The official (short) biography
Linda Daunter is now a full-time writer after many years of only writing in snatched moments between 'proper' jobs. She has had short stories and articles published in print and online magazines, and has also achieved some success in writing competitions. She currently lives in the East of England. When not writing (or reading), she enjoys photography, painting, slow cycling and exploring new places.
My (long) writing journey
I'm sure my love of writing grew out of my passion for reading. All through my childhood I read everything I could, from comics to the classics. The library was my second home, and when I wasn't reading other people's stories I settled for the next best thing, which was making up my own. But even in my most daring imaginings the possibility of becoming a published writer never occurred to me. Writers were remote, god-like creatures, not ordinary people like me.
The turning point came when I read a very boring bedtime story to my toddler son. We both agreed I could do better, but there was a big obstacle. I was confident I could create some exciting, new stories, but I had no idea how to get the tales in my head onto a printed page. I resolved to find out.
After reading The Writers' & Artists' Yearbook from cover to cover, and completing a postal course on writing for children (no internet in those days), I plucked up enough courage to show some of my work to a publisher. I'll never forget the thrill of receiving a letter from D.C. Thomson accepting one of my stories for their Twinkle annual.
I was convinced it was just beginner's luck, but that small success spurred me on to write more children's stories, and then I tried stories for women's magazines. There were plenty of rejections along the way, but gradually my stories were published in The People's Friend, Best, Take A Break, Yours, Woman's Day (Australia) and several other magazines that sadly no longer exist.
I was completely hooked on writing, but I could only do it in odd moments between caring for my family and earning a living through a variety of outside jobs. I had a secret dream of one day being a full-time writer, although I couldn't see how it would ever be anything more than a hobby.
Suddenly, magically, 'one day' arrived.
The children grew up and my husband and I found ourselves in a house that was too big for us, and working at jobs that paid the bills but no longer gave us any enjoyment. We decided to sell the house, get rid of most of our possessions, and treat ourselves to a gap year to do some travelling. Not only was it a real-life adventure, but it also gave me the opportunity to find out if I could turn my dream into reality.
When we returned to Britain, homeless and jobless, I told the tax office I was a freelance writer. I then had to prove I was telling the truth.
I tried travel writing and discovered I could sell my photos as well as articles. I approached a regional lifestyle magazine and was commissioned to write a series of articles on small businesses. It didn't pay much, but the positive feedback I received gave my confidence a huge boost. I also learnt about online copywriting and worked with a PR company to produce content for business websites and blogs.
I was finally able to call myself a writer - but something was missing. I was spending all my time and energy writing non-fiction because that was easier to sell, but what I really wanted to write was fiction. So now, I still write the occasional article but I put my stories first. I enjoy experimenting with different genres, entering competitions, and - one day - I will finish that novel!