Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in writing but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Pauline Tait, a Novelist and Children’s Author based in Blairgowrie, Perthshire, Scotland.
What’s your business, and who are your customers?
I am a novelist and children’s author. I particularly enjoy using my past experiences in working in primary literacy support to encourage our younger generations in their own reading and writing. This is done through author visits within primary schools as well as my children’s books, where the layout, text, and cover texture are all designed to grasp the attention of both reluctant and avid readers. I also use the voice that being an author has provided in my suspenseful romance, ensuring I write about specific causes that need attention. For instance, my novel, A Life of Their Own, features a protagonist who is fleeing an abusive marriage. And in my current manuscript, the protagonist suffers from Amnesia, meaning a decade has been wiped from her memories. This is all intertwined with romance, but it allows me to focus on specific subjects.
Tell us about yourself
After two decades of working as a pharmaceutical technician and then latterly in primary literacy support, my time was now my own. Our children have flown the nest, and I am free to pursue a career I have dreamed of since I was in my early twenties. I first scribbled character descriptions and plot lines for what was to be my first published children’s book when I was in my early twenties, but it wasn’t until I was in my mid-forties that I decided I would look into getting it published. The Fairy in the Kettle was then published in late 2016, and I have not looked back since. But my necessity to write has emerged alongside a profound passion for engaging and inspiring our younger generations to become great readers. I feel that children are our future, and reading is the fundamental basis of their learning. I have also ensured that I tackle difficult subjects when writing my suspenseful romance. For instance, A life of Their Own follows Kate and her two young children as they embark on a new life far from Kate’s abusive husband. And my current manuscript, Abigail Returns, which is out later this year, follows a young woman as she tries to piece together her life after losing a decade to Amnesia and a grandmother who had been her only constant. They are, of course, intertwined with romance, but as an author, we have a voice, and if we can use that to give hope and inspire others, then we should.
What’s your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
A few years ago, I would have said getting my first book published. But the fact that I am still writing and still publishing books means that I am growing as both an author and a business. Being invited again and again to events, talks, and festivals that see my books and my writing journey for what it means to the world. I have found a niche for myself, carved a loyal audience, and thoroughly enjoy what I do. But it is not just for me. Helping others seems to be a passion that is instinctive. It spurs me to write and to help others, whether that is through my writing, my events, or the charities that I support.
What’s one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
Being an author as a whole is something I enjoy, but if I had to be picky, I would say that marketing and PR can take away from writing time. But it is a necessary part of what I do, and I find the easiest way to keep on top of both is to have them scheduled into the diary as two separate elements of my work. I treat them equally, as one is just as important as the other.
What are the top tips you’d give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Research is crucial. Whatever avenue you decide to take, learn your craft and ask questions.
- Never think you are too old. As I mentioned earlier, there were over twenty years between writing my first draft and publishing my first book.
- Do it! If it is a passion that is burning within you, then you owe it to yourself to try, but never take unnecessary risks.
Where can people find you and your business?