Interested in writing fiction for a living?
You’ve come to the right place to find out how…
Hi, I’m Joanna Barnden and I’m a writer – a job title that still gives me delicious shivers whenever I dare to say it and I dare more nowadays as I have the honour of becoming a Pan Macmillan author. This fab publishing house will be bringing my historical trilogy ‘Queens of the Conquest’ to a bookshop near you this year. It’s about the three women behind the men fighting for the throne of England in 1066 and the first book, The Chosen Queen, will be out in hardback in May 2015 and in paperback in September under the pen name Joanna Courtney. (Click here to pre-order) For me as a writer it’s been a long journey to this point and there is plenty of work to do yet, so do take a look at my blog under the ‘Joanna Courtney’ tab for more about my metamorphosis from short story writer into full novelist.
For the last ten years I have written short stories and serials for the women’s magazines. I love reading and have a degree in English Literature from Cambridge University which introduced me to so many wonderful texts – though I still remember the blissful freedom of going into a library without a reading list in my hand once I left! These days I read anything and everything and libraries are still one of my favourite places to be. Indeed, I teach courses for Derbyshire Libraries as well as privately and for schools. I’m also a lecturer in Creative Writing for the Open University and offer a critiquing service, helping others to hone their short stories and discover the joys of seeing their work in print.
I firmly believe that writing (like so many things) is one part inspiration, nine parts perspiration – you have to love doing it but you also have to learn how to craft your work to make it sing for readers. I am still learning that craft and will continue to do so all my life but I hope I can also help others who are a little further back down the line. Do check out my courses and critiquing service and feel free to get in touch with any comments, questions or enquiries.