Breakfast with Nancy Revell: From journalist to novelist

Surrounded by passionate budding writers I slipped into my seat as Nancy Revell began speaking about her inspirational transition from tabloid journalist to novelist.

As she smiled at the people around the table she began telling her story of being young journalist who thought she would just settle for working for her local paper, The Banbury Cake. That was until staffing changes made her rethink her decision and she began looking for a new job.

After initially having no real aspirations to work for a national paper, she soon developed love for tabloid journalism began, writing hard-hitting news stories that exposed real criminals and highlighted many social wrong doings and injustices.

She said “you have to be hard to work for the tabloids” and “you have to grab the audience with the first couple of lines.”

Nancy listed the newspapers she has worked for throughout her career including News of The World, which prompted some controversial conversation with the audience.

She started writing freelance and it wasn’t until she met her husband and started trying for a baby that her true transition to novelist began. Everyone in the session was mesmerised by Nancy’s honesty, she said that she was unable to have a child so she turned to IVF; this is what inspired her column The IVF Diaries where she opened up and shared her life with readers.

During that time her husband was fighting cancer and she said that she took strength from the stories she had written and that if other people could make it through so could she.

Following the success of her column a radio producer suggested that she should talk to his agent and after speaking with her and hearing her passion the agent snapped Nancy up. Unfortunately Nancy was unsuccessful in selling her book idea to a publisher so she decided, with the encouragement of her agent, to self-publish.

Although it wasn’t the success she had hoped for, she said “bad things can lead to good things.” A publisher read the IVF Diaries and liked her style and offered her a book deal but first she had to write sample chapters to give them a taster of what the novel would be like. She said “to be a writer you have to be very passionate,” – as they may not want to publish it in the end.

Luckily they did and the birth of The Shipyard Girls series began and her transition from journalist to novelist was complete.