Hi from South Wales

Hi from South Wales

A brief Monday blog from my holiday in South Wales. The sun is out! We’ve been to watch Polo – a new experience for me and I’m wondering why…as a Jilly Cooper fan I surely should have embraced the thrill that is polo sooner. Sweaty horses and sweaty riders battling it out in stunning surroundings (plus Pimms and a picnic – what’s not to like). Rain failed to dampen my total enjoyment, I am a convert!  I pricked my ears when the comentator invited us to ‘have a go’ at a nearby polo club (before I remembered that I am the wrong side of 50 and sporting a dodgy hip). Still maybe I could…

A morning’s hill hiking reminded me what I am capable of. The route we took was listed as ‘medium difficulty’. Suffice to say I am very glad we didn’t take on a black run. But ah, the beauty leaves you breathless (or that’s my excuse).

Despite having a wonderful time, my manuscript is calling. The story is forming, I’m chafing at the bit and frustrated to be away from my desk. I have used the downtime to research cover designers, editors and proofreaders. Lining up the cards in hopeful anticipation of the creation of a second book. Buzzing!

I have also fired off yet another round of pleading emails asking for reviews. So many great comments from readers, but getting reviews posted on Amazon or Goodreads is proving an ongoing battle. And why, oh why, don’t my reviews on Amazon.co.uk make it to the USA site (or any other sites for that matter). Surely Amazon international…A review is a review is a review?

Enough of my wingeing, no one said this would be a piece of cake.

Cake, now I’m distracted… and I am on holiday.

Please forgive typos. I am rubbish at typing on a touchscreen tablet and the pop up keyboard completely obscures the text so a lot of guesswork.

Woah! What a week.

Woah! What a week.

An interesting week in my self-publishing journey. Much to excite. I am still writing my book talk for next month’s ‘book chat/signing/author interview’ (I must come up with a snappier name before we announce the event). The speech isn’t getting longer, but much like my manuscript it is undergoing a million edits.

A certain very good friend has agreed to read some passages from the book out loud. She reads beautifully and I fear I may squeak on the day (It is not meant to be a comedy act). Being the character that she is, when I told her that I would email the relevant passages, typed out and edited for profanities, she suggested she carry a little bell and ‘ding out’ the swear words. Comedy Store, here we come. I vetoed the idea on the grounds of nervous hysteria looming.

The first passage for reading was easy to select. Near the beginning of the story, so no spoilers here. Not involving too many characters to confuse those who have not read the book. No sex! I replaced the edgy swearing with milder words, but then another friend who is coming to support told me she would be bringing her grand-daughter along (3 years old). We may be re-visiting that bell.

The format of the event is broadly as follows:

  • Gin and tonic (that’s just for me, the rest get tea or coffee)
  • Hello (mustn’t forget that)
  • Speak about my journey to self-publishing
  • Reading (and bell-ringing?) by very good friend
  • Speak about the book
  • Second reading*
  • Host (and hopefully audience) Q&A session
  • Book signing and goodbye
  • Probably more gin.

*You will note that the second reading has an asterisk in place, because I am really struggling to find a second passage that meets the criteria of “no spoilers, no blue bits, not too many characters.” This book is fast, in more ways than one (and yes, that is a plug).

I put a post on Facebook asking readers for their favourite passages.  Great response, but few that met the rules. My friend wants to read a steamy scene but personally I think she is becoming obsessed with that bell. Replace “second reading” with “musical interlude”.

Other exciting events this week – I GOT THE BOOK ACCEPTED IN A LOCAL BOOKSTORE! I couldn’t be more thrilled, although I did have to beg and turn up the charm simultaneously. Not an easy thing to achieve. Two copies, but it’s a start. I am hoping that if I get the publicity for the book chat right, those two books will launch themselves off the shelves.

Wonderful ED, my home grown PR, is writing a local press release and the MAGAZINE IS OUT! Weirdly this has happened 6 days ahead of the date I am allowed to shout about it. I’m tempted to break rank here, but I am so humbly grateful for the great publicity I will rein myself in and abide by the rules. Besides, they were really nice people and a promise is a promise. Once again news of my ‘launch’ has reached me via social medial. Must be subscribers only, because I can’t find a copy anywhere (trust me, I have looked). A photograph of the article (depicting a very well turned out woman who resembles me a little) arrived via Facebook.

The final starburst to award this week, goes to the news that I have SOLD A BOOK IN AMERICA! My first transatlantic sale. In fact, I sold three. On the same day. Go figure. I have no idea why the US of A suddenly glimpsed across me. Or three of them did. The mysterious workings of the World Wide Wonderful web. I can’t figure it out, but I’m happy in my ignorance. Much as the tracking of this blog bemuses and fascinates me. Occasional readers from 18 Nations. A special “Hello!” to the Netherlands, Canada, Poland, and all of you World Wonderful readers. It’s great to be in touch.

PS America, check out #AmazonGiveaway  “A Bed of Barley Straw” for the chance to win a copy of my book.

So yes, an interesting week.