Phaedra Patrick studied art and marketing and has worked as a stained glass artist, film festival organiser and communications manager. An award-winning short story writer, she now writes full time. She lives in Saddleworth, UK, with her husband and son. The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper is her debut novel and is out now.
Phaedra shares her path to publishing her debut novel.
As a child I always dreamed of going into a little local bookshelf and perhaps spying my book on the bottom shelf. But I told myself that kids from Oldham didnít write books, so I didnít attempt to put pen to paper until I was in my mid-twenties. Iím completely self-taught with no writing qualifications, and I ended up writing five novels, which took me over a decade in total to compete. I see these previous efforts as trial runs for the book that eventually made it Ė The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper.
Iíve always been fascinated by the business of writing, and I knew that I wanted a literary agent. I used to stand in bookshops and read the acknowledgments in novels to see who the author had name-checked. It became a bit of a weird hobby of mine! However, even when I found representation for two of my books, I didnít secure a deal. I think I was writing for that agent, rather than from my heart. So I decided to write the book that Iíd always wanted to, and I changed agency also.
When my new agent (Clare Wallace at Darley Anderson) explained she was submitting The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper to both UK and overseas publishers at the same time, I thought it was rather odd. Which readers, other than English ones, would want to read about a Yorkshire pensioner who finds a charm bracelet in his late wifeís wardrobe and sets off on a journey to discover the stories behind each of the charms? So it was a huge surprise when Italy was the first country to snap up the translation rights. The UK was the sixth country to offer, and the book has now reached its twentieth translation worldwide.
I first saw my book on the shelf in a large supermarket near home, one copy along from Cameron Diazís book. I took a few minutes to stare at the shelf and take it in. It was a surreal moment but one that Iíd really worked hard for. And all the previous rejections made it feel all the sweeter.
40 Years of Marriage. 8 Golden Charms. One Man's Journey of Discovery.Having been married for over 40 years, 69-year-old Arthur Pepper is mourning the loss of his wife. On the anniversary of her death, he finally musters the courage to go through her possessions, and happens upon a charm bracelet that he has never seen before. What follows is a surprising adventure that takes Arthur from London to Paris and India in an epic quest to find out the truth about his wife's secret life before they met, a journey that leads him to find healing, self-discovery, and love in the most unexpected of places.
Read an extract from The Social Diary, a gossipy and glamorous novel of 80s excess from the author of the real-life gossip column Guess Who Don't Sue. Want to know...On February 17, 2015
While studying for her PhD in chemistry, RITA finalist Lisa Verge Higgins penned twelve romance novels under her maiden name.†The Proper Care and Maintenance of Friendship†was her first foray into...On October 14, 2013
By Sophia WhitfieldOn January 14, 2013
By Sophia WhitfieldOn August 11, 2014
Kimberly Belle grew up in Eastern Tennessee, in a small town nestled in the foothills of the Appalachians. A graduate of Agnes Scott College in Decatur, Georgia, Kimberly lived for...On January 16, 2017
Tartarus Press first published The Loney by Andrew Michael Hurley as a 300-copy limited edition in 2014. This month Hachette in Australia has released the debut novel.On September 28, 2015