It’s just two days until my first book, The Soul Cave: It’s Never too Late to Find Your Power, is published on 1 May by Local Legend, a specialist mind, body, spirit book publishing company owned and run by Nigel Peace, who also has a few books of his own under his belt!
I’m a bit of a late starter with some things in life – maybe because I had my family young – so I feel like I’m having the best of both worlds. Now, at the age of 70, I’m living happily in Spain, and have realised a long-held ambition to be not just a writer but a published author. I always wanted to write for a living, even when I was at school at Wolverhampton Girls’ High School all those years ago, but Mum said I needed a ‘proper job,’ so I was in my mid-50s when I first got paid for my writing!
10 years later, I would notch up another late ‘first’ when I began to work as a psychic, clairvoyant and healer. It all came about by accident really; a friend suggested meditation would help me cope with the challenges of navigating my husband’s final illness, and soon angels and loved ones in spirit found their way into my meditations. I also discovered a talent for reading angel cards, psychometry and healing, so I did a psychic development course and trained as an Angel Guide with Kyle Gray.
Like most people, I’ve had my share of challenges over the years, but nothing could prepare me for the traumatic night when my husband, in the grip of a violent mood swing, killed my dog Paddy (see featured image) with a knife he would later admit was meant for me. Over the next couple of years, I was able to heal from this and other traumas, and I found my psychic gifts opening up more and more as a result. I regularly receive messages from the angels, and one day I was told I should write a book about my experiences, to demonstrate to others that it’s possible to heal from anything as long as we’re willing to forgive and release the past, and also to show that it’s never too late to follow your soul and live your best life. And so The Soul Cave was born.
I needed to find a publisher, and as it was my first book, on a subject that isn’t universally appealing, I struggled a bit with that one. My friend and mentor Alison Wynne-Ryder had published her own book through Local Legend, and I was wondering if this was the way to go when I spotted an advert for the company on Facebook. It seemed like synchronicity was at work, so I contacted Nigel with a book plan and the first few chapters.
His reply was that classic combination of good news/bad news; he liked the idea behind the book, felt my story was compelling and needed to be told and said my writing style was engaging. But – and it was an outsized ‘but’ – he felt I was going about the telling in the wrong way. There was too much autobiography and not enough spiritual insight, and at times, the narrative was rather negative, which isn’t a good look when you’re writing an uplifting book!
While some of the subject matter is difficult to relate and to read, it is possible to tell it like it is and leave the reader feeling enriched for reading it rather than wanting to jump off the nearest bridge! Nigel taught me that, and many other things that helped make The Soul Cave ‘searingly honest and beautifully written,’ as he describes it in the back cover blurb. You can read an extract here. While you’re there, why not check out some of the fiction and non-fiction titles? You can read excerpts from every book published by Local Legend. It’s a great way to find out if a particular book is a good fit for you spiritually.
I won’t go into all the ways he helped and encouraged me through 18 months of work on the book, because you don’t need to know and he’ll just be embarrassed. As far as he’s concerned, he’s just doing his job, which is to nurture and encourage the authors in the Local Legend family and help them produce the best book they possibly can.
It wasn’t all sunshine though; far from it. I learned that writing articles for the press and websites requires a very different skills set to writing a book. It doesn’t matter how good the writing or the subject matter is, if it doesn’t engage the reader within the first few pages, it’s not going to be a best seller. Local Legend may be a small independent publisher, but they have a global reach, and all their books are published around the world and on all digital platforms. Nigel has high hopes for all his authors, which is why he’s prepared to work so hard on their behalf.
If you’re just looking for a pat on the back and validation for your writing, maybe you should consider self-publishing. However, if you’re a writer in the spiritual genre and you’re prepared to work hard to get your message out there in the best possible way to as many people as possible, I believe Local Legend is the best home for your work.
The support doesn’t end once publication day dawns – in fact, that’s when the real hard work begins! Local Legend’s marketing machine kicks in, and you are encouraged to promote yourself as much as possible. I didn’t have a clue how to go about it, but Nigel helpfully supplied guidelines and ideas for effective promotion. In addition, there are extracts from every book on the website to give readers a flavour of your writing, and each author is regularly promoted via Local Legend’s extensive social media.
I don’t know where my author journey will take me yet, but I feel privileged to be working with Local Legend and Nigel Peace. I’m so grateful I saw that Facebook advert!