This blog was featured on 08/08/2017
Why I Write
Contributor
Written by
Hazel Gaynor
August 2017
Contributor
Written by
Hazel Gaynor
August 2017

Almost every writer I know was, first and foremost, a reader and I am no exception. I devoured books as a child, so my love of words and story was formed very early. I also had a wonderful English Literature teacher who inspired my love of the classics: the Brontes, Austen and Dickens, especially. As an adult, Philippa Gregory and Tracy Chevalier have both inspired my love of reading and writing historical fiction. Every writer inspires me in some way, because I know what it takes to write 100,000 words, but I especially admire women writers who are often juggling motherhood, or another job, while pursuing their writing dreams.

Treasured signed copies
Treasured signed copies

While I always wrote stories as a child and dabbled with ideas for years, I never seriously considered writing as a viable career for someone like me with no writers in the family, or any connection to anyone who is. When my corporate career came to an unexpected end in 2009 following redundancy, I found myself at home with two young children, and I started writing about that experience to express my emotions, and to earn a small income. I suppose it was a form of therapy. From the humble beginnings of my parenting blog, Hot Cross Mum, I branched out into writing a regular column for a local newspaper, and then secured a number of freelance articles for the national press in Ireland and the UK. I often think of this period as my writing apprenticeship, where I learned the craft and discipline of writing, and developed the confidence to tackle a novel.

Writing is a second career for me, and one I don’t believe I could have done until now. The five years I spent trying and failing to get published made me all the more determined to succeed. Life experience, maturity and the support of my family gave me the confidence to keep going. My first novel, The Girl Who Came Home, which became a New York Times bestseller, was published in 2012, just after I turned forty - proof that it really is never too late! My fourth novel, The Cottingley Secret, was published this week. Writing is about creativity, but it is also about passion, hard work and believing in yourself when nobody else does. This is the job I feel I was always meant to do, and for that I’m extremely grateful.

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