I am delighted to be part Celia Moore’s blog tour, marking the launch of her debut novel Fox Halt Farm. Welcome, Celia, and the stage is all yours:
Where does a journey begin? Is it when a stranger tells you about a magical place and your heart yearns to experience it – to smell the earthy stream and see the smoky mists swirling in the hidden valley?
The source of my writing journey is difficult to establish – it might be the hours on the back of a tandem bike as my boyfriend and I cycled around the whole of New Zealand. It could have been the children’s story that formed in my mind as I pedalled and which, I wrote when I got back to the UK (it’s still in a drawer by the way).
My debut novel could, however, have been spawned by the Boxing Day tsunami and my miraculous escape. Since that life-changing-moment, I try to cherish every day and I try to appreciate all the people around me. I feel a bit of an onlooker now – someone who watches for clues about how others are feeling – trying to understand their hopes and fears. Maybe this new perspective is what made me want to write a novel.
Everyone has a story to tell, each of us has experienced unique events, which led us to where we are today – but I think writing the stories of characters you make up in your mind is so exciting – I write and I feel like Pygmalion falling in love with the people I have created on the page. I use my own experiences to try to plot their motivations and desires.
I have had a varied career and tried many things – I find most new things hard to pick up and I have to persist until I master them but writing seems to come naturally to me. I think it may be because my words are from my heart and I just let them flow out. I get the story down and afterwards, I work out the best way to convey what I am trying to say. I have just started blacksmithing and I make items with an organic feel to them – in a way, my writing is like my hammering out the steel and welding it. I need the basic shape before I angle-grind off the sharp edges and polish and paint the final piece.
I loved English lessons at school and relished creative writing assignments but writing a novel has been a learning process from beginning to end. I have been lucky with all the help I have received. The main driver has been my friend Tracey who read my first draft and who championed it ever since – in every moment of self-doubt she has been there – she sees the film of the book and she knows I can’t fail – I can’t express what her support has meant to me.
All the people I asked for feedback on my first draft were pretty spot on with their criticism – although it took the employment of a literary consultant for me to actually heed them! And then, when I thought I was happy with everything, I sent my honed work to an editor – I suppose it’s like anything – ignorance is bliss and you never realise how little you know until you delve into things more deeply. My editor, Amanda Horan, opened my eyes and made me question so much. For the first time, I read my book from the point of view of the reader and could suddenly see how much needed to be changed. I had been sweating over the ending for months trying to convince myself I was happy with it – and Amanda simply explained it was like ‘Marmite’ – some people were going to hate it – others would love it! She asked me if I could deal with a negative response, and I knew I couldn’t and she showed me a better place to end the story. As soon as she pointed this out, it seemed obvious and because of Amanda, I am so happy with the way Fox Halt Farm has turned out. I simply love it! This book is the most rewarding thing I have achieved so far. I turned fifty this year and publishing my debut novel feels like just the beginning of my writing journey – the sequel is all planned!
Fox Halt Farm – a powerful romantic saga is £0.99 for a limited time – Available to purchase now from AmazonAMAZON UK AMAZON US STOP PRESS: On special offer until 1st December! Only 99p!
About Celia Moore
Celia Moore was born in Devon, England, and grew up on a farm. Celia left the farm to have a successful career as a Chartered Surveyor working in the City district of London.
In 2000 she left the office life behind to start a new adventure of becoming an outdoor instructor and taught rock climbing, mountaineering, canoeing and even skiing, archery, rifle shooting and mountain biking. She managed an outdoor residential centre until she met her husband and now she is concentrating on gardening for a few lovely customers, running and writing.
Born fifty years ago this year, Celia has been creative ever since – from explaining why there are no chocolate biscuits left when visitors arrive, to writing glowing particulars for ugly properties; from encouraging people to have a go at a scary abseil, oil painting and writing. Celia loves it all but especially the gardening, running and the writing!You can find Celia on Facebook; Instagram; Pintrest; LinkedIn; or Twitter. Or find her blog by clicking here.