I am back with a special chat with debut author Eve Wersocki Morris. She is certainly no stranger to the world of children’s publishing and her expertise in publicity gave her a great understanding of the process in getting published. Read on for a brilliant Q&A with Eve!!
How long have you been hoping to become a published author?
I can’t remember a time when I didn’t want to be an author. As I child I would walk along with stories in my head and whenever I was in a bookshop I’d stare at the colourful shelves and imagine finding my own book nestled amongst the titles I loved. I loved stories but found reading difficult, so maybe that’s why I thought being an author was the cleverest, most impressive thing anyone could be!
What have been the greatest challenges in getting published?
Finding the time to write and not giving up. I have a full time job (working in publicity in children’s publishing) which involves a lot of late days and evening events so when you finally reach the weekend it’s tempting just to lie back and relax. You have to really push yourself to finish a manuscript – and sacrifice other fun things to make time for it. An author once said to me ‘if you love something you will make time for it’ and I really believe in that. The second challenge is to not give up once you start, to keep editing and making our manuscript better and to learn from the rejection you get from agents.
What is the most surprising thing you have learned about publishing?
Well working in publishing I thought I knew the industry pretty well but the editorial process as an author felt utterly new. I already knew editors were amazing but working with them as an author you see how much time and energy they put into your book – and you realise how many stages the manuscript goes through until it’s ready.
How has being a publicist for children’s titles helped your own writing/getting published?
I don’t think working in publishing necessarily guarantees that you will get published – at the end of the day it’s your manuscript which has to do all the talking. Yet having an understanding of how the industry worked definitely helped me know what to expect when I started submitting to agents. I knew the volume of submissions they receive and to be patient and not get disheartened when I didn’t hear anything for months. The greatest privilege of working in children’s books as a writer is getting to be inspired by so many amazing children’s authors – whether that be watching them in an event or reading early copies of their books.
Do you have other ideas and stories you are hoping to publish?
Yes indeed…. I have another mystery adventure coming with Hodder in Spring 2023 – in a similarly suspenseful and exciting vibe to The Bird Singers – which is all about a cursed theatre, a dyslexic heroine and a fabled witch…
Do you have any interesting writing quirks?
I doodle a lot when I’m coming up with characters. I like to draw them as I’m thinking about who they are and what they want to achieve. I also make a lot of notes on post-its – I have folders full of colourful post-its with random scribbles like ‘L needs more fear’ and ‘add in cream cake’!
Can you describe your writing space?
I usually write on my laptop at my desk or sitting on my bed – with a doodle or an image related to the book I’m writing stuck on the wall. When I was writing The Bird Singers I had a postcard of The Lake District blue-tacked in front of me. Maybe my cat Pirate will come in and sit on my legs. I’ve also got a few photos of me and my younger sister – The Bird Singers is all about a sister relationship and I usually read aloud whatever I’m working on to my sister as I write.
What fuels your writing? Is it deadlines, caffeine, chocolate or something else entirely?
Cups of tea. I usually come up with more ideas as I’m waiting for the kettle to boil (so I need to bring a post-it and a pen with me whenever I go into the kitchen!).
The Bird Singers by Eve Wersocki Morris is out now (£7.99, Hodder)
Buy here: https://www.waterstones.com/book/the-bird-singers/eve-wersocki-morris//9781444968736?awaid=3787&utm_source=redbrain&utm_medium=shopping&utm_campaign=css&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIwZWDvoGZ9gIVRYJbCh08igOlEAQYASABEgI4XPD_BwE