Debut Author Series: UPDATES

After the Debut

After the debut…

By Nicky Schmidt 

As a round up to a busy year and a half of Debut Author Interviews, I decided to find out what happened to our authors after that first thrilling experience of becoming a published author. 

Has it been all plain sailing or has it been a challenge? Have riches, success and glory followed? What lessons have been learned, what experience gained? I caught up with several authors to find out what life after the debut has been like. 


Tatum Flynn 

Since The D'Evil Diaries came out in April, I've been on a retreat which involved more taxidermy than I hope to ever see again, organised a one-day con where I cleverly decided to wear leather trousers on the hottest day of the year, calmed down, panicked again, done readings, totally forgotten to update my blog enough, and - with a bit of tooth-gnashing and bourbon - finished my sequel. (Hell's Belles, out January 2016, yay!) 

I've also said goodbye to an editor, publicist and agent, and - just yesterday - found out that my book was shortlisted for its first award. 

My point? 

Expect the unexpected. 

Your debut year will probably be a bit of a rollercoaster, both good and bad. Maybe (probably) you won't sell as many copies and win as many awards and be as feted as you dreamed about. But you'll probably meet loads of awesome people and have other good things happen. 

Top tip: amongst all the craziness, try to remember to keep writing! 

Author Website   


Eve Ainsworth 

I've had a really exciting debut year. 7 Days came out in February and I was overjoyed to have it listed on the Telegraph online top YA reads for 2015. It has also now been nominated for the Carnegie Medal 2016 and shortlisted for the Grampian children's prize 2016. 

My next book, Crush about controlling/toxic relationships is out in March 2016 and I have signed another 2 book deal with Scholastic, which is wonderful news. 

My main advice to other debuts is to enjoy the journey. There will be highs and lows, but you are so lucky to be part of this wonderful experience - just don't forget to look out and drink in the view. 

Author website 

Photo by Erica Abi-Karam

Jeannie Waudby 

One of Us came out in February, and since then I have really loved the author visits, especially workshops in schools. I've now joined Authors Aloud and I'm looking forward to developing this. I'm taking some time to be self-employed so I can finish the two books I'm working on. 

They are very different but I'm aiming to finish the one that is closer to One of Us in genre, first, although the other one is nagging away at me. 

It's great to have more time to write. In a perfect world, I would have had an established website before the book came out. The biggest thing I've learnt since publication is how exciting it is to lead creative writing workshops with teenagers. Seeing them sparking ideas off each other and planning to continue writing is very inspiring. 

Author website  

SCBWI-BI “member abroad”, Nicky Schmidt is an ex scriptwriter, copywriter, and marketing, brand and communications director who "retired" early to follow a dream. Although she still occasionally consults on marketing, communications and brand strategies, mostly she writes YA fiction (some of which leans towards New Adult) in the magical realism and supernatural genres. When not off in some other world, Nicky also writes freelance articles - mostly lifestyle and travel - for which she does her own photography. Her work has been published in several South African magazines and newspapers. As well as being a regular feature writer for Words & Pictures, Nicky also runs the SCBWI-BI YA e-critique group. Nicky lives in Cape Town with her husband and two rescue Golden Retrievers.

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