Welcome to my little corner of the interweb, where you’ll find that there’s no quick fix, no simple solution and no ‘super-fast secret’ to writing that book you’ve been thinking about for as long as you can remember. In my little corner of the interweb, there’s an honest approach, it will take time, effort and dedication to write your book and it will be worth every second.
If your goal is to collect your old blogs and whip out a ‘book’ in a nanosecond so that you can add ‘author’ to your bio, then move along, I’m not the person for you!
If your goal is to change the world for your reader, to enable them to learn from your experience and for them to be able to close your book, inspired, motivated and ready to make changes for themselves, then I would LOVE to talk with you.
If you’re here because:
- You have an idea for a book, based on your personal experience or what you teach through your business, but you don’t know where to start…
- You have a personal story that you want to share, helping others in a similar situation know that they can get through it, but there are elements you’d rather not disclose, or would like to anonymise…
- You have planned this book in your head from beginning to end, but when it comes to writing it, you’re stuck, doubting your ability and questioning whether anyone will want to read it…
- You have a message that you want to share with the world, a desire to write, but so many ideas that you don’t know where to start…
- You have spent so long worrying about whether to publish or self-publish, who to pitch to, the catchy title, what the cover design will be and who you’ll invite to your launch party that you’ve forgotten to actually write the first draft…
- You have a successful business, helping your clients to reach personal or business success, as defined by them, yet there are many, many people who can’t afford your services. You want to help them and you know a book is the best way to reach them, but you’re so busy working you haven’t found the time…
- You’re between 10,000 and 30,000 words into your first draft and you’re not sure what to do next…
… I can promise you that your finished manuscript is closer than you think. I can help you make that book dream a reality.
These are the most common areas that writers want to talk to me about. Believe me; you’re not alone in feeling overwhelmed by the thought of going from where you are now to holding that finished book of yours and wondering how you’re going to keep your signature consistent for an entire afternoon’s signing. Now that’s the sort of thing you’d rather be worrying about, right?!
I’m Marie Yates and I am here to tell you that your story counts. I believe that words have power and that your words have the power to change the lives of others for the better.
Personal experience is the thing that makes your story unique. There’s no question around whether or not you’re enough or whether or not you ‘should’ be doing this. Nobody else on earth can share your story in the way you can, nobody else on earth can help people in the way you can. Your story counts.
I’m the author of the Dani Moore Trilogy, a published teen fiction trilogy. The first book, Reggie & Me, reached the final of The People’s Book Prize. ‘That’s great, but what’s teen fiction got to do with sharing your story?’ Well, that’s a fine question and one that I would love to answer.
When I was planning my first book, all I knew was that I wanted to offer teenage survivors of sexual violence a message of hope. That was my goal. At the time, I was working with young survivors alongside my day job. No matter how many times I told them they could get through this stage of their life, they weren’t to blame and things would get better, it didn’t really make a difference. So, there was little point in writing a book that said all of those things because the chances of them reading it would be slim to none.
My reader is a teenage girl. She has had a tough time and she needs to be heard. She can be inspired and needs to know that life can be awesome. She also needs to know that there will be ups and downs along the way. She needs a friend, not an annoyingly enthusiastic adult who’s no longer on her wavelength.
In order to reach my reader, I created a teenage character, Dani Moore. Dani is a teenage survivor and the books are written through her diary. Dani can say the things I can’t say. She’s honest about how tough her life is, about the bad days and about the impact of her experience. She also shares the ways in which she tries to make life better for herself. I brought in other characters, all of whom had a part to play in sharing the message of hope. At every stage, I thought about how my reader would be able to learn from Dani while simply enjoying her story. After all, it is fiction!
It might be that your reader needs to hear your voice and your story. It might be that turning your story into fiction is the best way for them to absorb your message. If you’re writing a book that shares business expertise then it makes sense that it’s your voice so that your reader can get to know you. All I’m saying is that there are hundreds of ways that you can share your story and together, we can ensure we have the best approach for you and your reader.
I have written more books since then, under my own name and on behalf of other people. I have written fiction and non-fiction, children’s books, young adult fiction and I have ghostwritten business books and other people’s personal stories. I have helped over 200 writers to write their own book and share their story. Some have self-published, some are published and all have created a legacy to be proud of. My teen fiction trilogy inspired a social enterprise, so I know first-hand just how important books can be, both in creating social impact and in the success of a business.
It’s not a bad life, is it? Reading, writing and running a social enterprise is my dream, but it hasn’t always been this way. I have always loved writing but like many other people out there, I was told to get a ‘proper job’ and believed that writing would a hobby; after all, people like us don’t get to write books, do we?
I worked in care to put myself through University. I was working with young adults with profound and multiple learning disabilities (PMLD) and loved every second. With my experience in care combined with my exceptionally useful degree, a joint honours in Theology/Bioethics and Sport Science, I was obviously a sought after candidate for a ‘proper job.’
Nobody told me that regardless of how hard I worked at University, if I didn’t want to be a Teacher or a Nun, I wouldn’t have an abundance of career paths open to me.
The universe had other ideas.
Sports development! I know, I hadn’t heard of it either, but through a bizarre chain of events, I was offered a job in Disability Sports Development, which also had various equality and inclusion roles thrown in for good measure. I climbed the ladder, from County Manager, to Regional Manager and eventually found myself in a National role at UK Athletics (UKA), working on the development of the Paralympic Programme in the lead up to the 2012 Games.
Then, I made the worst… or best, depending on my perspective on any given day… decision of my life. I left my role at UKA because I was offered a job at the Department for Education (DfE), project managing a specific area of work around special education. With a Master’s degree added to my collection and having started a PhD, the world was my lobster, right?
The less said about my time in the (un)Civil Service the better. The highlight of that short-lived career was the day I was made redundant.
There was a light at the end of the tunnel of soul destruction that was DfE. When you hit rock bottom, it focuses the mind. The desire to write returned and the rest, as they say, is history.
I know that your desire to write comes from your own journey, so rest assured that while we’re working on your book, you’re not alone in the twists and turns, the moments of success and the depths of despair that have brought you to this point. It’s time to join me in shouting from the rooftops; ‘I’m doing life my way and I want to share my story so that you, my dear reader, can be inspired to do your life, your way.’
Are you ready to get that book of yours out into the world? Let’s get started!