Rhiwbina writer RJ Prescott talks about her books
Although I was born and raised in Cardiff, I moved to Bristol to attend University, where I met my husband. After we had children, we decided to move to Rhiwbina.
Although we didn’t know anyone in the area, our new neighbours were warm and welcoming. Our son joined the Rhiwbina Squirrels and we were soon part of a tight knit community, which is something we’d never experienced before.
I’d been scribbling ideas for stories since I was a teenager but it wasn’t until I was on maternity leave with my eldest son that I wrote my first book. Ultimately I decided that although the book was great practice, it wasn’t good enough to publish, and it went back on the shelf where it still sits.
I loved to read romance and always wanted to write in this genre. My old English teacher told me that writing creatively is often easier if you write what you know. I knew a lot about boxing as my brother had boxed when he was younger and my husband kick-boxed at a boxing gym in Bristol- so writing a sports romance seemed like the obvious choice. I never had any intention of ever publishing it, but I wrote a few chapters when I ran out of books to read (this was before I discovered Kindles and had books on tap!) and showed it to a friend. She loved it and encouraged me to publish it and let others read it. Things just took off from there.
When I wrote my first book, self-publishing was relatively new, but by the time I’d written my second, the Kindle KDP programme was already well established.
Another debut author very kindly introduced me to her editor. After a little more research I found a wonderful cover designer and formatter and after working with them, my book started to take shape. I got in touch with a few book blogs to tell them about the book and they kindly posted a few teasers in the weeks leading up to the release. When The Hurricane was finally published, I only hoped to sell a few hundred copies, but people who’d seen the teasers read and recommended it to blogs and friends and sales took off. A week later, it was the best-selling sports romance on Amazon and the following week, it hit the USA Today Best Sellers List. Shortly afterwards I signed with the Corvisiero Literary Agency in New York and having had a few publication offers, accepted a book deal from Hachette Publishing. Later that year, the book reached the final of the Debut Book Goodreads Reader’s Choice Awards.
I think that the most difficult thing about it has been putting myself out there. For many years, writing was a very personal but anonymous hobby. Once you make the decision to publish, you open yourself and your writing up to the world.