Bradford on Avon grandmother's digital solution to publishers' rejections
9:53am Thursday 15th May 2014 in By Katie Smith
A Bradford on Avon grandmother turned to the internet to get a wider audience for a character who first appeared in stories she told her children.
Sara Hibbard, 61, who writes under the name Sara Janes, first started writing the fiction book Jim Maguire’s Understanding of Life in 2005, but could not get it published.
The grandmother-of-six said: “I sent it off to literary agents and publishers but was turned down.
"I soon realised the only way I was going to get published was to do it myself and I employed someone to help me to do it.
“The germ of it started when my son, Jamie, was small and I told him stories. One of the characters stayed and formed Jim. When I started to write the book, he was there.
“The theme of the book is how family relationships repeat themselves until someone is courageous enough to make a change.
“When I write, I find the characters have their own lives and do what they want. It was only after I finished that I realised the characters mirrored characters from other generations.
“At first I was nervous (to see it published). You suddenly realise you are launching your own baby. That is the chap (Jim) that has been living in my mind. It was quite emotional.
“It is nice to see it once it is out there and to see the front cover was amazing.”
Mrs Hibbard, who previously worked in management for NHS Wiltshire, was born in Bradford in Avon and has grown up in the town.
She writes in the conservatory of her Bradford home, which she shares with husband Ian, and looks out onto the fields and countryside beyond for inspiration.
She added: “I get inspiration from the area. Although the villages in the book are fictional, anyone that knows the villages around here can piece it together.”
Mrs Hibbard has just completed her second book and has two more in progress.
Jim Maguire’s Understanding of Life is available on Amazon for £1.80.