Nov 16 2012 by Clair Fullarton, Kilmarnock Standard
A trainee teacher wrote her first novel during her daily commute ... using just her Blackberry phone.
Sharon Baillie, 38, has now had her novel, Magenta Opium, published by American publishing house New Libri and is available to buy on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
Sharon, who completed her Phd last year and is now studying to become a chemistry teacher, wrote the novel during the daily train journeys to and from Glasgow.
The Stewarton woman said: “I looked around me on the train each day to see everyone else reading books.
“Even though I am a scientist, I have always enjoyed writing and discovered that both my mum and my grandfather have an interest too.
“I just thought I could spend my time on the train in a more valuable way and begun to write using my new Blackberry.”
The whole process took Sharon, mum to Jonathan, 20, and Petra, 18, about six months to write on the mobile phone, before she completed the final edit on her home computer.
She said: “Once I completed the book I sent it out to various big publishers and although I wasn’t successful, I did receive very encouraging feedback.
“I then came across this company who were actually asking for submissions with a ‘magic-realism’ theme and the more I read the more I thought this sounds like the right place for my book as there are elements of magic in the book but it is based in reality.”
The manuscript was accepted by the company which is Washington state and has been available since last Wednesday.
Sharon added: “It is really exciting but I have to keep telling people it is not semi-autobiographical.
“The main character in the book was doing a Phd just like I was and I had to tell me boss at the time that the boss in the book wasn’t based on him.
“My husband David and my family, including my mum Betty Porrelli, of Symington, and the kids of course, are all really proud of me and it is a nice feeling to be published.
“I am very busy completing my teacher training at the moment, but I haven’t given up on the writing yet.”