My path to becoming a published author – Jane Lacey-Crane

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By Jane Lacey-Crane

I’ve been writing stories for as long as I can remember. My Dad found one of my old school English books in his loft the other day, and it contained the beginnings of an adventure story that I’d written. My teacher had put a note at the end to say that she hoped I would finish it because she’d love to see how it turns out. It was heavily influenced by my love of the Indiana Jones movies – high adventure, handsome hero etc – but when I re-read it, it reminded me of how much I’ve always loved getting lost in a story. I never did finish it and that was to become a bit of a pattern for me.♥

I’d start a story and then ‘normal life’ would get in the way and it would be shoved in a drawer and forgotten about. Jobs, bills, house moves to the countryside, all took over but there was always a niggling voice in the back of my brain that would keep telling me to write. I joined a creative writing evening class at my local community centre that was taught by a wonderful writer, a graduate of UEA’s esteemed creative writing course, and continued trying to fit writing into my daily life.

Fast forward a few years, and although I’d managed to have some short stories published and become a founder member of another writing group, there was still no novel. It was my husband who gave me the final push – he told me that he was so fed up about hearing how I wanted to write a novel that he thought I should just stop whinging and get on with it! All he asked was that I made sure I stopped writing occasionally to find time to feed him and the children – which I did – and iron him the occasional shirt for work – which I usually didn’t!

I sat at my desk, day after day, sometimes writing thousands of words and feeling very pleased with myself, and other days writing four words, deleting them and then tearing my hair out in handfuls. But I kept going because I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it and show my children that you have to keep working hard if you want to achieve anything. How could I tell them that they should always dream big if I’d given up on my own dreams?

I would say the big turning point for me was joining the Romantic Novelist’s Association New Writer’s Scheme in January 2017. It put me in touch with someone of the most fantastic writers and helped me not feel so isolated. I knew that if I needed help or support then it was only a Facebook message or a tweet away. Being part of the scheme also meant that I was able to have my manuscript read and assessed by a professional writer. Their comments were so helpful and insightful and led to my re-writing my manuscript, cutting about 15,000 words out of it, and completely changing the tense the whole thing was written in! But it was worth it. After doing all that work, I submitted my manuscript to a few publishers and I waited.

One of the first publishers I chose was Aria, and I’m so glad I did! I did my research, making sure they actually published the kind of story I’d written and then submitted, using the submissions portal on their website. It was such a positive experience, and I would encourage anyone with a suitable manuscript to try it. You set up an author profile, fill in a questionnaire about you and your manuscript, hit send and off it goes! The best part is that you can track your manuscripts progress – no more waiting without hearing anything. I could watch my submission moving up the list, so I knew it was in the system and not sitting in a pile somewhere.

I was beyond thrilled when I received an offer of publication from Aria, which I happily accepted. In fact, in the end, I received offers from two publishers for my manuscript and I couldn’t believe I was in the enviable position of having to choose between them!

Everyone at Aria has been amazing, authors and editors alike. It’s like a big family and I can’t wait to continue my writing journey with them. My dream of becoming a published author has finally come true and I still can’t quite believe it.

Jane Lacey-Crane has reached the age now where she no longer tells people her age! She’s old enough to legally be able to do everything and that’s all that matters. ‘Secrets & Tea at Rosie Lee’s’ is Jane’s debut novel. Born and brought up in London’s East End, she now lives in Lincolnshire with her family. Thankfully she recently discovered the joys of mail order pie, mash & liquor, so she can relive her youth anytime she feels like it! She is currently working on her second contemporary novel for Aria Fiction.


1 Comment

  1. janelaceycrane

    May 11, 2018 at 6:49 pm

    Thanks so much for being involved in the blog tour for my debut book. Your support is much appreciated.
    Much Love
    Jane Lacey-Crane xx

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