She believed she could and she did: An inspirational success story for any aspiring author

Back at the beginning of this month – on April Fool’s Day to be precise – it was the Write Romantics 4th birthday. In 2013, all ten of us were unpublished, aspiring writers, desperate to get that elusive break and put our books ‘out there’. Over the years since then, every time I’ve seen a wishing well – like the one at my local wildlife park – I’ve thrown in a coin for each of us waiting to get published and made a little wish that those dreams would come true.

We thought about doing an anniversary post on the 1st of April this year, but there were too many obstacles in the way – looming deadlines, new releases and those sort of knee-deep edits from which you can’t afford to come up for air. You see, in four short years, all ten of us have become published authors and there’s no need for me to use any wishes up on that these days.

I’m so proud of all of my fellow Write Romantics, but there is one member of our little gang who I want to single out. She was our trailblazer – the first to be published – and she never stopped cheering the rest of us on, loudly pronouncing that ‘you can and you will’ until every one of us could call ourselves an author. Not only is she a wonderful friend, who works long hours in a demanding job, but she’s an amazing mother and doting grandmother too, battling through medical issues for some of her family that would have anyone else on their knees. She really is someone the phrase ‘I don’t know how she does it’ could have been written for.

I’m looking at you, Helen Phifer! She’ll probably be cringing now, but I couldn’t miss this opportunity to tell Helen what an inspiration she’s been to me and I know I’m speaking for the rest of the Write Romantics too.  Those of you who are already fans of Helen’s work – which just proves what excellent taste you’ve got – will know and love her Annie Graham series, expertly blending horror and crime, which have climbed the best seller lists, giving the rest of us WRs something else to aspire to.

But here’s the thing, Helen took a leap of faith recently, signing to Bookouture to write her first crime novel, The Lost Children, without the horror focus that had always been her starting point.  A departure like this is no easy thing for a writer to do and I’m sure Helen felt an extra frisson of nerves when she put the book out there. Turns out, which is no surprise to the rest of the WRs, that Helen can write the sort of un-put-down-able crime novels that have the five star reviews rolling in and which sent the novel flying into the Kindle top one hundred as a brand new bestseller to add to her growing list. You can check out the reviews here if you want to know what people are saying.

As I said earlier, I wanted to let Helen know how much she’s inspired me. But, more than that, I wanted other aspiring writers to hear about Helen and everything she’s worked for. Taking a job with the police force to get her research just right, writing late into the night and in every spare moment to achieve her dream alongside those work commitments and a very busy family life. One of Helen’s favourite sayings is ‘she believed she could and she did’. So if you’re out there, dreaming of being a published author, then let Helen’s story inspire you too and make it happen – whatever it takes. She continues to inspire me and I couldn’t be more proud of my lovely friend.  Jo xx

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6 thoughts on “She believed she could and she did: An inspirational success story for any aspiring author

  1. Absolutely 100% true for me, too! As Jo says, Helen is a huge inspiration. Some of the things she’s been through in the last couple of years would have floored anyone else, but Helen has not only got through them, she’s supported her family, too, as well as holding down a very demanding job, cheering on and encouraging the other Write Romantics and her other author friends, and on top of all that, writing more amazing books. She’s a true star and we all love her to bits. So proud of you, Helen. Congratulations. And thanks, Jo, for putting what we feel into words. xx

  2. You are such an inspiration to us all and so encouraging whenever doubts surface, as they inevitably do. You really are one of those women who I think of and say ‘I don’t know how she does it’.
    Congratulations on having a title in the Top 100! Totally awesome and I’m so very pleased for you.
    Wishing you lots more success in 2017 and beyond!
    Helen J Rolfe x

  3. Oh my goodness, I’m actually speechless. Thank you so much for this lovely blog post Jo. I’m deeply touched by your very kind words. There is no-one prouder than I am of you all. I’m incredibly grateful I found The Write Romantics. Your amazing and thank you Sharon 💗 💗 xx

  4. Aw, what a lovely post. Made me cry. Yes, Helen P is an absolutely inspiration to us all and an exceptionally talented writer. I’ve read all the Annie Graham books and The Good Sisters and look forward to reading the next couple. As Jo says, Helen, I really don’t know how you do it! Amazing xx

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