I was nervous. People could tell. The adrenaline was like a torrent rushing through me. I guess that’s because it really, really meant something, probably more than I can truly express here.

You see, two years ago when I began my MA in Creative Writing at Leeds Trinity University, I made a promise to myself.

By the time I graduate, I will have Hannah and the Hollow Tree published, no matter what.

I knew I had something despite the rejections as I tried, in vain, to secure a trad publishing deal. I had received good feedback and even at one point it felt like an offer was about to be secured, but alas it didn’t happen. In fact, I got tired of waiting and being beholden to what I believed then were the gatekeepers to the author world. So I decided to go indie and I can honestly say I’ve never looked back.

Fulfilling that promise to myself as I stood at my book launch, surrounded by the people I care about most, holding my book in my hands and sharing Hannah’s story, in that moment I proved to myself that if you put your mind to something, learn, focus, get back up when you’re knocked down, work hard and then work harder, you really can bring your dreams to fruition. To keep that promise to myself is something I shall cherish all my days.

My dad once said after I graduated the first time, that “triumph comes from adversity” and he was absolutely right. So, no matter what your dreams are or what you’re passionate about, keep on, keep going, keep believing, for you really are the author of your own fortune. And don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

These photographs prove it.

Now, if I did it…, well, what’s stopping you?

You’ve got this.


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