An ex-Spalding Guardian work experience student is about to join Jane Austen and the Bronte sisters as a published romantic novelist.
Becky Wicks (38) is to have her book, Tempted By Her Hot-Shot Doc, published by romantic novel specialists Mills and Boon.
I settled in Bali where I taught myself the art of publishing romantic fiction myself which I was pretty successful atBecky Wicks, author and freelance writer
The ex-Gleed Girls Technology College student who wrote for the Guardian and our sister newspaper, the Lincolnshire Free Press, between 1995 and 2001 combines her growing career as a novelist with work as a freelance writer.
Becky said: “I’ve always written, both for fun and money, but it wasn’t until I went to live in Dubai from 2007 until 2009 that I wrote my first book.
“I was an online magazine editor at the time and Dubai was a crazy place to live as I was invited to endless parties and heard about some mad stuff like air-conditioned beaches and the building of a real Jurassic Park.
“I wrote it all down in secret, because there was so much else we weren’t supposed to say, and used it for my first book (Burqalicious: The Dubai Diaries) which was sold to an Australia published - and the rest is history.
“Eventually, I settled in Bali where I taught myself the art of publishing romantic fiction myself which I was pretty successful at.
“Then during a stint of working in London as a social media strategist, I sent a manuscript to Mills and Boon who signed me.”
Becky, who currently lives in the Netherlands, is busy writing another romance for the same publisher which she promised would feature “all the medical drama that can happen out at sea”.
She said: “I grew up in Spalding and my first jobs were at a hotel, a chip shop, an outdoor retailer and then Geest for a while in the cold foods factory, as well as the flowers.
“I also worked at the Lincolnshire Free Press and Spalding Guardian, work experience at first when I was a student at the Gleed.
“I recall sitting in a room with a bunch of files and having to sort through them all for hours and hours.
“But I also wrote a few stories for the paper over the years, one of which was about a haunted pub and another about being in New York on 9/11 (when terrorists flew two planes into the World Trade Centre).
“All these jobs as a teenager and beyond earned me money for university but, mostly, they inspired me as well.
“I met all kinds of characters in those places who fuelled my imagination for stories because the more people you talk to and the more experiences you have growing up, the more open and adventurous you’re likely to be as an adult.”