Yay – I’m ‘Z’ List!

Yay – I’m ‘Z’ List!

I am a celebrity this week. I may be indulging in big fish syndrome, but I insist on enjoying my moment of fame in next week’s chip papers.

The local press were hot on the heels of Good Housekeeping Magazine in bringing my story (From Farmers Wife to Author of Saucy Novel) to the world’s attention. Ok, not to the world. To the UK readers of GH magazine and a very small corner of Essex. And the reason for all this attention? The combined efforts of me, myself, and I, plus the instrumental role played by Eldest Daughter, my home-grown PR, who got me into GH and wrote the press releases.

I received an email from our accountant: Subject: Very Strange Question. Message: Forgive me for asking this, but I’m on the train reading this month’s edition of GH magazine, and I have come across a picture of someone I recognise, bearing your name. Is this you?

The temptation to reply “No, I haven’t got a clue who that is” was strong. This lady does our accounts, I kind of figured she would be bright enough to work it out for herself. She had worked it out, of course (I am being mean-minded for the purpose of comedy) because the final line of the message congratulated me on writing the book. I am using her missive to underline the surprise (should that be shock?) which acquaintances experience when they find a friend/colleague/client in COMPLETELY THE WRONG PLACE. A fish out of water.

I had a similar reaction from the lady who waxes my eyebrows (“Was that YOU in the local paper?”) and to be entirely fair, if my accountant or the lady who waxes my eyebrows had been splashed across the media for writing a ‘saucy’ novel, I would undoubtedly ask them the same question.

Generally, the result has been positively overwhelming, with moments of fear thrown in. Such as when the vicar called to offer her congratulations and confirm that she was “looking forward to reading the book.” I shook in my boots then. “It isn’t vicar reading” my mind was screaming, but instead of saying that I made non-committal choking noises at her. Shame on me, for passing judgement on a vicar’s reading choices; the woman has undoubtedly seen more of life than I have. It does, however, make me uncomfortable when people read my book because I wrote it, rather than because it is a book they would pick from the shelf. Plus, well, you know, it is a little bit raunchy. (I prefer ‘raunchy’ to ‘saucy’, saucy conjures images of Benny Hill which are far more disturbing).

The Gallivanting Granny scared me a little, when she rang up to say the picture was “terrible, terrible, terrible” (yup – repeated three times) and The Farmer added to my disquiet when, having read the article at his brother’s house, he reported back that the headline was “Saucy Farmer’s Wife”. Lucky then that the terrible picture would quickly dispel that notion. Even luckier that when I finally got to see the paper (our house being too remote to benefit from paper delivery) the picture was poor, not terrible, and the headline was saucy novel.

Great fame and fortune have resulted from the articles: An instant invitation (before I knew the piece had featured, which proved confusing) to talk about self-publishing at a creative writing class. A last minute request to speak to the WI (their pre-booked speaker was poorly) and, as a I write this post, a plea from a friend to speak to her Mother’s luncheon group.

So, wha’ do ya know, I’ve become a Public Speaker! I didn’t see that coming. The W.I. were great. Good fun, spirited, enthusiastic. My heart stopped the words getting out of my mouth for the first few seconds, but then by some stroke of luck I remembered that I am a show off and thoroughly enjoyed myself. There was one mildly hostile moment from my audience, when I told them the excerpt I was reading would be free of smut, but we got through that.

As a post note question, don’t chips taste so much better when they are wrapped in newspaper?

My rookie efforts at experimental, almost zero budget, Marketing

My rookie efforts at experimental, almost zero budget, Marketing

I have been dabbling in marketing over the last few weeks, without a budget, although I did fork out just shy of thirty quid on Facebook in April. And three pounds 49 pence on postage… Facebook – Page Promotion and Boosted Posts I love that you can target Facebook boosts to a specific audience, and the fact that it only costs you if a person actually connects with your post. FB allows you to set your daily budget and the duration of the boost, so right from the get go you know absolutely what your maximum spend will be. Great user tools, and targeting too, what more could you ask for! Results and connections are charted for you. I saw an increase in page likes and in activity on all the posts I boosted. FB also tells you which of your (un-boosted) posts are amusing people, so you can make informed choices about what to promote. What you cannot do is work out if all this activity translates to actual book sales. I console myself with the belief that any PR carrying the name of my book is valuable, even if it does not directly translate to financial returns! As the author of rural romance, featuring horses and dogs. I targeted my post at women who like books, romance, dogs and horses. Which feels pretty specific. As I have yet to complete my ‘Facebook Ads training’ I could well be missing a trick. Amazon Giveaway Unfortunately only in the USA – a US address is a requirement of entry (Amazon’s idea, not mine) but as America knows little about me yet, I thought this was worth a bash. I offered three free copies of my paperback (you have to have a physical book – or a physical something- to participate in this) and ticked ‘follow me on twitter’ as one of the entry requirements. You decide the ‘lucky number’ who will win a book, e.g. every 30th entrant or every 1000th. I over-estimated the potential number of entrants and set my number too high. Consequently I only gave away one book in the end. Amazon despatches the book themselves and charges you the retail cost plus postage, so prize giving is delightfully easy (I had to pay £10 to despatch a book to the USA after my Goodreads Giveaway). You can promote the giveaway on twitter with the #AmazonGiveaway tag. Result – an increase in twitter followers, potentially people who actually read books, although probably those that just enjoy giveaways! Cheap Handouts for my upcoming signing An easy one this, I ordered 100 free business cards from Vistaprint, replacing the business name with the name of my book, and adding my tag line where the legend should have been. I’m quite pleased with the result (see below) and I have something to give to those attending my book signing. Total spend £3.49 (on postage) and I now carry a few in my handbag to distribute to anyone who shows a glimmer of interest. P.S. I got a voucher from Visa Print this morning, offering £10 off my next order, which I am about to use to create a poster for the book signing. I think I’m in profit.

Vistaprint card

Pinterest Having become absorbed by Pinterest when creating mood boards for my novel (otherwise known as procrastinating), I finally made the boards public. I find images a great way to stimulate writing, and as many of my readers have said that they would like to “step into the world of Draymere”, I decided it was time to share.

Bibury-Village bobs overlay

The cover image on my mood board “A Bed of Barley Straw – Draymere” offers a link to my book on Amazon. I have absolutely no idea if this will engage potential readers or not but I’m enjoying myself! It also spurred me on to create the mood board for the sequel (not public yet) which had the effect of breaking my writers block and delivered me back to the typewriter. Now that, I call a success.

Self-published Author? Ten Reasons Why You Should Register For IndieReCon – April 15th-17th

Self-published Author? Ten Reasons Why You Should Register For IndieReCon – April 15th-17th

Want to make self-publishing mission possible? Here are ten reasons why you should get involved with IndieReCon, a three-day global event to promote quality and craft in indie publishing.

1. IndieReCon is FREE to attend. Yes you read that right. The best thing about IndieReCon is that it’s 100% FREE to attend the sessions.

2. IndieReCon is a conference for authors by authors.

4. Get the nitty gritty details on self-publishing basics like pricing, distribution, and formatting from top industry professionals.

5. You will learn to build your marketing and publicity skills.

6. You can chat with NY Times bestselling authors Barbara Freethy and Belle Andre.

7. Fun contests and HUGE giveaways.

8. It’s online. You can attend in your PJs. Need we say more?!

9. You will discover some great new indie authors to read…

10. You will learn about all the communities and tools that are out there for indie authors. Every single blog post, chat, webinar will be packed with all the information you need to help you on the self-publishing path.

IndieReCon will help you learn all the dirty secrets about the indie publishinging industry, and help you succeed. Hang out there all day and all night. Hourly posts. Tons of chats, vlogs and webinars. What are you waiting for?

A Bed of Barley Straw

A Bed of Barley Straw

My free Kindle give away has sadly ended now. I hope you downloaded and enjoyed my book, but if you missed out this time follow me here, on twitter @SamRussellBooks or like my page on Facebook to make sure you get first-hand news about any future competitions or offers.

Below is a taste of some of the reviews “A Bed of Barley Straw” has received so far.

Capture of Amazon reviews

Running at the wall. Early marketing efforts

Running at the wall. Early marketing efforts

Firstly an apology for my hastily posted previous blog, which was nothing more than a shameless ad for my Goodreads Giveaway. My intention that day was actually to link the ‘Goodreads Giveaway’ widget to the book page on my website. Three hours later (dehydrated, in need of sustenance and losing the will to live) I worked out that I can’t do that on my freely hosted site. On the plus side I did learn something about Java script, HTML and plug-ins (there must be a rap there somewhere). On the minus, all you lot got was an alert that RussellRomance had posted a blog, only to view a hurriedly pasted clip of the view of my Giveaway which you would have got, if I could have linked you to it. Technical frustration dogs every stage of this process.

Anyway I digress. My marketing efforts so far (all work-in-progress):

  • Beg mates to buy the book. Positives: Hugely successful – 99% hit rate. Generous, gushing reviews resulting in warm glowy feeling. Negatives: Something of a short term policy. Few mates left (less than I started with?)
  • Social media pedalling. Positives: Make new mates (to replace the ones you lost banging on and on about your book). Success rate – not a clue but hopefully aids awareness that your book exists. Additional warm glow (so many nice people out there who are happy to help you along). Negatives: Time and life consuming. Distraction levels at an all-time high. Original thought used up trying to invent interesting posts/tweets.
  • Feature in a magazine. Positives: Great day out! Whole new experience to bang on to the friends about. Book brought to the attention of thousands of potential readers. Negatives: I haven’t seen the photograph that will feature. (Oh, weak vanity). There may be others…I will let you know.
  • Plead for reviews from strangers and book review bloggers. Positives: I don’t know yet, my pleas have not been answered. One potential blogger lined up – I have all my fingers crossed. The reviews will be honest (this could be listed under negatives too, but I’m quietly optimistic). Negatives: See previous sentence (safest to hedge your bets).
  • Run a Goodreads Giveaway of your book. Positives: Raises awareness of book among confirmed bibliophiles. Potential for reviews on respected site. Negatives: Yet another statistic to obsess over – ‘number of people requested’ (I bounce between Goodreads, Amazon, Kindle, CreateSpace, Facebook, Twitter and WordPress in a never-ending quest for approval. Sad, but strangely addictive.)
  • KDP (Kindle) Select. I’m still considering this option, but haven’t signed up yet. Positives: Book has potential to reach thousands of readers for free. Negatives: Royalties per read considerably reduced (not such a problem if your readers quadruple in number). Your ebook becomes exclusive to the Kindle store (I currently publish on Smashwords too). I would be really interested to hear your comments and views if you are either an author signed up to KDP Select or a reader who subscribes to Kindle Unlimited (you may be both of course!)

Other ideas still bubbling in the pipeline: Local press, bookish coffee mornings, appearance on Richard and Judy (yes, I jest. But I have been asked why I can’t just go on there. What a wonderful world to live in.)

Wishing you all a happy, fruitful week. You’ll find me running at that wall, lobbing copies of my book over the top.

Your book is on Amazon! – Woolly launches and real book sales

Your book is on Amazon! – Woolly launches and real book sales

Another strange but wonderful week on my learning curve. In fact, the word curve doesn’t fit at all, it implies a gradual arc. An elevator, moving in the opposite direction to the one I am trying to reach, would be more descriptive of my learning efforts this last few weeks.

The ‘launch’ of “A Bed of Barley Straw” was a damp squid of an affair. It isn’t really possible to have a launch date when the best information you have is that your paperback will be available on Amazon within 5-8 days, and your Kindle is “in review”. Feeling game, I had a bash anyway. Platforms were ready and waiting. Twitter, Facebook and Goodreads duly set up, with author pages and bio pics, anticipating the arrival of the book. Friends connected, pages liked. Everything in place…except a launch date.

I tried to pitch a date a week later than the book should actually be ready. To allow myself time to build follower enthusiasm to fever pitch (please remember this blog is tongue in cheek) and to remedy inevitable mistakes I had made in the publish process. I also hoped my wonderful friends and family would all purchase the book on the same day, notching me momentarily up the seller charts (although I haven’t actually worked out what benefit there is in that yet. Everyone else seems to do it, so I guess there must be one.) Alas, I had underestimated the existing fever pitch of said friends and family. They were already there, on Amazon, checking every day. The texts and messages began flying in five days ahead of launch – “Your book is on Amazon!” And then one of them clicked ‘Add to Basket’.

Oh – the thrill! Oh – the fear!

My ‘March Royalty Balance’ on CreateSpace has a number beside it! (‘Print screen’, save in pictures). My mates are patiently awaiting launch, but someone has got there first. Ashamed of my devious shenanigans, I hit the phone and Facebook to let people know that the book was available NOW. Kindle version to follow, I would really like to be able to tell you when.

How strange it is when friends and acquaintances buy your book. They may love it or they may hate it. They might give up reading two chapters in because it isn’t their sort of book. The passionate scenes or the swearing might offend. Horror of horrors, they might believe I wrote from first-hand experience, and view me in an altogether different way from now on.

Pointless to worry of course, nothing to be done. And what actually happened was amazing and humbling. I have been tweeted, texted and Facebooked with excited images of Amazon deliveries and photographs of my book in other people’s hands. Congratulations cards and handwritten notes have been sent. Endless wonderful comments and enthusiastic reviews (which I now need to persuade people to post on Amazon or Goodreads, without being a nag). Several impromptu book signings featuring self-concious giggles. I have even had requests for the next book, and demands that I type fast! Time to re-visit my schedule; re-jig the hours devoted to marketing versus hours devoted to writing.

Second book, here I come.

Dear Beta readers, Photography, Marketing and PR

Dear Beta readers, Photography, Marketing and PR

(Yes apparently, that’s what you are. You can always rely on someone to come up with an important title for ‘mate-who-read-your-book-before-publishing’). You can put it on your CVs now. You’re welcome.

It has been nagging at me that whilst I sit daily at this computer, tweeting furiously at people I have never met, welcoming new friends on Facebook and Goodreads, heaping humble gratitude on followers of my blog…that I have been thoroughly neglecting my actual friends. All of you who helped to make me what I am today: An unknown author, with a self-published book which is currently gushing my money into CreateSpace’s coffers, and has yet to retail a single copy! A soon to be featured, slightly frumpy, middle-aged, glossy-magazine star! My, my, my, how far I have come.

So here are my thanks to you, the people who created this fabulous nonentity. My words are genuine even though my celebrity isn’t. To each of you who searched out the typos and dodgy grammar. Or highlighted characters who had mysteriously changed their name half way through the book…I thank you and remind you that when a copy of the book finds its way into your hands, it will be your fault as much as mine if there are any errors.

To my book cover design team; I apologise heartily for bombarding you with a thousand images I couldn’t then use. And for making you show them to all your friends at every social event before arguing with your feedback. And Committee ‘Name That Book’. Well! We talked ourselves around in circles, didn’t we? Until I went off-piste (pun intended) and thought up something random…which none of you like very much.

Photography – you restored my belief in my youth!  I didn’t know I still had it in me to mount the front of a tractor, and Photoshop is so much easier than plastic surgery! That particular pose may have appeared rather rigid and fearful, but it did at least mean that the 6” heels on the magazine shoot were a stroll in the park.

Marketing and PR…what can I say? I’ve been to a studio in Shoreditch (so I’m now uber-cool). I have a faithful marketing team who recycle my every tweet and post. If you share a friend group with both of us, I apologise again. You must be sick of the sight of me. I tweet “boo” and my team will have it re-tweeted in seconds. The blog is going ballistic, because you lot keep throwing it at people (248 views last week!) Ballistic in my world, that is. I suspect there are many bloggers out there who would chuckle at my meagre numbers.

You all know me very well, and therefore you also know that this tongue-in-cheek, ironic, almost thank-you is about the best you can expect to get from me. But I do mean it really. For listening to me drone on endlessly. For providing limitless enthusiasm.  For being there, and being my mates. From the heart of my bottom…I thank you.

With love

Sam Russell (Author)

p.s. In the interests of multi-tasking, the bulk of this email to you, my friends, may very well appear on my next blog post. Hard hearted and callous yes. But I did want to say thanks.

p.p.s Free, signed copy for each of you. Winging their way to me now. Aren’t you the lucky ones 😊

from my biggest fan (The Sister)…

I quite like being a beta reader. And it is a great blog post, as well as thank you, so definitely got to be used twice!

However in the interests of continued friendly criticism, I would like you to note that you as a person, and anything you create could never ever be given the title ‘nonentity’. Quite the opposite.

(Also your first bracket in this post is red ha ha! Can’t stop the proof reader ball rolling either, you have made us each something a bit different!)

I can’t wait to have the book, but as you already know I would have bought a dozen copies. No need to give us free ones, but yes to the signing!

With so much love and total admiration – next challenge see if it is possible to write a whole blog without dissing yourself! Maybe harder than writing a book?!

from the Mate since Primary School…

Hey you, it’s been a very interesting and gob smacking pleasure.  My mate who I shared my bean poles and flower pots with, so that we could show jump round the lawn, has only gone and written a book! A brilliant, beautiful and fabulous book whose title I love (believe the ‘barley’ was my contribution!!)  Have ordered a couple if copies to give to some special people and look forward to puffing out my chest with pride when they’re opened.  Much love and many congratulations on your brilliance.

from the Artistic one…

Thanks for that, being a non-blogger non-twitterer, barely out of the cave animal kind of mate I really appreciate it! I can’t wait to see you in all your sexy Jilly Cooperesque horsey/farmer’s wife with attitude and a brain apparel in the slightly frumpy glossy mag!!! It’s all too weird and thrilling, you do realise you have given no end of frustrated, isolated, and bored women a reason to carry on mucking out! 

This thing is going places, the map has already changed, hey it’s smokin! It’s like one of those old treasure maps burnt round the edges, except this one is still burnin!

You da nuts.


from the Yummy Mummy Comedy Act…

Enjoying every bit of your ever growing fame and will insist on being on the front cover of “Hello” when you are its main feature!!!  Congratulations, have done nothing other than admired your steadfast enthusiasm, perseverance and slight madness for getting this far long may it continue babes.

This week’s shenanigans – and there have been a few!

This week’s shenanigans – and there have been a few!

Great word shenanigans – “silly behaviour, mischief” or “dishonest manoeuvring”. I hope I haven’t been doing any of the latter.

SO! Tuesday the major magazine contact me to confirm travel arrangements to Friday’s photo shoot. It is actually happening then. Yikes. Travel expenses paid. Hair, make up, clothes and lunch all laid on. This does begin to feel a little bit like dishonest manoeuvring. I am not a celebrity. I am alternately grinning at the mischief and questioning my silly behaviour. The word fits, you see. Friends are beside themselves with the excitement of it all. I cannot count the number of messages I have received this week that include the word famous, or allude to my non-existent celebrity status.

“From farmer’s wife to international superstar!”

“Will we see you Saturday or are you too busy now that you’re famous?

“Just remember we knew you when you were nothing.”

Sarky buggers my mates. But in truth they’ve been great. Every single one of them, friends and family both. Openly delighted for me. Sharing the adventure with gusto. It’s all a bit humbling really, I’ve only written a book.

“Bring a copy of your book.” The magazine said, “We’ll try to get it in shot.” Ridiculous luck on my part (the luck of ED being a smoking hot PR and pulling out all the stops for her ma). Or it would have been luck, if I had a copy of the book. Said elusive treasure was currently winging its way across the Atlantic with no tracking process that worked. I gazed despairingly at my mocked up ‘Guardian Careers’ with my front cover stuck on it, and wondered if I had the gall to turn up clasping that.

On Thursday, mid-Tesco-shop, I received that very rare thing – a text from The Husband. “Book is here” (the farmer uses words sparingly). A few hurried and unusual grocery purchases later and I was charging home to meet the new arrival.

I’m in love. I can’t stop grinning. Even the battered corner (it was a long and arduous delivery) cannot dampen my adoration. My words inside a book cover. I accept that I’m biased. I am sure we all think our babies books are the cutest on the planet. Pre-Friday photo shoot the book remained firmly inside its bent cardboard packaging. Wrapped in a polythene bag. Beneath a lap top and the Oxford Reference Dictionary (in an attempt to correct the very minor birth defect). I cradle it protectively and let interested parties view from afar. Even I dare not open the pages for fear of despoiling its beauty before it has been photographed.

On Friday I’m at the station, ticket in hand, twenty minutes early. Chilly morning, Friday, but the book was fine inside its personal suitcase, swaddled in thee layers of bubble wrap (OK, I’m exaggerating now. But it is true that the handle of the bag did not come out of my hand for the entire journey, so great was my fear of leaving it on the train). Beautiful ED, my home-grown PR is lounging outside the studio in wait for me, looking every bit the part. I worry that the magazine will be sorely disappointed when they work out which one of us they have got to photograph. YD (you work it out) wanted to cancel riding and uni to join me too. I put her off in case the studio wouldn’t let her in. Bless my girls.

What an experience! Lovely group of women. I was pampered and coiffed by the beautiful Juan who could not have been kinder. ED is networking furiously, and throwing my book under the noses of anyone who looks important. I am in 6” heels (the hip is still complaining), wearing individual false eyelashes and £140 pink jeans (I photographed the label and looked them up). That isn’t me in the picture above by the way. I am considerably wider and shorter than your average model. Not to mention twice the age. When the photographer looked through her lens and called “sad crease” I thought she was talking about my face. She was actually referring to the fall of my jeans. Much easier to rectify. Make up, hair, and fashion rushed on between shots to adjust my fringe, straighten my clothes and add lipstick. I am not usually adept at smiling for the camera but my rising levels of hysteria at the situation I found myself in helped considerably on this occasion.

A lovely end to the week; family lunch at the farm to see the Gallivanting Granny off to Oz, with copious amounts of Australian fizz to toast her on her way. We’ve been attempting to connect her back to us by way of Hudl and a Facebook account. I could tell you more about our efforts, but I think that’s a whole other blog, and GG is on the phone. Telling me that airport WIFI doesn’t work.

Dodging bullets and double identites

Dodging bullets and double identites

I appear to be on the back foot. Again. Mad, hectic week moving The Mother in to her new house. The fantastic, gallivanting granny is off to Oz in a week and if she can cope with what she’s been through in the last year and a half, then move home, take off across the world, and still come up smiling…well! I would like to hold her up as an example of dogged determination in the face of adversity. At the age of 79. They can teach us all a thing or two these olduns.

The paragraph above is in part a forward apology for my ramblings on about the minor, insignificant obstacles that continue to trip me up on my self-publishing path. I am going to ramble anyway, of course. That is the purpose of this blog.

This week’s surprises fell in to three camps:

  • Publishing
  • Marketing
  • Farm Life

The publishing bullet came in the form of Amazon dropping a ‘minimum pricing’ requirement on my book. How on earth did I not know about that? Of course it makes sense, a monkey could work it out. If I want the book to be in print, with a nice shiny cover, they have got to print it. And it can’t be sold for less than the cost of that. Strangely though, I have managed to get through the entire self-publishing process without stumbling over this relevant fact. I even had a conversation with my CreateSpace editing team about pricing and where to place the book. They helpfully gave me a suggested range and ‘similar book comparison’ exercise to follow, but failed to tell me that Amazon would play a major part in the decision. Bullet narrowly dodged by the minimum price being only pennies higher than the figure I had in my mind. Lucky that.

Marketing has been a rollercoaster. Twitter is going swimmingly, followers up and some great moments of banter. I’m loving the blogging community, and following so many people now that it is a miracle I get anything else achieved. I am hopeful that I have a book review lined up with one of my fellow bloggers (I will mention names when confirmed, but wouldn’t want to presume) and an author interview on another site (likewise).

The golden bullet came when ED (eldest daughter) informed me of the possibility of an interview and photo shoot with a major magazine. Way, way, way out of my comfort zone. At the same time just too big an opportunity to turn down, if it comes off at all. Part of me hopes it doesn’t… When said magazine called me for a chat (pre-booked and fully warned) I couldn’t remember the name of a single author or book in response to the standard questions “Which authors have influenced you?” and “What are your favourite books?” Where is that monkey, and can I use him as my stand in? ED was unimpressed.

Which leads me on to Facebook, author profile pictures and double identities. Specifically the pen name. Author Me now has a Facebook account and page, but all my regular, actual, real life friends are callously rejecting my invites because they don’t know who the hell I am. The Brother generously offered up his photography skills to do me some author profile pics. He has taken some great shots. Of Real Me. Do I share these on my Author Me sites? And if so what was the point of a pen name in the first place? The magazine, if it comes off, will be featuring Real Me. Not Author Me. Sorry, confusing I know. Welcome to my world. I should have bitten the bullet, and put my name on the cover. (Far too many bullet analogies in this post. Apology number three.)

The comic twist to my author profile pics, is that my physical proof book didn’t arrive in time for the shots. The Brother lives three hours away and was actually here to help The Mother move. In desperation I ‘mocked up’ a copy of the book (my cover image, stuck over the top of ‘The Guardian Guide to Careers’ with sellotape). The book is decidedly bigger than I had envisaged, despite the fact that I have known the measurements for at least five months. I dare not release any of the pictures until the actual book arrives for fear of being prosecuted under the trade descriptions act if I have messed up again.

To top off the week, the opportunity of changes on the farm have found us locked in often fruitless, circular debate around the kitchen table. For more hours than I care to count. Life’s rich tapestry is asking for bold colours. I’ve armed myself with a thimble and I will keep stitching. I have the example of a gallivanting granny to follow.

Well, I’ve done it! I’ve linked my Twitter and Facebook accounts

Well, I’ve done it! I’ve linked my Twitter and Facebook accounts

Hurrah, I’m actually getting somewhere. Finally learning something about digital media. I know, it took me a while.

Look me up on Facebook or Twitter if you want to say hi.
Like my page – Sam Russell Author (only if you actually like it, of course!) Updates on the release of A BED OF BARLEY STRAW will be posted on the page.
And you lucky people can now follow my blog from either location! Thanks for reading –  I hope to meet you there.