My Journey

My historical novel, The Apothecary’s Daughter was published by Piatkus in August 2011. This was  the culmination of my writer’s hopes and dreams of the past ten years.

I love to read. Losing myself in a good book has always allowed me to temporarily escape from the stresses and strains of modern life. Then, about ten years ago, I started to write my own stories and discovered yet another way of looking at the world. And this time it was (almost) under my own control.

At first I wrote only for my own pleasure. I had an idea I wanted to explore, a mystery story, and after three months I finished my first novel. I experienced a huge sense of achievement and became addicted to seeking out new ideas to spark my imagination.

Each novel took progressively longer as I learned more about the craft of writing. I joined writers’ groups and was overjoyed to learn that there were other people as obsessed by the whole writing thing as I was.  I wrote seven novels before I found a publisher and still find it hard to believe that my dream has come true. It’s not all a bed of roses, however, and if you are an aspiring writer you may find it interesting to compare your writer’s journey to my own.

13 comments on “My Journey
  1. Jan Newton says:

    What an inspirational story. I’m still in scribbling mode, but it’s lovely to hear of someone who’s got there. Well done, and I look forward to reading the book.

    Best wishes

    • charlotte says:

      I love writing but it’s still hard work. The first draft of my next novel is nearly finished but the last bit has been like squeezing blood out of a stone. And then the hard work of editing begins!
      Unless you’re already famous or very lucky, if you do want to be published determination to stick with it is the only way.
      Keep scribbling!

  2. Gary says:

    I am completely thrilled at the news of your first novel. I am not really surprised as I thought that of all at Slough Writers that you would be successful because you have the ability to plot a good story and carefully craft the details. You are precious and deserve great success.

  3. Esther says:

    What an amazing book! I just cannot put it down! I read 160 pages on the first day. I can’t wait to read on and find out what happens next! 🙂

  4. Joan Chiles says:

    Thoroughly enjoyed The Apothecary’s Daughter. Thought you must have researched my ancestors!!! My 4th x great grand uncle was an Apothecary in Bridge St Blackfriars, just around the corner from Fleet Street mid 1770’s. He had quite a story too.

  5. nitaheaton-harris says:

    I have always scribbled for years, mainly childrens books and family historywas luck to have been awarded bursaries from Arvon , now in my 81st years and hoping to move to bodmin moor and ACTUALLY get to grips with scribbling in ernest

    • charlotte says:

      Hello Nita
      One thing about writing is that it’s never too late to start, whether you write simply for pleasure or with the hope of being published. Bodmin Moor sounds a wonderfully atmospheric place to write. Good luck!

  6. I simply could not put the book down. I hugely enjoyed it, especially the sensory details, the smells particularly, and all the bits about plants and herbal mixtures for medicine. All fascinating and the backdrop, the settings became almost characters in themselves. Also the slavery aspect was well portrayed and quite a difficult thing to pull off. All the characters live still in my head, and how irritating that Arabella was! The vivid drawings of the plague terrifying facts also fascinated, especially since it’s all part of our history. I could see Alun Armstrong as the apothecary when it’s filmed!
    I look forward to reading your next book.
    I’m in the middle of my first novel, (Unsuitable Girl) second draft, and your writing has inspired me to write as engagingly as you do.
    More power to your pen/computer/ipad!

    • charlotte says:

      Very good luck with your writing, Jeannie and don’t let anything put you off!

      I think, in spite of the pressures of modern day living, that we are very lucky not to be living in the C17th with only herbs to stave off the plague.

      Im pleased you liked The Apothecary’s Daughter and, in case you are interested, that annoying Arabella turns up again in The Painter’s Apprentice!

  7. Jeannine OBrien - Australia says:

    I am so happy to have found you! A new author whose book I just loved and I cannot wait for “The Painter’s Apprentince” to be published. I have just finished “The Apothecary’s Daughter” and feel like I have lost a friend. Keep up your wounderful writing Charlotte and THANKYOU.

    • charlotte says:

      Thank you for commenting on my website. I love to hear from readers who enjoy my novels. Writing The Apothecary’s Daughter was an exciting journey for me, not all of it straightforward, and I fell in love with my characters. I couldn’t bear to leave them behind as they had become such a part of my life, so I wrote The Painter’s Apprentice to continue the story about the same family. It’s only a few days now until The Painter’s Apprentice is released so I’m really excited! I hope you like it too, Jeannine.

  8. Clare Webb says:

    Congratulations on a splendid novel. I’ve had The Apothecary’s Daughter for ages but only just got round to reading it on holiday. Historical stuff isn’t usually my favourite (I had given up history at Magna Carta, if you remember from school days) but I can honestly say I was gripped throughout. Your research and detail are terrific and I will recommend this book to anyone who will listen. Well done!

  9. gwen meek says:

    i have just finished the apothecarys daughter and the painters aprentice great stories could not put them down ,it was as if you were there i am waiting to read the spice merchants wife i hope it is as good as the other two keep the good work up

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About Charlotte

Charlotte Betts Always a bookworm, Charlotte discovered her passion for writing after her three children and two step-children had grown up. She lives with her husband in a cottage in the woods on the borders of Hampshire and Berkshire.

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Contact Charlotte via Clara Diaz, Press Officer on 020 3122 6565 or at Little Brown Book Group, Carmelite House, 50 Victoria Embankment, London EC4Y 0D2