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How to get published? Believe in yourself.

photo by Barrie Mulligan - @BarrieMulligan

9 months after publishing Euphoric Recall, and we thought it was high time for a little catch up with the author, Aidan Martin. It's a candid interview about why he wrote the book, what the editing process was like, and his "unshakable inner belief that I would get published".

Many thanks for this Aidan! xx guts.

Tell us about your path from writing to deciding to publish.

I wrote for myself first and foremost. I listened to my inner voice and followed it. I was a complete unknown in the literary world. I didn't know what I was writing was a memoir, or that in its raw form it was a manuscript. But I knew it was time to write. And I had an unshakable inner belief that I would get published. Once I finished my manuscript, I had a friend proofread it. Not just someone who would tell me what I wanted to hear. I made him promise to tell me if it was shite. He told me it was like reading a movie script. I believed he wouldn't lie to me. Then came the process of Googling agents and publishers. Getting rejection after rejection. Getting told no one would buy a memoir from a non-celebrity about addiction. I knew they were wrong. And they were. I will always be grateful I found Guts. This book was meant for them, and they were meant for me.

Why did you choose to write a memoir?

I always say I've experienced enough trauma to last three lifetimes. So, for me I needed to begin there. With my own personal story. I had to let it all out. In the process I discovered I am a writer, and that writing is my calling.

What was your editing process like?

I learned so much from Julianne at Guts during the editing process. It has improved me as a writer. She taught me to be clear and precise. To remove any unnecessary words. To cut out repetition. How even a change of word or phrase could improve a paragraph. It was a real team effort. As it was carried out during a pandemic, with Julianne in London and me in West Lothian, we used a Word document and took on one chapter at a time. Sending it back and forth. I truly learned so much. Never underestimate the importance of an editor. Julianne was tactile. She never wounded me with her views. I just felt grateful to have her insight and expertise.

How did you fit writing around your other commitments/life?

Ha this was very challenging! Sometimes in my job (at that time) I'd sneak in a few paragraphs here and there when the office was quiet. Other times I was at home with my baby daughter and would be typing during her naps. Or I would get up at 4am to work. Evenings and weekends were utilized. Something was burning away inside of me. It didn't matter if I was on the train, working, in a shower, trying to sleep, my head was always busy with ideas for the book.

Do you have any tips for writers starting out?

Back to my original point. Write for yourself. Don't write what the market tells you to write. If you care enough about a subject or genre then others will too. Believe in yourself. Believe in your idea. If something inside is speaking to you, don't ignore it. It's speaking to you for a reason. Self-doubt will creep in constantly but that's natural. Don't feed into it. Rejection, whilst brutal, especially first time around, is another natural part of the process. Don't take it personally. Above all else, perseverance, hard work and determination are your closest allies. And please, enjoy it!

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Aidan Martin is a 35-year-old author of top selling memoir Euphoric Recall. He was born in Ladywell, Livingston. In 2017 he graduated with an Upper Class 2:1 BA Hons in Social Sciences; with Criminology and Sociology. Later in 2021 he will graduate with an MSc in Social Work. He currently works as a professional pertaining to addiction and mental health. As a recovering addict Aidan is heavily involved in the recovery scene and is a campaigner tackling the drugs-death crisis in Scotland and accompanying mental health issues. He is currently working on his next book, a fiction based around the lad culture within the trance scene of early 2000s in West Lothian. This is called 'Where the f*** is Phil?'

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