffee, or a glass of something stronger, it’s never going to hold my interest. After I’d moved to South Australia, I tried again, but Port Lincoln at the time didn’t have the kind of course I was looking for. When I made contact with the local writing group, they invited me to a meeting to which I went along absolutely terrified, having nothing to share except an email I had sent to friends about my last hours before leaving Norway.
A couple of those friends had said it made them laugh and cry which struck me as something I wanted to do more of. With the support and mentorship of the lovely members of Eyre Writers, I tried my hand at poetry, short stories (very difficult) and eventually novels. I found the long form the most enjoyable. In fact, I have a keyring that says, ‘You’re 100% Irish when you have no idea how to make a long story short.’
For anyone looking for writing advice, my top three tips for what they’re worth are:
– Accept rejection as par for the course
– Take time out to focus on your writing even if it’s an hour in a coffee shop or sitting up in bed with the door shut
– If like me, you get to a point where you’re ready to throw it all away, enlist the services of a good manuscript assessor and keep going.
About the author:
Esther Campion is from Cork, Ireland and currently lives in north-west Tasmania. She attended North Presentation Secondary School in Cork and has degrees from University College Cork and the University of Aberdeen, Scotland. Esther and her Orcadian husband have lived together in Ireland, Scotland, Norway and South Australia. They have two grown-up children in Adelaide and the youngest at home in Tassie. Esther loves sharing her life on a small property with an over-indulged chocolate Labrador, a smoochy cat and a couple of ageing mares, all of whom she firmly believes are living proof that dreams really can come true. The House of Second Chances is Esther’s second novel, following Leaving Ocean Road.