Devizes women overcome injuries to become published authors
2:00pm Saturday 21st December 2013 in News
TWO Devizes women who survived serious car accidents have achieved their dream of becoming authors after being signed by publisher HarperCollins.
Lorraine Wilson, 40, and Jane Lark, 47, both battle with the restrictions of disability on a daily basis and say they are delighted to have become published authors.
They were signed up by Harper Impulse, a new range of romantic fiction from HarperCollins.
Mrs Wilson, who is married and lives in Drews Park, suffered brain and spinal injuries in a crash in Bristol five years ago. She suffers from chronic pain and fatigue as well as short-term memory problems.
The former librarian had begun writing before her accident. Through intensive rehabilitation had to re-learn to do everything.
She writes by a mixture of voice to text software, some work on paper and limited computer screen use.
Her first novel, Confess-ions of a Chalet Girl, was rejected by one publisher but within 24 hours of submitting it to Harper Impulse, Mrs Wilson was offered a four-book contract. This was subsequently extended to eight books.
Her debut novella was released in June 2013, her second story, Secrets of a Chalet Girl, was published in October and her next, Revenge of a Chalet Girl, is due to be released today.
Mrs Wilson said: “I couldn’t give up my dream. Writing fulfils me in a way nothing else comes close to. Giving up wasn’t an option. I’ve achieved a life ambition and am doing what I love.”
Mrs Lark, of Poulshot, has been writing for ten years and received almost 70 rejections from publishers.
She was struck by a car on a pedestrian crossing in Fleming Way, Swindon, 22 years ago and suffered multiple broken bones in her legs and pelvis. She was seriously ill for a year and had 14 operations. Since then she’s lived with Ankylosing Spondylitis, which makes movement difficult and causes chronic fatigue.
She is a full-time civil servant with the Minis-try of Defence but finds time to write every day.
She was signed up by US publishers Sapphire Star but two weeks after her first book, Illicit Love, was published earlier this year Sapphire Star decided not to publish any new books for the foreseeable future and offered Mrs Lark the rights to her book back.
An editor at HarperCollins had read the book and after sending this and other books she had written to Harper Impulse, Mrs Lark was asked to write six books.
Her first historical novel, The Illicit Love of a Courtes-an, was published in October, the second, The Passionate Love of a Rake, was published last month, and her first contemporary story, I Found You, came out on December 5.
Mrs Lark, who is married with a 19-year-old daughter, three step-children and nine grandchildren, said: “I feel as though achieving the contract with Sapphire Star and losing it were fated. If I hadn’t already been published, I may not have caught the attention of HarperCollins and Harper Impulse. I really feel as though after all my years of effort my work is finally starting to achieve recognition.”
The authors met each other through the Romance Novelist Association and are friends. Despite her publishing contract, Mrs Lark cannot give up her day job as she is paid on sales of her books, not an advance.
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