Dear Sonia,

What made this year different from all the other years when you said, ‘I am going to write a book’?

At the beginning of 2018 you set some writing goals; some were easy, some were harder, and some seemed impossible.

All were things that you genuinely wanted to  achieve in your writing life, although you had already written a middle-grade fiction book, and a contemporary women’s fiction story and numerous short stories.

This year was different – you wrote the book you wanted to read and combined ideas that interested you.

The publisher is an independent publisher in the Eastern States and they are taking a chance on publishing your book. It’s a big responsibility.

Now that the excitement has died down how do you feel?

Elated or Exhausted?

Well, Christmas passed you in a blur this year as your edits were finalised late on Christmas Eve. It was both awesome and stressful as the project was only approved in October. Since then you have added chapters, deleted chunks of words  and had a couple of passes of edits. You’ve hardly slept, ignored household chores (and your husband!), and lived and breathed the book.

Before this, you had no idea how time consuming and comprehensive edits would be. There were pages of notes on everything from character arc, believability, plot holes, pace, setting and structure. The editor even sent a graph of the highs and lows of the story structure.

You found it helpful and daunting in equal measure as your brain doesn’t work that way. It must have worked by osmosis as the graph of the completed book showed that you met and, in some cases, surpassed the suggested goals.

Next time (and you do hope there will be  a next time!) it would be less stressful to have more time to finish and edit your book.

But if an opportunity comes your way it’s best to grab it.

In a little ever seven weeks’ time your lifelong dream of becoming a published author will be realised.

It’s a fairy-tale come true, but it comes after almost two decades of writing. You’ve had stories and articles published in magazines and anthologies which made you feel comfortable using the term ‘writer.’ Secretly, though you coveted the term ‘author’ and only felt able to use it once you had a book published.

So, the book has gone to the publisher and you can relax, can’t you? Well, maybe, but the publisher is in the Eastern States while you are based in Perth, Western Australia. You have a physical launch to plan and another steep learning curve ahead of you.

One thing’s for sure – you wouldn’t have missed it: the stress, the anxiety … all of it.

Because in seven weeks’ time your book is going to be out in the world.



Sonia Bellhouse grew up in England, but she now makes Australia her home. Inspired by Enid Blyton’s comment, – ‘One day you might write a book’ – writing is Sonia’s lifelong passion. She has been published in multiple magazines in Australia and the UK and won two major awards in short fiction contests. As a lifelong reader, who reads about six to eight books a month, she shares her love of books and writing on her blog. Sonia completed a BA in English as a mature student. She is a member of Romance Writers of Australia. Her journey to publication is included in the anthology Writing the Dream, published by Serenity Press. She is a contributor to Serenity Press’s short story anthology, Passages. A longtime member of Armadale Writers’ Group, she is their speaker coordinator. Her book Fire & Ice combines her interests in ice dancing, Vikings, and Bergen in Norway. When not writing, Sonia can be found ignoring the ironing in favour of playing with her cats.



Fire and Ice blurb: Olympic ice dancer Blaise Daniels’ partner has just called it quits – leaving her with no chance of competing at the Winter Olympics. Determined not to give up on her dream, she travels to Norway to meet legendary skater Kristoffer Erikson. After a bumpy start, they connect both on and off the ice. Their partnership seems assured, but why do they both start having dreams of a mysterious Viking past? Can an ancient love be rekindled, or will an old tragedy complicate their present? Order here.






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