Welcome back to another Author Spotlight. Today the light shines on Elizabeth Hurst. Here’s a word from Elizabeth:
At the ripe old age of 45, I have just quit my day job. (I know, but it’s old to me, okay?)
I have rejected the rat race, condemned the commute, escaped the establishment and forsaken the firm. In short, I am now flying by the seat of my pants into The Great Unknown.
I couldn’t have timed it better. I am scribbling this whilst lying on a towel in my garden, in the full glare of the hot sunshine. I’ve taken an hour and a half for lunch, because…well, why not? I was up at 6.30am and finished a copyediting job at around noon. No point starting the next one until tomorrow, what with Wimbledon and everything. This evening, I shall be reading and pondering the plot for my next book.
Sounds idyllic, right?
Well, it’s been a long hard slog to get here, let me tell you…
The corporate world can be a funny place. Contrary to what the film industry would have us believe, it’s not all hot gossip across the water cooler. For my part it consisted mainly of manipulating data into spreadsheets. Lots of them. Don’t get me wrong, I had some fantastic years in the automotive industry, and I am incredibly proud of some of the projects in which I was involved. However, when you start sending emails to your director (seven levels of seniority above you) about misplaced apostrophes, you have to question your motives.
For the vast majority of writers, it’s just not possible to live on the amount of money we make from the sale of books alone; most of us need to pay the bills somehow. About three years ago, I realised that my day job was not at all conducive to creative pursuits. Often, I was too tired or too stressed to even contemplate writing in the evenings, and when the weekend came around, I would find other things to do. (Yes, I am the Queen of Procrastination.)
After someone at work made a throwaway comment about me being a grammar pedant, I began to investigate what it would take to become a professional copyeditor and proofreader. If I can make enough money doing that, I thought, perhaps I can quit the day job and do that instead, thus being completely free to manage my time and, critically, get more writing done.
And, thus, EMH Editorial Services was born.
I completed my first project in early 2016, for a writer I had previously met at a conference. She was over the moon with my work. But I was desperate to gain momentum, and this was just a short story. It was great to get paid for it, but it was never going to keep me. So, I stepped up the social media presence, mentioning my new skillset to all of my writerly friends in their writerly places, and generally tried to get the word out there.
It was during this time that I started work on my latest book, A Friend In Need. It’s the first book I have written that has required serious research, so I made a big decision: I switched contracts and departments to allow me to work only four days per week, part of my grand plan to transition away from the corporate world. It meant I could use that extra day for marketing my editing business and squeeze in the odd research trip. I spent hours poring over centuries-old documents in a variety of archive offices, including the library at the Society of Friends’ House in London. Fascinating!
Lost Souls Series
However, the picture-perfect thatched cottage she moves into hides a secret and is not the sanctuary she was hoping for.
Enter her dashing next-door neighbour, Lewis. Charismatic and confident, he seems to be everything Emma wants in a man and she’s very attracted to him. But after a drunken one-night stand, he turns out to be not all he seems either.
Can they each face their inner demons and, in doing so, solve the mystery of another lost soul?
Selena Thornton wants a child, but she is haunted by tragedy and clinical depression. As a result, she won’t let her husband anywhere near, however hard he tries to be close to her. A rift has opened up between them and it threatens their marriage.
Over three hundred years earlier, against a backdrop of religious oppression, another woman laments the loss of her child, missing presumed dead.
A spooky encounter causes a shift in Selena’s thinking and she begins to view the world through different eyes. Who is the little girl in the Quaker house? And why does it seem like the most important thing in the world to solve her mystery?
Siren Spirit is the first in the series, followed by A Friend In Need. Book 3 is in progress.