An Edge Hill University alumna and primary school teacher has published her debut young adult fantasy novel.
Rebecca Seaton, 44, has released A Silent Song, a story part-inspired by her experiences while training to become a teacher.
Originally from Berkshire, Rebecca graduated from Edge Hill in 1997 with a degree in English Language and Literature.
Following her studies at Edge Hill, Rebecca moved to Wales and embarked on a PGCE course, where she faced having to adapt to learning and teaching in Welsh.
This experience part-inspired A Silent Song, which explores themes around cultural barriers and communication.
The novel follows the story of a young girl called Els, who is born mute and is subsequently banished from her village, where the ability to sing is crucial. Unbeknown to her community, Els is gifted with magical powers and embarks on a journey to a new land in a mission to rid the world of an ancient evil.
Rebecca said: “When I first came to University, I remember feeling quite nervous to move somewhere new and Edge Hill really helped me to come out of myself and build up my confidence to meet lots of different types of people, which is really key to being a good storywriter.
“Then when I moved to Swansea, that was a completely new and different experience again, having to adapt to a foreign language and the challenges it brought. Part of the novel was inspired from this time, when I moved to Wales, and the sense of being a stranger in a place.”
Rebecca now lives in Dagenham, Essex, and has been a primary teacher for 22 years.
After securing a place as a finalist in a local writer’s competition, Rebecca was awarded six months of mentoring to allow her to complete her novel, while continuing to teach full time.
Her advice to other aspiring writers is to make the most of the opportunities that present themselves.
She said: “Aim high and be persistent. As a writer, it’s important to be resilient and open to feedback because the rejections that you might come across along the way are actually valuable learning curves. Be open to joining writing groups and don’t be afraid of mixing with different types of writers, you can learn a lot from other people and their experiences.”
Edge Hill offers a variety and English and creative writing courses, to find out more visit our website.
You can read more about Rebecca’s story and her writing on her website.