I started writing when I was about 6. I wasn’t particularly good, and my teachers seemed underwhelmed by my talent. But I loved writing, so I persevered. I entered competitions, wrote little short stories. Got nowhere. Then I stopped.
I trained to be a physical therapist – who needs to be a writer, anyway? – and began travelling the world. Much more exciting than getting rejection after rejection.
It was only when I became ill that I thought: what do I most want to do in the world. And the answer was: I want to write. So, the best writing advice I’ve ever had is the advice I told myself: if you really want to be a writer, then you have to write.
Which is what I did.
About thirteen years ago I began a novella. I liked it, but no-one else did, so I got a lot of rejections. I kept writing. I wrote a couple of short stories, began another novel. Again: rejections. I did a couple of night school courses on writing. Crickets. I volunteered to work on a trade magazine. I kept writing, and studied for a Certificate of Creative writing. And then, finally, a short story of mine was accepted! I was so excited!
Fast forward ten years: Now, I write pretty much every day. This includes blogging, journaling, creative first drafts, this interview. The words add up.
I’ve written six books. I’ve won three awards and have been shortlisted for a few more. I’ve had emails from folk all around the world who tell me my words have touched them.
Despite all this, I still feel as though I’m not very good. But I keep writing.
So, the best advice to any writer is: keep writing.
About A Memory of Fire
A Memory of Fire (SoulNecklace Stories #3)
by R.L. Stedman
Publication Date: October 1st 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
About my wrist is a tattoo of roses, strung like beads on a bracelet of thorns. I have a past, if only I could remember — but I cannot remember.
Held captive in a strange city, Dana dreams of fire and flight. There is something she must find, but she does not know what it is, or why it is important. If only her dreams would let her rest.
Half a world away, Will studies a new, exciting discipline. But while N’tombe the enchantress is impressed by his newfound skills, inside he feels only desperation. A terrible moment is approaching; soon, Dana must face her final ordeal. Is his new power enough to save her? And is he prepared for what might happen next?
In this thrilling conclusion to the award-winning SoulNecklace Stories, Will and Dana must make a heart-breaking choice. A choice that may change their world forever.
Award-winning author Rachel Stedman lives in Dunedin, New Zealand with her husband and two children. Her first novel, A Necklace of Souls, won Best First Novel at the New Zealand Post Book Awards 2014. In 2012 Rachel was the winner of the Tessa Duder Award and was shortlisted for the Tom Fitzgibbon Award. If she’s not got her nose in a book, she’s on instagram or twitter (@rlstedman) or at her local library. Her website is www.RLStedman.com.
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