Today the author I am featuring is the lovely Chantelle Atkins, who was born and raised in Dorset, England and still resides there now with her husband, four children and multiple pets. She is addicted to both reading and music, and is on a mission to become as self-sufficient as possible. She writes for both the young adult and adult genres. Her fiction is described as gritty, edgy and compelling. Her debut Young Adult novel The Mess Of Me deals with eating disorders, self-harm, fractured families and first love. Her second novel, The Boy With The Thorn In His Side follows the musical journey of a young boy attempting to escape his brutal home life. She is also the author of This Is Nowhere, This Is The Day and the collection of short stories related to her novels, Bird People and Other Stories. Her latest release is the YA dystopian novel The Tree Of Rebels.
Check out Chantelle's day here...
The day starts at 6am when the alarm goes off. It’s my eldest daughters 15th birthday today, so I wake her up at 6.30 so she can open some presents before getting ready for school. We leave at 7.45 to get there on time. While everyone is whizzing around getting ready for the new day, I dash outside to see to the animals. We have dogs, and out in the garden we also have a giant rabbit, guinea pigs, ducks and chickens. Once they are seen to, I pile all four kids into the car and do the school run!
My youngest child, age 3, started pre-school last week and is the last one to be dropped off. I’m still getting used to the fact he doesn’t bat an eye-lid at me leaving him! It feels very weird to go home without him, but there is lots to keep me busy. I zip back home to walk my dogs. I will then grab the chance for a coffee before I go down the lane to walk two more. As well as a writer, I am also a dog walker/pet-sitter. I only went back to this fairly recently as it was too tricky to combine with my son when he was really little. Now that he is at pre-school fifteen hours a week, I hope to pick up some more work. I have decided I need to get fit again, so today I jogged down the lane, walked the two dog dogs and then jogged back! My husband picked my son up from pre-school at 11.50 which left me a bit of time to get on with baking my daughter’s birthday cake.
I always find the weekdays just fly by. After school is just as busy and noisy as the morning, with dinner to be made and homework to be done. I find myself thinking about my writing all day though. I will tap things into my phone and scribble things onto paper throughout the day, and by the time the evening comes, I am just bursting with it and cannot wait to get going. Since my son came along 3 years ago, I only have time to write in the evening, and I write without fail six evenings a week. I take Saturday off to recharge my creative batteries and watch TV with the kids. I’ll be thinking about my writing the whole time though!
I also run a writing business called Chasing Driftwood Writing Group. I run adult writing groups once a fortnight in the evenings in a local hall, and children’s writing workshops in the school holidays. Writing group is normally on a Monday, but not tonight, which means I can actually sit down and get on with my own work. I am currently in the process of turning Chasing Driftwood into a Community Interest Company, so that I can better access and secure funding for local writing based community projects. I am really excited about this, but it is hard to find the time to put it all into action. Now that the youngest is at pre-school, I am going to dedicate a few hours each Wednesday to getting this done.
As for my own writing, I released my latest novel in August, a YA dystopian called The Tree Of Rebels. I am now working on a novel aimed at adults called Elliot Pie’s Guide To Human Nature. I was writing these two novels together over a two-year period, going back and forth between them, working on one when the other was with beta readers and so on. I am hoping I am on the second to last draft now of this current novel, and then I will try submitting it to publishers. I have published my other novels through Pronoun, but would love a traditional deal with a small press that suits the kind of thing I do. If that doesn’t happen, I will happily place this next book with Pronoun and prepare another launch! I do love everything that comes with being an indie author. It’s such a learning curve, full of challenges, with so many opportunities to be creative. I just need more time in my life for it all!
After Elliot Pie, I have another YA novel almost ready, and after that, I hope to finish the sequel to The Tree of Rebels, and then start work on a four book YA series. Lots to keep me busy!
Thank you so much, Chantelle, for appearing on my blog and sharing your day with us!
This is the last Day In The Life of an Author post I have scheduled for now, so if you would like to be part of this series please do pop me an email!
Check out Chantelle Atkins here: https://chantelleatkins.com
Until next time :)