New chapter in mum's life
Fiction writer Hannah West has published her first book, seven years after her dying dad told her to follow her dream.
Hannah, 31, who lives in South Normanton, has launched her romantic fantasy creation Siren which is the debut novel in a trilogy.
She said: “The first person to inspire my writing was my dad. Sitting with him in the hospital before he died, he told me I should do it because it made me happy.
“I remembered his words after he was gone, and writing became an outlet for my grief. Then it became an obsession and now it’s just part of my life.
“I was pretty rubbish at it to begin with so I went to a few writing festivals, where I met a lot of other aspiring writers, who inspired me to develop a thick skin along with my skills.”
Siren is the story of the sole survivor of a car accident who discovers that she isn’t human as hunters vie for her blood.
Married mum Hannah, a sales ledger clerk for a healthcare company, said: “I started writing Siren in 2009 and it took me about six months
“I sent it for critical review through the Writers Workshop. I rewrote it based on the advice I received then sent it for copy-editing. I had a book cover designed. And put it out there.
“Although the feedback - which is rare from agents - was all really positive, I was repeatedly told that they weren’t taking on any new clients at the moment.
“After receiving enough rejection letters to paper my entire house, I decided to self-publish my book.
““It was hard and scary, but I’ve done it. I’m proud of my achievements. It’s been a massive learning curve and a lot of work, but every second has been worth it.”
Hannah has already written the next two books in the Siren trilogy and is working on a separate eight-book fantasy fiction series. She said: “I try to write every day, mainly at night after my little boy, who’s 18 months, has gone to bed.Sometimes I get a rare hour on a weekend where I disappear to a local coffee shop and bash out a scene,”
Siren is available in hard copy version from Amazon and as an ebook via Kindle.