I’m Stephanie Dagg, married to Chris for 30 years and mum to Benj (25), Caiti (22) and Ruadhri (15). We live on a 75 acre farm in rural Creuse with llamas, alpacas and three lakes full of carp. We run a fishery and gite, and also a llama trekking business. We moved here in 2006 from Ireland, where we’d lived for 15 years. Before that we lived in England.
I’m an English graduate (Somerville College, Oxford) and Publishing Studies postgraduate (Stirling). I began a career in publishing in 1985 as a desk editor with Hodder and Stoughton, then I deviated from the path to become a sales rep for a couple of years for some academic presses and then an accountant. This is what meeting and marrying a guy who has a job in Newcastle does for you! Anyway, in 1992 I got back on track by becoming a freelance editor and indexer, working from home part-time around the kids. The same year we moved to Ireland.
I began to write stories for Benj, and then Caiti, and I won second prize in a contest in a magazine with one of my tales. That prompted me to begin contacting publishers. I got plenty of rejections but finally hit the right place at the right time with Mentor Press and O’Brien Press in Ireland 1n 1998. For the next eight years I wrote prolifically and spent many happy hours visiting schools and libraries to do workshops with kids.
Then we moved to France and I stopped writing due to sheer exhaustion. Renovating a 200 year old farm that is falling apart takes a lot of effort. But I kept a blog and diaries and I’m using those experiences now in my book about moving to and living in France. I decided late last year (2010) to relaunch my writing career, this time in the adult market. This blog is about my journey to getting published again, with a look at other books about France, the Kindle and electronic publishing and where to find good advice on the Web.
I blog daily about life in France on my other website: http://www.bloginfrance.com. Check that out to see what’s going on chez nous!