FOR so many budding novelists, manuscripts can sit gathering dust in a drawer and never get published.
But three women have combined their skills to set up a self-publishing co-operative, called Pentangle Press.
Christine Hammacott, 48, Wendy Metcalfe, 62, and Carol Westron, 64, are now celebrating two years of the co-operative, which has seen six books published between them.
Christine, a mum-of-one from Swanwick, works as a graphic designer and writes on her laptop while her daughter is attending after-school classes.
Next month her first book, The Taste of Ash, will be released.
The novel is a psychological crime novel about a woman from Lee-on-the-Solent who loses everything when her flat burns down in an arson attack and a murder investigation is launched.
Holding her book in her hand, Christine said: ‘It’s nice. It’s a sense of achievement for the years that have been spent to make it happen.
‘It’s about 10 years in between starting and finishing – it’s basically like having a child. You want to move on to the next one!’
The trio have known each other for more than two decades as part of Havant Writers’ Circle.
They decided to combine their skills and get their books published themselves.
Wendy, a former solicitor, of Hornbeam Road, Denvilles, who has written two science-fiction books, said: ‘We had reached the stage where we knew an awful lot about the craft and the business of writing.
‘We can edit each other’s books and know when they go out they are really professionally edited books.’
Carol, a teacher, of Closewood Road, Denmead, who has written two crime novels and a children’s book, said: ‘It was a tangled pen in the way we all have different subgenres. We were going through names and brainstorming. It was over a bottle of wine and chatting.’
The books are published through Amazon and are also available electronically with people from as far as the US and Australia reading the books.
Christine added: ‘Even if it only sells 10 copies, it’s 10 more than if it was sitting in the drawer at home. You have got to start somewhere.’