Saturday Spotlight – Helen Phifer’s Journey So Far

Good morning, it’s a cold, wet day down in not so sunny Barrow today. I hope it’s a bit brighter and warmer where you are.

It’s almost six months since The Ghost House was released and I have to say I’m ever so surprised and amazed at just how well it has been selling. I’ve always said that my writing hero is Stephen King and when I began to creep up the charts behind him it was such an honour I couldn’t quite believe it. If you have read any of my earlier posts then you will know how much of a nervous wreck I was the day of publication. I felt so sick at the thought of people I knew and readers that I didn’t, being able to buy my work and read it that I ended up in Tesco at three am wandering around like a zombie. I probably looked like one as well.

Thankfully the first reviews came in and were very kind to me; in fact I was lucky that readers were enjoying it so much they wanted to leave reviews. It was such a thrill to read that people I’d never met thought it was a page turner and couldn’t put it down. I had messages on Facebook telling me that they were late for college because they couldn’t stop reading or they couldn’t go to bed and stayed up most of the night for the same reason. This was something I never expected but it turns out is exactly what sums up the very essence of being a writer is for me. There is a sense of worth when readers tell you how much they loved the book that money can’t buy. As for the bad reviews, you can’t please all of the people all of the time and it’s hard to ignore them but once you look at your favourite writers bad reviews it makes you feel a whole lot better.

I have to admit that when I was first offered my deal with Carina I was a little bit worried because I had an image in my mind that I would one day hold my book in my hands and to be honest I’m a complete dinosaur when it comes to technology. But those doubts were soon put at rest, I have the most amazing editors and design team that a writer could ask for.  They really listen to me and have helped me so much that I am forever in their debt.  I would say to anyone who isn’t sure whether to submit to a digital imprint give it a go, you may be pleasantly surprised.

This past week has been very surreal, I was fortunate enough to get picked by Amazon for a week long promotion and it has been unbelievable. The price was reduced and soon I saw The Ghost House begin to climb the charts from being around number #20 to number #11 #9 #6 and then I checked it one morning and it was #1 in both the Contemporary Horror and Ghost Charts. I had managed to push the wonderful Mr King off the top spot and he was numbers #2 #3 and #4 behind me. A debut author from nowhere, who has dreamt about being a published writer for so long that it didn’t seem real. I am thrilled to say that The Ghost House is still number #1 in both those charts and this is day 9. I don’t expect to stay there much longer but what a thrill and an honour. I tweeted that I don’t think I’ll be able to top that so I may have to take up knitting 😉

This week I’ve also seen the cover for my second book The Secrets of The Shadows which is the sequel to The Ghost House and I’ve plotted out book three in the series. I’ve never been so busy and I’ve never felt so proud that I didn’t give up on my dreams of becoming a published writer. So today’s top tip for all my wonderful writing friends is to keep on going, because even though the rejections hurt they also make you stronger and more determined to prove everyone wrong.

Helen xx

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11 thoughts on “Saturday Spotlight – Helen Phifer’s Journey So Far

  1. Morning Helen, lovely to catch up on your journey and what a great inspiration to the rest of The Write Romantics you are, as well as anyone else who has a dream of becoming an author. The Ghost House was definitely a page-turner for me and I was delighted that, when I recommended it to friends and family, they came back saying the same (as I knew I was slightly biased 😉 ) Long may your success continue. I can’t wait to read The Secrets of the Shadows. What an evocative title! Massively proud of your much-deserved success.
    Julie xx

  2. You’ve certainly found your niche, Helen, and as Julie says it gives the rest of us hope that one day we’ll be following in your footsteps. Good on you, gal, keep it up!

  3. Fantastic post Helen! You really are an inspiration and I’m so delighted at the success that you’ve had with The Ghost House. I’m sure Secret of the Shadows will do just as well. Mr King may have to watch out, Helen Phifer is coming after him!!

  4. Oh, Helen, you are a marvel and we all know just how busy you truly are, which of course your devoted readers will have no idea about. You are inspirational and no-one deserves their success more. Fab post xx

  5. Thank you so much for your kind comments Steve, Julie, Deirdre, Alex, Jo. Meg if you buy it then I hope you enjoy it 🙂 If I didn’t have such amazing support from my fellow writeromantics I don’t know what I’d do xx

  6. Helen P you are definitely an inspiration to us all and you deserve every success with The Ghost House. We are all anxiously awaiting the next book 🙂

    Helen R x

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