Keri Beevis

Keri BeevisI have always been something of a daydreamer. Even back to when I was a tot and all the other babies were starting to crawl and walk and talk, I just sat there in my own little bubble, taking it all in, not in any rush to go anywhere.

As I grew, the pattern continued. I hated school with a passion, was painfully shy – hard to believe now – and only happy when I was scribbling stories. In the rest of my classes I doodled, dreamed and stared out of the window.  I wanted to have adventures in Enid Blyton’s Magic Faraway Tree, I longed for my life to be a John Hughes movie. I wanted to write like Stephen King and have my plots directed by Alfred Hitchcock.

An overactive imagination is a powerful tool and great for what I do, but unfortunately it didn’t help me with my grades. Released into the real world at fifteen, I had no idea what path to follow and so I tried a bit of everything, from working in my dad’s video rental store – which only fuelled my love for film – to being the world’s worst hairdresser. Seriously do not ever let me near your head with a pair of scissors; I make the stylist who worked on Edward Scissorhands look like Vidal Sassoon.

Eventually I settled into a role within the travel industry, but the writing bug wouldn’t go away. All I wanted to do was make up stories and have people read them. As a teenager with zero qualifications, how does that work?

I wrote my first novel at age twenty. Six months earlier I had been devouring Stephen King’s Misery on a sun lounger in Tenerife, thinking it must be a hell of a task to write a book. I had ideas, some of them good, and eventually decided to commit one to paper.

A few months later I finished writing a tale I tentatively called Twisted. Armed with a copy of the Writers Year Book, I bombarded every publisher and agent I could find. I had several flat out rejections, but some gave encouragement, telling me I had potential and to persevere.

So here we are in 2013 and I have persevered. There were four more novels, a few more rejection letters , a brush with an unscrupulous publisher, a break with a top agent that restored my self-belief, then, when I had almost cinched a deal with one of the big guns, another blowing rejection. I quit my dreams for a while, convinced they were over, grew older, blonder and swapped books for cats and red wine.

Keri Beevis Rethink Press AwardsA persistent pal wasn’t prepared to let me give up so easily and bullied and harassed me into entering the Rethink Press 2012 New Novels Competition. I came runner up and you may be holding twenty years of my dreams in your hand.

The next chapter in my life has begun.