Writing – it’s not a life, it’s an adventure – Eva Jordan

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By Eva Jordan

So, I have two big events coming up this month, namely the release of my second novel, All The Colours In Between, on 19th October, followed a week later by the book launch at Waterstones. Several weeks after that, I will also be celebrating a … ahem … certain milestone birthday. Which only goes to show that old saying is true – it’s never too late! ♥

My journey to becoming a published author has not been an easy one and if I’m honest, although I always knew I wanted to be a writer, it certainly didn’t come about quite as I’d imagined it would. I dabbled a bit when I was younger, had a few poems and short stories published. However, limited opportunities, inexperience, and bad life choices all held me back, as did a lack of belief in myself. Then came marriage, quickly followed by two beautiful children followed by divorce. That was my “Nodus Tollens” moment. I love this phrase, coined by John Koenig from his Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows, it means “the realisation that the plot of your life doesn’t make sense to you anymore.”

Divorce was both difficult and unpleasant and financially life became very tough. My back was against the wall and I felt quite desperate at times. My children were very young at the time of my divorce so I found myself having to take jobs that fitted in around them – school holidays were an absolute nightmare; most of the money I earned went on childcare. I decided I wanted a different, better life, especially for my children.

So, with the help of my parents (who babysat for me), I went back to college during the evenings. I studied English, History, Sociology, and Psychology for two years then applied to study for a BA Hons Degree in English and History. It was a full-time course over three years, which meant I had to find work that both fitted in around the children and my degree. It wasn’t easy. I definitely remember tears at times. However, in 2009 I graduated with a BA Honours Degree in English and History and gained a first for my history dissertation looking at civilian morale during the London Blitz of WWII. I felt immensely proud, as did my children and parents.

When I finished my degree I began working for the city library service. By then I’d met and moved in with someone new who also had children, and ours became a blended family. During my spare time I started to pen my first novel – a thriller come love story based in 1960s London. However, trying to navigate my new life as a working parent and stepparent was both fraught and outrageously funny at times. I often felt like pulling my hair out.

However, I also discovered, through research, and talking with friends and colleagues, that many people were enjoying but struggling with the same daily problems I was experiencing. I didn’t realise it at the time but a seed for a story was sown. Unfortunately, through no fault of my own, I later suffered from an accident that left me with permanent neck and arm pain, not to mention too much time on my hands to feel sorry for myself. To occupy my mind, I continued working on the novel I’d started but another story was calling me, so I abandoned my first attempt and started writing what became my debut novel, 183 Times A Year – a poignant, heartfelt look at the complex and diverse relationship between a mother and daughter set amongst the thorny realities of today’s divided and extended families. Tragic at times, but on the whole, a laugh-out-loud observation of contemporary family life.

To begin with I self published my novel as an ebook, then, several months later, it was picked up and published as a paperback with Urbane publications, also responsible for publishing my second novel. Urbane Publications are an independent publisher whose mission is “to find daring, aspirational, and exciting new authors, and bring them to a whole new audience” and whose number comprise some of the UK’s well known acting talent amongst their wonderful and talented authors including George Costigan, Hugh Fraser, and Robert Daws, to name but a few.

I’ve learned a lot over the last couple of years and met and made many wonderful friends, including writers, editors, book reviewers and bloggers. On the whole, the writing community is an extremely supportive one. However, I’ve also realised that writing isn’t for the faint hearted. If you think it is, I suggest you give up now. It often involves long, solitary hours tapping away at a keyboard, in front of a computer screen, where emotions are apt to swing violently from belief your work is the next big thing to the worse piece of writing on the planet – ever. Then there are the edits and the rewrites and that’s long before you start submitting your work. Nonetheless, I’ve got the bug and I love it. I fully intend to continue writing as much, and for as long, as possible. After all, as a quote from my book suggests, “It’s not a life, it’s an adventure!”

Eva Jordan, born in Kent but living most of her life in a small Cambridgeshire town, describes herself as a lover of words, books, travel and chocolate. Providing her with some of the inspiration for her novels, Eva is both a mum and step mum to four children. Her career has been varied including working within the library service and at a women’s refuge. She writes a monthly column for a local magazine and currently works as a volunteer for a charity-based organisation that teaches adults to read. However, storytelling through the art of writing is her passion. 183 Times A Year is Eva’s debut novel, All The Colours In Between, released this month, her second novel.


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