To celebrate International Women’s Day on Saturday, with its theme of inspiring change, we asked some of our authors to pick out inspirational female authors or characters from literature. Today Josephine Moon tells us of her love of an author’s books, and how that author led to Josephine’s own publication!
As a reader, I first stumbled across Monica McInerney’s works in my local rural library, where I was ransacking the pitifully small offerings of audio books for something decent to listen to on the frequently long road trips. And I was hooked. I went back and found all of her other books and began to read those too. I loved her style, wit, humour, sensitivity, gentle storytelling and beautiful character development.
I admired Monica’s books so much that, when I felt I had reached the end of all the resources available to help me go on in my writing career, I wrote to her and (without giving away all the fun facts) she asked to see my women’s fiction manuscript, liked it, passed it onto her agent, who then signed me up and sold my book.
To this day, I am still floored that Monica would take the time to do that for someone she’d never met before. Not only that, she was so incredibly lovely and warm about it, so generous with her advice and wisdom, and she made it all seem like ‘it was nothing’, when I’ve no doubt it was actually ‘something’ that took her away from her own workload/deadlines/life.
Monica’s actions, then and since, demonstrate what it really means to be a leader in your field — acting with integrity, generosity and thoughtful intent. She did what she did because she wanted to help me. No other reason. An established author helping a new author towards her first big breakthrough — a fantastic demonstration of the spirit of International Women’s Day and an absolute inspiration to me.
I hope, one day, if I’m in a similar position, I can return the favour by helping another emerging author. In the meantime, I’ll be at the bookstore to buy a copy of every new book Monica writes… a dedicated (but hopefully not scary) fan girl.
Josephine Moon’s debut novel The Tea Chest, thanks to Monica’s help, comes out next month! It features a number of strong female characters, who ignore convention and get things done their own way when faced with the challenges of establishing a tea shop in London. You can enter to win an advance copy on Goodreads below, and find out about Jo’s writing life over on her Facebook page.
As part of this series, you can read about the women writers who have inspired Fleur McDonald and a character that Amy Hatvany is inspired by while Karen Viggers like Amy eschewed many of the classics for her inspirational female character. Be sure to check back on International Women’s Day itself when we’ll be giving you the chance to win a fantastic collection of books about or by inspirational women.