Writing Book Together Was Spa and Away Our Best Idea; Beauty Salon Visit Led to Three Publishing Offers and Rave Reviews for Sarah McMartin and Leigh RonaldJENNY MORRISON

Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland), March 20, 2016 | Go to article overview

Writing Book Together Was Spa and Away Our Best Idea; Beauty Salon Visit Led to Three Publishing Offers and Rave Reviews for Sarah McMartin and Leigh RonaldJENNY MORRISON


Byline: Sarah McMartin

Sarah McMartin and Leigh Ronald like to joke that they formed a book club with a difference.

Instead of getting together each week to read the latest best-sellers, they got together to write one.

The two friends turned their backs on three publishing deals to print their own book are getting rave reviews for their debut novel, Jackman's Jewels. It has received high praise from everyone from OK! magazine to Judy Murray.

Leigh, 36, of Dunblane, said: "We were jumping for joy when we were offered three contracts from different publishing companies, until we read the small print and realised we would have to hand over all our creative rights and 97 per cent of all commission.

Sarah, 39, of Bo'ness, said: "You have got to have confidence in yourself and we had put in so much hard graft, we decided just to keep going on our own. "It has not been easy, but the feedback we have had has been amazing. We got a great review in OK magazine - four stars - and when you consider they only featured two books and we don't have the might of a publishing house publicity department behind us, we have done pretty well."

Former marketing accounts director Leigh says she found her writing soulmate after making a tearful visit to the spa where Sarah worked. Mum-of-two Leigh said: "My little boy, Louis, was just starting primary one and I dropped him off at the school gates. I had a massive cry - as everyone does who has no children to look after during the day, I hadno job, and no clue about what I was going to do with my life.

"My brother had given me a gift voucher for a massage, so I went along to the spa to cheer myself up and Sarah was my therapist. I had met her once before - when I had gone in for a spray tan before going on holiday. I think someone seeing you dressed only in paper pants is a good basis for any friendship.

"We hit it off and when I visited this time and told her why I was upset she asked me what I really wanted to do. "Without giving it too much thought I told her I had a pretty good imagination and that I'd love to write a book. She said she had always liked the idea of writing a book too and suggested we do it together. It was a great idea."

The pair made a plan to meet up every Thursday during term time, when they would share a lot of gossip, Irn Bru and sweets while also coming up with ideas for, and writing, their book.

Sarah, who has a son, Jamie, 10, said: "A lot of books out there just now are really quite dark novels - about things like women murdering their husbands and getting away with it.

'' Neither of done a creative "I'm divorced and Leigh assures me she has never wanted to murder her husband, so we thought it would be better to write something of more interest to us - the sort of book we wanted to read. …

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