My course gave me the right experience to get my first job in a nursery. I eventually want to work in a school, and my degree will help me get there. I will always be grateful for Leeds Trinity and the three years I spent there. I cannot even express how much I feel I owe to the University - it's been a big inspiration, both during my degree and after graduating.
Meet Rebecca Longbottom. Since graduating in 2015 from her Early Years and Education Studies degree, Rebecca has published her first novel, Mist Deep. Rebecca actually wrote the book while she was still studying at Leeds Trinity, which shows passion and good time management to juggle the two. After graduating Rebecca has gone on to work in a nursery and continues to write in her spare time.
We're always so proud to hear what our graduates have achieved since completing their studies with us, so we caught up with Rebecca to find out more about her journey from student to author. Over to Rebecca:
What are your favourite memories from your time at Leeds Trinity?
My favourite memories from Leeds Trinity are living in halls. I was in Ripon, and although it didn't look as impressive as the others, I loved it. Every day was different and the openness of the structure made it easy to mix with the people I was living with. I am really shy and everyone was really friendly and coaxed me out of my room, and I am still really good friends with them.
You studied Early Years and Education - how did this support you with your career?
My course gave me the right experience to get my first job in a nursery. I eventually want to work in a school, and my degree will help me get there. I will always be grateful for Leeds Trinity and the three years I spent there. I cannot even express how much I feel I owe to the University - it's been a big inspiration, both during my degree and after graduating."
You wrote Mist Deep whilst studying at Leeds Trinity - what inspired you and how long did it take?
I first started writing Mist Deep, the first in a series, when I was in my first year of university in 2012. I'm an introvert by nature and I was so afraid of leaving my room and socialising that after my lectures, I'd go straight to my room and just write. I think the prospect of university - something which was completely new and like a new world to me - inspired elements of my story. It was like stepping into another world. I had only ever dreamt of attending university and it finally became a reality.
While I was studying and spending time with my friends, Mist Deep was slowly developed whenever I had the time. I would take it with me wherever I went and wrote little bits and pieces, and when I entered my third year and everything started to get really serious, time for my writing suffered. I finally finished it though - two weeks before my dissertation was due in 2015. Altogether, alongside lectures, sparse writing periods, and going out, it took two and a half years to finish Mist Deep.
How did you go about getting the novel published?
I had always had an interest in publishing and writing and explored different paths I could take. Eventually I settled for Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP). KDP allowed me to have complete control over Mist Deep, which I really liked. Eventually, when it came to taking the plunge and going through with it, KDP were so easy to use and hassle free that I wondered why I had never thought of it earlier! It was both exciting and terrifying to publish my book, but I would never look back.
Can you give a brief summary what the novel is about?
Mist Deep is a fantasy novel about a young Ranoschian elfish princess, Kalyah, trapped behind the walls of her own castle and unable to use magic like the rest of her kind. She is told that she remains within the castle and its grounds for her own safety, but it makes her feel weak, embarrassed and detached. When Kalyah is delivered a letter from her father, the king, declaring that she must somehow figure out how to use magic or else drastic action will be taken, this sparks her drive to prove that magic is not the be all and end all. She defies the rules placed on her, sneaks out into the sacred wood, Torynn's Land, disguised as one of her father's most respected and deadly men, and ends up face-to-face with one of Ranosch's greatest enemies - a centaur of Krumwharl. The encounter leaves Kalyah shaken, curious, and eager to see him again, but her decision to reach him throws her into a whirlwind of heart-breaking truths and deadly encounters that change her outlook on her world and herself.