• Catherine Louise

'Free Fall In Stilettos' The Novel

The journey of creating my first novel.

Free Fall in Stilettos is being published by Matador Books in 2019.

(Printed copies available to buy from early summer, cover price £10).

This is not the book cover, it's still being designed, but I like the image! So I've chosen to use this as a temporary design for now. It's also the profile picture on my Instagram account (freefall_in_stilettos).

The Beginning & The End

It's been my ambition to write a novel for years. I'd never attempted anything longer than an essay until writing a dissertation at University, well over half my lifetime ago. That was fact not fiction and arguably easier to write. But I wanted to see if I could create my own book and add my name to the crowded bookshelves - and see if I could actually do it!

Having written it, I'd like to say it's been a labour of love, and although I've enjoyed forming the story, the reality has been many re-writes, a lot of impatience, frustration, heaps of time and blaming my laptop when I hated what I wrote! But at age 42, finally I've reached my goal!

The Idea

In my twenties, I worked as a flight attendant and it was during this time that I scribbled notes, when I first thought about creating a novel. The idea of using an airline to form the basis of a story involving a romance was something that captured my imagination.

How I Started

Apart from scribbled notes, I didn’t have a clue! I just started writing. After building a few chapters I looked into publishers to test the water. Everything I read seemed to suggest that it was difficult for a newbie like me to break into the publishing world. I sent off the first few chapters of my novel and most attempts weren’t successful.

Eventually, I got offered two contracts, but I was sceptical about the terms. After further research I was right to be suspicious!

So I looked into self publishing. It was something I always thought of as vanity publishing and that somehow it wouldn't be as worthy. But when I continued to read about it, more writers than ever are now publishing their own works. Amazon KDP and other similar online publishers make that possible for a lot of people. But to achieve my dream of holding my book in my hand and seeing it on a shelf and available to retailers then I needed to opt for a different avenue.

I discovered Matador Books, described in one article as the Rolls Royce of publishing houses. After signing a contract to self publish with them, they will now oversee the book process for me, along with my agreed input. The end result should be a top quality produced book, available to the trade and on the Matador website to the general public. The British library will also stock my book. It's nerve-wracking yet exciting times. I'm waiting to approve the first few typeset pages...

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