Twelve novels published, and many more to come…
But how did I begin writing?
Here’s my slightly odd tale…
It all started way back in 2002. I was in WH Smith browsing for a fitness magazine, but they didn’t have it on the shelf so I had to ask one of the assistants if they had it in stock. While she went to look I was browsing around the store and picked up Ronan Keating’s new CD from a display in the middle of the shop. I knew I liked a couple of the songs that were on the album so I decided to buy it, along with my magazine. When I got home I played the album, and found I kept playing it over and over again, something I had never done before with one artist’s music. From that moment on I was completely and utterly hooked.
That year I went to see Ronan in concert a couple of times, and used his official website to keep up with all his news.
One evening I had been away on a training course with my work when I posted a message on the forum on Ronan’s website about playing Ronan’s music while I’d been staying on my own in a hotel. Another girl responded – Karen, who had also just come back from a training course for her own job and had done exactly the same thing, and we began a silly late night conversation on the forum. Over a few days this conversation began to develop into a story which we kept adding new installments to every night, until we began to realise that more and more people were logging on to the message board simply to find out what happened next in our tale. It sounds incredibly bizarre I know, but it’s true – the website often used to crash because there were so many people waiting for their nightly fix! Ronan fans from around the world would wait impatiently until I got in from work late at night (because I worked in fitness then, I often worked evenings) demanding the next part of the story. This went on for some months until eventually we had to bring the story to a close.
We then had so many requests to make the story into a proper book that we decided to do it for charity. I collated, with help of some friends, all the many installments that were on the forum, edited them into a novel, and then sold email & disc copies of the story to anyone who wanted one. I then had further requests for more stories, so on my own this time I went on to write two more novel length stories along the same lines – posting them on the message board in installments every night – then selling them at the end as a complete novel on disc or email attachment with the proceeds going to charity.
In total I raised over two thousand pounds for Ronan’s cancer awareness charity – The Marie Keating Foundation with my stories; made a fantastic friend – Karen, the girl from Glasgow I wrote the first story with; and most importantly realised that writing was not only something that I enjoyed doing, but something that other people seemed to enjoy reading too.
I then decided it was time to have a go at writing a ‘proper’ book, and it was my third attempt at this From Notting Hill with Love..Actually which was my first published novel in 2010. And in a strange twist it has a Ronan Keating link too – because Ronan sings the theme tune to the movie Notting Hill ‘When you say nothing at all.’ a song which features in the story.
A perfect end to a story that had a rather strange beginning….
I’ve met Ronan a number of times since. Here’s us in 2003 at one of The Marie Keating Pink Ribbon Balls, held to raise money for Breast Cancer awareness.