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Digital Subscriptions > Writing Magazine > January 2016 > Subscriber spotlight

Subscriber spotlight

Share your writing success stories. If you subscribe to Writing Magazine and would like to feature here, email Tina Jackson,


Cast off

‘I’ve wanted to write a book since I was little, but it took my baby being born with a congenital condition to make that dream a reality,’ writes subscriber Natalie Trice.

‘Lucas was diagnosed with developmental dysplasia of the hip (DDH), where the ball and socket of the hip joint don’t fit together snugly, when he was four months and I was devastated.

‘Whilst I cobbled together information and found support online there were no books out there to help answer my questions and worries.

‘Time went by, Lucas had many operations, got strong, started school, and I decided to move from PR into writing. Whilst taking a non-fiction writing course last year, I decide I was going to change things and write a book about DDH.

‘After the eight-week course I started to contact agents and publishers with my pitch. The reality of rejection hit quickly but this was something I believed in and I kept going. Then one November afternoon, as I did homework with my sons, an email offering me a book deal landed in my inbox.

‘I started to work with the team at Nell James and in October Cast Life – A Parent’s Guide to DDH was published, just as Lucas faced his next operation.

Cast Life covers everything from explanations about the condition and details of the various treatments involved, to making life easier when your child is in a spica cast. It also looks at family life and dealing with emotions, as well as first person stories.

‘I passionately believe there needs to be more awareness of DDH, which if left untreated, can lead to long-term disability, hip replacements and lifelong pain. I hope Cast Life and Spica Warrior, the charity I have set up to offer information about DDH, will help and support others at what can be a tough time.’

A tale of incarceration

‘In 1994 I was alerted to the fact that during redevelopment an old tin had been found in a hollow tree in the grounds of what was left of the old Brookwood Lunatic Asylum in Knaphill, near Woking Surrey,’ writes subscriber Mal Foster.

‘The tin contained a number of artefacts belonging to a young male patient who had resided at the asylum as far back as 1929. These included some scribbled diary notes, not enough to simply reproduce, but enough to inspire me to eventually write my debut novel, The Asylum Soul, some twenty years later.

‘I am a keen advocate of self-publishing and have been consistently enlightened and inspired by the many authors whose success stories have appeared in Writing Magazine across the years. Now was the time to follow suit, I thought.

‘I knew I would need some assistance and I had no hesitation in going to PublishNation, whose advertisement I had previously seen in Writing Magazine. I was also aware that despite that old saying ‘never judge a book by its cover’ I would need something special to draw people to the story inside the book. I went to a company called Spiffing Covers whose professional design based on an early synopsis of my book was spot on.

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