Rainham 20-year-old's debut romance book is received well by teens
PUBLISHED: 15:00 06 December 2019
A 20-year-old woman from Rainham has shared personal experiences in her first self-published book for young adults.
Charlotte Ward was surprised when her book, Once a Year, shot to number two in Amazon's hot new releases for teens and young adults.
She told the Recorder that at first she didn't intend to write a novel.
"It was actually a diary that I was writing to help me get through some things in my life and then it just turned into a book," said Charlotte.
"I never planned to share it and it was my mum who gave me the push to publish.
"The main character is based around me and people in the book are based on real people in my life.
"It's about 50/50 reality and fiction."
Once a Year is the story of a holiday romance gone wrong.
It follows the highs and lows of Delphine as she struggles with panic attacks, blackouts and her refusal to accept that she is suffering from depression.
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Charlotte added: "Delphine is from Essex and once a year she goes to a Greek Island and she falls in love.
"When she comes home every year he ignores her.
"After a while she hits a point in her life where she goes through depression. "It's all about her friendships in the book and how she overcomes her struggles.
"I had lots of good feedback from friends and family but it was the people who I didn't know who wrote to say that they enjoyed it and cried when reading it, that meant a lot."
Speaking about the process of writing the book, Charlotte said the writing was the easy part.
She said: "I just loved it. I loved writing and being able to express myself.
"The hardest part was after the writing when it came to figuring out how to publish.
"It was a bit of a stab in the dark to begin with.
"I ended up self-publishing and then I couldn't believe it went up to the top two on Amazon's hot new book list."
Charlotte is already working on book two which will serve as a sequel to Once a Year.