Marianne Holmes Q&A: What I Wish I’d Known Before I Was Published

If you’ve never been published before, it’s easy to get bogged down by indefinite writing with no concrete end in sight. But if there’s anyone who can show you that there is indeed a light at the end of your writing tunnel, it’s an author who has figured out the key to getting published — and we just so happen to have a few of those who are willing to share their expertise with you!

This week, Marianne Holmes, debut author of A Little Bird Told Me, takes a turn in our hot seat.


If you could tell your pre-published self one thing, what would it be?

Relax and enjoy the sheer pleasure of creating and playing with all the words because this is a great time to take risks. Nothing you write is ever wasted; it’s all power to your writing muscle.

What do you wish you’d known about being published before you became a published author?

I knew that once my book was published it would no longer be my property but the reality of complete strangers reading and reacting to it is something else. It’s awesome to interact with people who read your book, especially when they love it, but it can be very distracting too! Having something else to get absorbed in is very helpful.

Did your approach to writing change after being published?

Good question. Having a book published is an enormous confidence boost so the big difference for me is that I feel able to take my writing, and the time I need to do it, more seriously. The end of editing A Little Bird Told Me coincided with the approach of the school holidays and I made a conscious decision to catch up on some reading and reflect on exactly what I could do better next time. So, I’m trying to watch out for some of those things that kept cropping up during editing so I can weed them out earlier in the process. But I’ll have to get back to you on how well that works!

What’s your biggest piece of advice for an aspiring author?

Persist. Work hard, keep learning and find people who will give you honest feedback. The great thing about writing is that the more you do and the more you read the better you’re going to get. It won’t always feel easy so figure out what keeps you motivated, whether it’s a group of writing buddies, a special notebook or biscuits!

And it will be worth it when you get there – there aren’t many jobs in the world where you can dig yourself out of a hole just by making stuff up!


As always, thank you for reading, and be sure to tweet us @AgoraBooksLDN if you have any questions for our authors about being published!