Every novel feels like the first: Hazel Gaynor on writing

Guest post by Hazel Gaynor

On writing … and writing, and writing, and writing


On April 1st, 2014, my debut novel. The Girl Who Came Home was published. I remember the day so clearly: the sense of excitement, the disbelief that it had finally happened, the inevitable anxiety that comes when any creative work becomes public. Three years and four months on I’m feeling precisely the same emotions about the publication of my fourth novel, The Cottingley Secret. I’m just as excited, just as surprised it ever got written, and just as nervous, because although I’ve learned a lot over the course of writing four books, I have never taken any of them for granted.

Having worked quietly on a novel for a number of years – the words only ever read by a few very close friends and family, agents and editors – it is a very strange and lovely thing to know that those precious words are now accessible to anyone, anywhere. Will people like the book is the ultimate question for every writer, and one that is impossible to answer until readers start reading. Publication day is the point where the book stops belonging to the author, and starts to belong to the reader. We can only hope that the words connect, and that the reading experience is as magical and meaningful as the writing experience.review

Friends often ask if writing a book gets easier each time. In some ways it does, because I know what to expect. In other ways, each book feels like my debut. It takes the same amount of dedication and self-belief to write it, and it leaves my hands filled with just as much passion and hope. To do this for a fourth time is both a privilege and a pleasure, and I can’t wait to start writing the fifth.

About the author

Hazel Gaynor 3, copyright Deasy Photographic

Hazel Gaynor (c) Deasy Photographic

Hazel Gaynor is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of THE GIRL WHO CAME HOME (for which she received the 2015 RNA Historical Novel of the Year award) and A MEMORY OF VIOLETS. Her third novel THE GIRL FROM THE SAVOY was an Irish Times and Globe & Mail Canada bestseller and was shortlisted for the 2016 Irish Book Awards. Hazel’s books have been translated into a number of foreign languages. In addition to THE COTTINGLEY SECRET, Hazel will also release LAST CHRISTMAS IN PARIS in October 2017, co-written with Heather Webb. Hazel lives in Ireland with her husband and two children. She is represented by Michelle Brower of Aevitas Creative, New York. For more information, visit http://www.hazelgaynor.com


About Roz Kay

Roz Kay is a writer and former journalist. Her debut children’s novel, THE KEEPER OF THE STONES, was published in 2020 by Hayloft Publishing. Her debut novel for adults, FAKE, (contemporary fiction) was published in September 2020 by her own imprint, Darley Press. Roz's short fiction has appeared under the name Roz DeKett in Fish Publishing’s 2017 Anthology, The Nottingham Review, The York Literary Review, and the Bedford International Writing Competition’s 2018 Anthology. She has also appeared as Roz Kay in the American children’s literary magazine, Cricket. As a news journalist, Roz worked for The Journal in the North East, the Liverpool Echo, and BBC local and national radio. She is a graduate of the University of Leeds and lives in Wiltshire.
This entry was posted in Author interviews, Fiction, Historical fiction, Historical fiction, Uncategorized, Writing tips and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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