Inkborn Author Services - support for new writers

Inkborn Author Services - support for new writers

This month, I caught up with the very lovely Rebecca L. Fearnley, author, teacher and founder of Inkborn author services. 

Hi Rebecca! Tell us a bit about you and your writing background.

Hi! I’m Rebecca L. Fearnley and I’m a fantasy and sci fi writer and fanatic. I’m based in Reading, in the UK, where I live with my partner and my parrot, Maya.

I’ve always loved telling stories, and was one of those kids who had a very overactive imagination, sometimes so much so that it wasn’t good for me. Telling stories helped me focus my anxieties and work through fears and concerns, like reading does for many people. I write a lot about characters facing mental health issues related to trauma and anger, and how we can overcome these things.

I’m also a huge lover of the natural world, and advocate working to protect it. Outside of writing, I play ukulele, go for long walks, drink far too much tea, hang out with my little parrot, and am a keen roller derby player! I also like to draw, and have been illustrating some of the strange creatures that inhabit my stories.

How many books have you published and why did you choose indie?

As of March, 2024, I’ve published four full length novels, one novella, and one short story across two different series. I didn’t originally want to be an indie writer, and went after a trade contract, but after a couple of difficult experiences with people in trade publishing, and (more importantly) meeting some wonderful members of the indie community, who really supported me, I decided to switch, and I haven’t looked back.

I love how supportive and industrious the indie community is, and that we are real pioneers in terms of all things writing. Lots of trade publishers are now actively seeking to emulate what we indie authors have been doing for ages! It feels great to be on the forefront of writing and publishing, and to maintain control of my writing.

Quality is really important to me, and my books are professionally edited with professionally designed covers. But it’s brilliant to maintain autonomy over my work. I’ve made so many brilliant friends in the indie community. It’s a fantastic space.

Why did you set up Inkborn?

Alongside writing, I’ve been teaching for twelve years, and have always loved the spark that can come with facilitating a productive, positive learning space.

I’ve been teaching creative writing, across all ages, for over a decade, and I love it. I want to expand my teaching to support and encourage more authors. There’s enough space in the indie community for all of us to grow and share our work, and it feels great to be able to support new authors in realising their dreams.

I set up Inkborn for new writers who aren’t sure where to start, and want support in either developing their craft, or just sitting down to write the thing! I love working with other authors, and want to build a positive, nurturing community space where we can grow together.

What is the problem that Inkborn is trying to help writers solve?

Writing can be a lonely pursuit, and there are lots of courses out there that prescribe a certain way of creating. The whole idea of Inkborn is that I want to approach each writer as an individual and nurture a culture of accepting our creative differences.

What works for one writer might creatively cripple another, so it’s important that each writer is able to find their own process. Inkborn aims to help with this. With a variety of different workshops available, including goal-setting classes, story structure workshops and prose coaching, my aim is to support authors in developing their craft and confidence in the way that best suits them.

Who is the ideal Inkborn client?

Someone who is really serious about wanting to pursue a writing dream, but perhaps is inexperienced or doesn’t know where to start. Maybe you have never written creatively before, or maybe it’s been a long time and you’re just not sure how to get back into it. Maybe you have a really strong idea, you’ve plotted out your book, but you just can’t seem to make yourself sit down and write it. If any of that sounds like you, then Inkborn can absolutely help.

At the moment, Inkborn isn’t offering specific advice on how to publish your work (there are plenty of courses to help with that!) My focus for now is on supporting writers in growing their craft. The best way for us to sell our work is to make it as brilliant as possible, and that’s what Inkborn can help with!

What are the biggest challenges you see writers face?

I think the biggest one is that writing is such a solitary venture. This can be its blessing and its curse. It’s really hard to maintain a discipline, and overcome self-doubt, when you’re in a vacuum.

There are times in everyone’s writing journey when they struggle, and if you don’t have a solid, nurturing writing community to see you through, it’s very easy to give up, pull back, or get lost. At the same time, it can be hard to wade through the quagmire of advice to get to the stuff that works for you. Especially as a new writer, sorting the good advice from the bad can be almost impossible, so having a community you can trust is key, I think.

An old tutor at university once told me ‘writers need allies’, and that has stuck with me for the last fifteen years.

What advice would you give to new writers?

Read! Read widely and in your genre. Actively look to pick up tips and tricks from the books you read. If you love them, think about why you love them. If you hated them, think about why for that, too!

And read some craft books. John York’s ‘Into the Woods’ and Donald Maass’ ‘The Emotional Craft of Fiction’ are great places to start. They’ll help you learn the basics of storytelling.

Beyond that, I would advise you to find a group of writers you feel safe with, who can help you develop your writing. You’ll need feedback to help you grow, and finding people you trust to give you the right kind of feedback, in the right way, is invaluable.

Where can we find out more?

You can find out more about both me and Inkborn by visiting my website

You can also sign up to my Inkborn newsletter on this page, where you’ll get weekly writing advice into your inbox, and early access to new Inkborn opportunities and content. I’m looking forward to seeing you there!

Use the code: FIRSTWS10OFF to get 10% off all Inkborn workshops in March 2024. 


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