Three Pics To Pub #4 - Charlotte Duckworth

I'm delighted to welcome Charlotte Duckworth, author of THE RIVAL to my irregular blog feature #3pics2pub 

Charlotte's book is a 'an addictive psychological suspense about ambition, female rivalry, and how far you'd go to get what you want'. #BringonTheRival - cannot wait!

The Rival is out this September and you can pre-order here

 I think I should go right back to the start with this one.  So here I am, six days after my baby daughter was born, looking a lot more calm and collected than I was feeling. Just before I went on maternity leave, I sold the PR business I had set up, which left me with no job to return to after my baby was born. This was rather terrifying, but in hindsight, proved to be a huge blessing. I had wanted to be a published author since I was tiny, and had actually signed with my agent years before, when I was in my early twenties. Two books and no book deal later, I was pretty crushed, and I’d taken a break from writing to focus on journalism and PR. But having my daughter and the opportunity for a complete fresh start career-wise reawakened all my old ambitions, and so I decided to write a new novel. To try again, and to use my experience of new motherhood, pregnancy and the world of work as inspiration. There were so many stories out there of women who had struggled to adjust to life as a new mother after spending years as a successful career woman, and I wondered why no one had written about them before. So I sat down, without planning, and wrote every evening when my baby was asleep. I finished the first draft in ten weeks.

I think I should go right back to the start with this one.  So here I am, six days after my baby daughter was born, looking a lot more calm and collected than I was feeling. Just before I went on maternity leave, I sold the PR business I had set up, which left me with no job to return to after my baby was born. This was rather terrifying, but in hindsight, proved to be a huge blessing. I had wanted to be a published author since I was tiny, and had actually signed with my agent years before, when I was in my early twenties. Two books and no book deal later, I was pretty crushed, and I’d taken a break from writing to focus on journalism and PR. But having my daughter and the opportunity for a complete fresh start career-wise reawakened all my old ambitions, and so I decided to write a new novel. To try again, and to use my experience of new motherhood, pregnancy and the world of work as inspiration. There were so many stories out there of women who had struggled to adjust to life as a new mother after spending years as a successful career woman, and I wondered why no one had written about them before. So I sat down, without planning, and wrote every evening when my baby was asleep. I finished the first draft in ten weeks.

 Here I am with my awesome Faber Academy group last year in the Welsh countryside. When I decided to ‘go for it’ again with the novel-writing madness, I thought it would be good to get out of the house and meet likeminded people. So I signed up to do the Faber Academy’s six-month Writing a Novel course. I loved every second of it. It was such a joy to get back to using my brain after a year of taking care of my daughter, and I relished the opportunity to learn more about writing. Despite the fact I’d finished novels before, I still had so much to learn. But more than anything else, being on the course made me unexpectedly disciplined. I was determined to finish my novel by the time the course ended, and thankfully I managed it. At the end of the Faber course, there’s an agents’ reading day, and by the time that day came around, my book was already on submission to publishers. It was the fastest I’d ever written anything, and a massive testament to my belief that mothers are the most motivated workers out there, despite what history and perceived ‘wisdom’ would try to make you believe.

Here I am with my awesome Faber Academy group last year in the Welsh countryside. When I decided to ‘go for it’ again with the novel-writing madness, I thought it would be good to get out of the house and meet likeminded people. So I signed up to do the Faber Academy’s six-month Writing a Novel course. I loved every second of it. It was such a joy to get back to using my brain after a year of taking care of my daughter, and I relished the opportunity to learn more about writing. Despite the fact I’d finished novels before, I still had so much to learn. But more than anything else, being on the course made me unexpectedly disciplined. I was determined to finish my novel by the time the course ended, and thankfully I managed it. At the end of the Faber course, there’s an agents’ reading day, and by the time that day came around, my book was already on submission to publishers. It was the fastest I’d ever written anything, and a massive testament to my belief that mothers are the most motivated workers out there, despite what history and perceived ‘wisdom’ would try to make you believe.

 Having a book on submission is a tortuous process, and I was lucky that my experience this time was mercifully short. A couple of weeks after the book was sent to publishers, my agent received two offers on the same day. Having a choice of publisher was not a situation I had ever imagined being in! After much deliberation, we decided to accept Quercus’s offer. The book isn’t out until September 2018, so I can’t show you a picture of it yet. But here’s a photo of my beautiful proofs instead, which arrived a few weeks ago. I am in love with my cover – which was a huge relief given that not all authors feel that way. I think it looks so mysterious and chilling, and I really hope that readers will feel the same once it hits the shops! Being published by a major publishing house – and especially being edited by a professional at the top of their game – is a really privileged, humbling experience. After all the years it’s taken me to get here, I will never take it for granted.

Having a book on submission is a tortuous process, and I was lucky that my experience this time was mercifully short. A couple of weeks after the book was sent to publishers, my agent received two offers on the same day. Having a choice of publisher was not a situation I had ever imagined being in! After much deliberation, we decided to accept Quercus’s offer. The book isn’t out until September 2018, so I can’t show you a picture of it yet. But here’s a photo of my beautiful proofs instead, which arrived a few weeks ago. I am in love with my cover – which was a huge relief given that not all authors feel that way. I think it looks so mysterious and chilling, and I really hope that readers will feel the same once it hits the shops! Being published by a major publishing house – and especially being edited by a professional at the top of their game – is a really privileged, humbling experience. After all the years it’s taken me to get here, I will never take it for granted.

The Rival is published by Quercus on 6 September 2018.

You can find out more on Charlotte’s website, and chat to her on Twitter