Fellow travellers

Last week was special for me. On Monday my friend Kathryn Evans celebrated the launch of her debut novel MORE OF ME

We’ve been in the same online critique group (SCBWI YACritique) for years and during this time we have all watched each others’ stories grow, helped each other through the difficult times and even met up when possible – very special when the furthest away member of the group is based in South Africa. In between, we stay in touch by skype and email. I’ve enjoyed many wonderful book launches, but Kathy’s was special for me because this is the first time I’ve been to the launch of a book I followed from its beginning.

Writing is generally a solitary thing – even if you write in a café, once you start it’s just you and the laptop/notebook/pen. So to have travelling companions on this journey is very precious, and it’s not surprising that they become friends as well as writing partners. I also belong to a face-to-face critique group and again we have supported each other over the years and kept each other going, becoming friends in the process.

I also found out last week that ONE OF US is on the longlist for the Branford Boase Award. This is really thrilling for me because the award recognizes the joint work of editor and author. I learnt so much from my editors Rachel Leyshon and Imogen Cooper. From my perspective as the writer, I felt that they could take a bird’s eye view, finding aspects of the story that I had been too close to see. The things I learnt from them have stayed with me and when I’m writing now I sometimes get little reminders in my head of things to look out for. In the metamorphosis from manuscript to book, editors and authors are also fellow travellers.


  1. I so agree Jeannie - and it was so so special to share the day with you guys! Agree to about editors and am so thrilled you and yours have been longlisted for the Branford Boase award, so special, so deserved x

    1. Thanks, Kathy! It was lovely to be at your launch - such a happy evening and great to catch up with so many friends there too. x

  2. I have just finished reading ONE OF US, and Jeannie, it's a thoughtful, sparely written, heart-stopping read. It deserves to be nominated for everything!

  3. I love the way you write and share your niche! Very interesting and different! Keep it coming! Travel agencija