A Year of Writing by Robert Fanshaw

As we are just dipping our toes into 2014, I thought I would take the opportunity to look back over my writing year. A little reflection now and then is worthwhile. Do you also have a tendency to keep moving the goalposts and forget how far you have come?

First though, I must thank Marie for having me back to her popular blog. Of the virtual friends I have made in this virtual world, you are one of the best! Thanks for the support and encouragement given to me and other writers. It’s an act of faith to put work out there into the void, and we all need guides and resting places on the journey.

The start of 2013 found me with a completed novel and no idea what to do with it. Shameless Ambition was my third attempt to carry off the magic of fiction, where setting, characters and plot flow together to tell a story with a beginning, middle and end. The completion of a novel is a distant summit when you haven’t done it before. You get there, only to realise it’s a ‘false summit’. There’s another big hill ahead of you; getting it published. I knew Shameless Ambition was ebook material, a fast, entertaining read for a holiday or a long journey. So I researched ebook publishers and sent it off in hope rather than expectation.

I was lucky. I had some positive comments, then a boutique epublisher in Australia, Steam eReads, open to manuscripts by new authors, liked my novel and signed me up. After edits and synopses and blurbs, publication day arrived at the end of April. I had climbed the second summit. But what was that in the distance? Surely not another big hill to climb? The people at Steam eReads helped me get going on social media and I was learning something new every day, including the realisation of what a massive undertaking it is to bring the little shining star of my novel to anyone’s attention in the galaxy of a million ebooks. This is when I discovered Writing in the Modern age and other blogs run by lovers and writers of romance and fiction.

It would be easy to be discouraged. Fortunately, I had kept up writing new material, and it is that which sustained me, and still does. You have got to keep at it, because writing is its own reward. Shameless Ambition had been a piece of magic and I had no idea if I could do it again. I put in the regular hours, and at the end of four months, there was Shameless Exposure. It needed work, but it proved I could do it again. Now I knew I could call myself a fiction writer, and with that confidence behind me, ideas started coming faster than I could get them down. 
The year ended with three books published (all by Steam eReads), the novels Ambition and Exposure, and a novella called The Catch, a story combining my twin loves, sport and romance. So on reflection 2013 was a remarkable, almost unbelievable, year for this new fiction author. 

The start of 2014 finds me finishing off the first draft of Shameless Corruption, which, fingers crossed, will see the light of day in time for the soccer World Cup. I wish all visitors to Writing in the Modern Age a wonderful year of reading and writing.

Guest Blogger Bio  


I am a barrister specialising in commercial law. I began writing articles for law magazines but then discovered more interesting material in the world of business inhabited by my wife, Caroline. What started as a blog when Caroline was away on business trips became the on-going story of the dilemma faced by many working couples today - how to balance the competing demands of work, marriage, and supporting a football team. Caroline and I live in Surrey, England.






  1. You accomplished a lot in 2013, Robert! That's impressive! I hope you come back and visit us again. :)

  2. I hope to be back soon. It's a pleasure to visit such a distinguished establishment!

  3. Yes, Marie does run a "distinguished establishment." And yes, you certainly did accomplish a lot last year, Robert! I like your novel covers and your book titles. May 2014 be just as productive and successful for you!

    1. Glad you like the covers, Linda. I just received a review from Readers' Favorite for Shameless Exposure which captures it very well. http://readersfavorite.com/book-review/14423


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