A first novel by Chelsea Fisher, a former student at Lynn’s Springwood High School, will hit the bookshelves on Tuesday, March 1.
It is called When We Were Alive and 29-year-old Chelsea has had to be patient in getting the book accepted and now into publication.
She said: “I started the book roughly four years ago, and wrote it in about six months. I was living in Plymouth and actually moved back home to Lynn with the specific intention of writing a novel, because it was a bucket list item for me and there was nothing I couldn’t leave behind in Devon.
“Once it was finished I wasn’t sure what to do with it, and as a realist I honestly didn’t expect it to ever get published. In January 2013 I sent it out to a couple of smaller presses to test the water, and then I ended up moving to London and forgetting about it.
“One day at work I got an email essentially saying ‘hey, we love your novel, are you free for a coffee to talk about potentially publishing with us?’ and that was that. It will be about two or so years since that meeting when it finally hits shelves.”
Chelsea now lives in London, and her mum, Sue, who still lives in Gaywood, said: “I was so impressed when she completed the book and now for it to be published.”
Asked whether the staff at Springwood would be surprised that she’s had a book published, Chelsea said: “Not really. I think the most surprising part for them would be that I tried to get it published, not that I wrote it.
“I always did well at school, read a lot, and hopefully showed an interest, but I was also the kid who sat at the back gossiping and never one to raise my hand to voluntarily answer a question.
“I think, like a lot of people, I have always wanted to write a novel. I could probably find a whole bunch of dusty A4 papers in the loft of my parents’ house, nestled away next to some dried up Play-Doh, covered in poorly constructed cursive about some girl with magic powers who rides a giant dog.
“I still have that same love of writing now, I’ve just changed the subject matter, although not necessarily for the better...”
After leaving Springwood, Chelsea went on to the UEA where she got a BA in Film and American Studies, and gained her Master’s degree in Film from Exeter.
She added: “I’m really not sure what I want to do as a career. I’ve worked reviewing and marketing movies for the last three years, but I like to keep trying new things. I don’t really want to know what I’ll be doing from one year to the next – to be honest, the idea of being able to predict my future terrifies me.”
Her novel, When We Were Alive, follows three men from different decades, revealing what it means to each of them to truly live: Bobby is an aspiring magician who falls in love with his childhood best friend, William is escaping his past by selling his body in Las Vegas, and Myles is writing letters to a mother he has never met.
Published by Legend Press, it will be available from Waterstones, Foyles, Amazon, WHSmith and BookDepository etc.