3rd May 2019
So, the reality of book fairs is that they are often under-attended - depending on the location, the weather, the season and whatever else is doable at the instead. Basically, people don't flock to book fairs and those who do face the desperate puppy-dog stares of every single author in attendance.
Sales are rarely significant and in many cases, barely cover the cost of attending. So why the hell do we bother?
Well, a few sales are better than no sales, because at least people are reading your book (unless they are using them to prop up a bed with a wonky leg), but the main advantage of attending book fairs is the networking opportunity it presents. The chance to chat to other authors and find out what is working for them, to share your woes and to find out about other events and opportunities that might help you become the next JKR.
16th April 2019
Receiving a box of freshly printed copies of your book is a thrilling aspect of being a self-published author. Opening the box to reveal your hard work in shiny book form never fails to make you feel proud.
This box of ten is to take to the UK Southern Book Fayre, where I very much hope to sell at least a few of them!
At least it doesn't cost so much to get them from Amazon anymore, now that they are printed in the UK, it only cost around £4 for delivery - previously, they were delivered from the USA and postage pretty much decimated most of the royalties you might gain from selling them.
16th April 2019
I can only think and plot in colour - otherwise it doesn't makes sense to me, so here is a picture of my latest 'workings out' for what was my novel Zofantica but, has now become Ba.
Well, part way through my plotting it out, I realised that Zofantica cannot happen unless a whole other load of things happen first, and therefore, Zofantica has to be pushed back to book 3 of the series instead of book 2.
So, now I am officially writing Ba; book 2 of Guardians of the Freen-Earth Alliance.
Incidentally, I still haven't actually written any more of it - just lots of colourful plot diagrams.
I am a hopeless procrastinator.
7th April 2019
These are the notes and the finished paintings for 'The Love of the Sea'. It has been an exciting process finding and then commissioning an artist to interpret my poem into a series of pictures.
I was incredibly lucky to be introduced to Samantha Tuffnell, an ink and bleach artist, who was able to see the poem and my vision for it and produce this wonderful set of images.
I met with Sam this morning and we discussed how we are going to turn them into a saleable book/coffee table art-piece, which is going to take lots of research and planning.
5th April 2019
Having already written the first seven chapters of this follow-up to FREEN, I decided to plot each chapter and state a clear purpose, so that I can clearly see what I am revealing to my readers each time.
I found a hard-back, A4 notebook and am starting chapter 1 from the rear and working forwards so that the most recent chapter is closest to the front of the book. I have a page for each chapter on the left and a blank page on the right for post-it notes and sketches. It makes sense to me to do it like this, but then I always read magazines from the rear to the front - no idea why.
30th March 2019
Today was the third workshop on self-publishing that I have run and in the few months that I have been running them, CreateSpace; the paperback self-publishing arm of Amazon, has merged into KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) and everything is now done from the Amazon platform - including having author copies of books actually printed in the UK. The self-pub world is constantly evolving and progressing - which is both great and also frustrating for those of us who produce our own books.
Writing your book really is just the first stage of quite a complex process! It is, however, absolutely worth it.
20th March 2019
Updated: 19th May 2019
I love to see where other people write (especially the very successful ones), so I thought I would share my 'write space'.
I always imagine myself writing in a beautiful Victorian house with high ceilings and french doors that can be opened onto a lovely garden and that I am interrupted only take a gentle stroll or to talk to my editor.
In reality, I know I am extremely lucky to have an office at home, but it also doubles up as an education centre for my home-educated children and I am mostly interrupted by having to vacate the room when my dog's wind becomes unbearable.
UPDATE: So, my lovely office is now the domain of my work-obsessed husband, who, due to working 16 hours+ a day in the living room was forcibly extracted and re-located in what was my office and the living room was restored to it's former function. I now work at the dining table (or the kitchen, when the girls practising piano).
8th March 2019
I gave up entering writing competitions a very long time ago because the entry costs stack up really quickly, however, I was feeling significantly pleased with a story that evolved from a workshop I attended and decided I needed to at least try and do something with it. Fortunately, I happened to look at the Mslexia website (a writing magazine specifically for women) and saw their bi-annual call for themed stories. Amazingly, the story I had written was exactly the right theme for the current submission call, so I sent it off and crossed my fingers very tightly.
Here's a link to the section on Mslexia themed writing submissions: https://mslexia.co.uk/themed-writing/