Duo’s novel idea to help writers

Michael and Janice Nye

Michael and Janice Nye

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A literary family are hoping to find folk on the same page as them when it comes to creative writing,

Michael Nye and his wife Janice of Marsh Way, Penwortham, are about to launch a new writers’ collective to help more people from the town get their work into print.

They run their own small IT business, but with success in self-publishing novels under their belt, they want to fuse both skill sets to help others.

Michael, 58, said: “My wife has written since the 1980s and I have a fine arts degree. Although we’re both involved in the IT business, we have always kept the creative side of things going.

“I ended up writing a book and confessed this to my wife one night after a few glasses of wine.

“That lead to her getting out her work from a long time ago. Now she’s on her third piece and I’ve had my first novel, Mayfly, published.”

Owing to their IT company, Michael was approached by Superfast Lancashire and Boost Business Lancashire about diversifying the business and qualified to get support.

Now want to mobilise a collective of local writers, offering support on self-publishing via the internet as well as key processes such as proof-reading.

They will also be setting up websites for authors and helping with search engine optimisation to promote their work.

Michael said: “The technology to publish yourself in the early ‘80s just wasn’t there, and vanity publishing cost a lot of money. We had only just got married and had a mortgage and food to pay for instead, but Janice kept up the writing.

“Now there’s this global marketplace where you can download books onto a Kindle or print on demand, and it’s almost instant. This is where we can help people move to the next stage with their work.”

He added: “It’s about demystifying things for people.

“We’re not a writers’ group, we take a professional view in terms of providing assistance and talking to people about how to do things, using our experience.

“As a collective we can also help people lower their costs on things like proof-reading by sending it to other members of the collective.

“It might not all be what people want to hear though, but it will be constructive.”

The project is set to be launched in the summer when the couple will be joined in the venture by their 21-year-old daughter Helen, who is about to finish a degree in English and creative writing.

Michael said: “There’s three of us that write in this house, and with my son’s degree in robotics and mechanics, it’s very likely that he’ll have to do some technical writing in the future.

“We’ve joked that we’re the Brontes of Penwortham!”

Anyone who wants to know more is asked to contact Michael via his website at www.michaelnyewriter.com.