My guest on Patricia’s Pen is the lovely Elizabeth M Hurst. I first met Elizabeth at Swanwick Writers’ Summer School back in 2016. I love her novels and I’m sure her new one, A Light Shines in Darkness, will be no exception. The cover alone draws me in. Elizabeth is not only a writer but also an editor and today she has come along to chat about her Life Change. Without further ado, let’s go over to Elizabeth.
My Life Change
Elizabeth M Hurst
The last few years have been something of a whirlwind for me. I’ve never been the kind of person who sits around waiting for life to happen. In 2015-16, I had a particularly stressful year at work which, coupled with other things, led to a bout of anxiety and clinical depression. Once I had started to recover, I knew it was time to make a change in my life.
I had already begun to proofread for fellow writers on a casual basis and I found the process thoroughly enjoyable, so I decided to make it official and started my business, EMH Editorial Services. After training with the then Society for Editors and Proofreaders (now the CIEP) I began to ramp up activity and marketed my skills in earnest.
The first year was tough. I had to keep my job for a little while longer, in order to pay the bills, but the long working days and commuting took its toll and meant I was often too tired to proofread in the evenings, so had to reserve it for weekends instead. However, it is intense work, not something you can feasibly do to a high standard for more than six hours per day, and this restricted the amount of work I could take on. I had reached a tipping point.
It was the summer of 2018 when I hung up my safety shoes for the last time, and concentrated all my efforts on editing fiction. Now I had complete freedom about when – and where – to work. All I needed was a decent internet connection and I could be literally anywhere in the world. I chose to resurrect my French language skills from school and after two days of driving with the most unbelievable feline hullabaloo from the back seat, I arrived in the far south, just 15km from the Mediterranean coast and about 10km from the Spanish border.
It is a stunningly beautiful region, rich with cultural heritage. Over the centuries it has seen bloody battles for dominance, from both French and Spanish armies, and was part of the independent state of Catalonia until its fall in 1714. There is much inspiration, and I can’t wait to get stuck into studying the history more deeply as I research my next novel.
There are things I miss about the corporate life, mainly the camaraderie of an office environment, but they are heavily outweighed by the enormous pleasure and privilege I have from working with talented authors, helping them to bring out the best in their stories.
This summer, my partner came over here to live, and we have just moved to a bigger house with a garden. It’s now time for me to slow down, to relax in our new home, and to enjoy life.
C’est la vie, as they say in these parts!
About Elizabeth M Hurst
Elizabeth was born and bred in the picturesque harbour town of Whitehaven in the northwest of England, where the long, wet winters moulded her into a voracious reader of fiction to escape the dismal weather.
Having started writing around the age of 40, she later set about creating a freelance editing and proofreading business, EMH Editorial Services. In 2018, she quit the corporate world and concentrated her energy towards her love of the written word.
Elizabeth now lives with her partner in the warm and sunny south of France.
To find out more about Elizabeth and her books, go HERE to her website.
Published 1st November 2021.