So Long, Farewell…

OR cover 3I offer a fond goodbye, as I step out of my “author” persona to concentrate on something new and sincere wishes for all my writing friends, as you persevere in the art.

I’ll always be grateful for the opportunity to stretch my creative wings, to study the craft and share my words with a wider audience. I’ve had a novel, memoir, short stories, poems and articles published, won a few prizes, had great reviews and thoroughly enjoyed co-writing two radio plays, as well as meeting loads and loads of kindred spirits.

Crooked Cat Publishing and my fellow authors have done their best to help me master social media, effective marketing and promotion skills but I always seem to be running to catch up. After thousands of hours, I’ve finally lost heart. I’m sorry sales haven’t been better for my publisher’s sake, despite their investment in time and money (including 3 different, brilliant covers).

If I’m honest, I’ll be a bit relieved to be able to spend my time reading novels instead of promoting them, when Once Removed comes to the end of her contract with Crooked Cat in February. There are just a few more weeks to purchase a copy.

Best wishes to you all and thank you for your support.

A gift

Deep down in my secret self I wanted my books, or someone else at least, to sell

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One of the “classrooms” at Arte Umbria

themselves. Like Jack Nicholson in As Good As It Gets, I love to sink, undisturbed, into the depths of my work in progress. I do not like to talk about or sell myself or my books.

 

My first book, A Life Less Lost, came out in paperback. I was just beginning to give successful talks without having to lie in a darkened room for hours afterwards, when my second book, Once Removed, came out as an ebook. Being slow to grasp a whole new set of promotional skills, impacted on sales and self-confidence. Several false starts on the next book left me paralysed by doubt in my ability to write. And why would I want to, if it meant I had to face the marketing challenges that came with completion?

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Mealtimes on the terrace

I tried to fill the void with other things but the ache wouldn’t stop howling. Then as a very special birthday present (for one of those with a zero in it) I was given the chance of a writing holiday in Italy! WOW, I know, I couldn’t believe it.

Arte Umbria, about half an hour from Perugia, up in the hills provided an exquisite venue, Sue Moorcroft provided the tuition and the other members of the course gave endless encouragement and fun. The result? I’m writing again! Full of energy, ideas and enthusiasm. Watch this space…

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Thank you everyone!

“My Lovely Blog” Hop

hibernationThanks to my friend and fellow author, Christina (https://funnylass.wordpress.com/…/…/12/everything-is-lovely/), and this blog hop thingy, I’m finally getting round to my first Nuts and Crisps post of 2015! All being well I should have a post from another fellow author, Jeff Gardiner, on Wednesday. Looks like I’ve surfaced from deep hibernation at last.

So, the first memory that comes to mind was searching for my beloved grandfather. I was four and had just been told he’d died. I looked under furniture, in cupboards, everywhere for him. That sense of confusion and loss left a hefty imprint. Nowadays parents have some very good books to help young children with bereavement.

Books are one of my passions. In second grade (age 7), I was one of the Scott of the Antarcticoldest children in the class, often bored and given to disruptive behaviour. In desperation, my teacher began to give me books with the instruction to go read them and write book reports ~ genius. The first one was about Scott of the Antarctic and I never looked back.

The library was too far away for me to get to as a child, likewise I can’t remember any bookshops, but I was given a children’s classic book collection for Christmas one year and never remember being short of something to read. Both my parents worked and we were encouraged to be as independent as possible. I spent most of my youth outside on my bike, climbing trees, playing team games and that kind of thing but there was plenty of time to read on long car journeys.

Holmfirth libraryWhen I was a young wife in a remote village, the mobile library was a lifeline. I took my children from infancy to their local library every week and now take my granddaughter. Quality books can be expensive but libraries enable access to an endless supply and the freedom for children to choose the stories they want to hear. Now, apart from the books, films, music and computers on offer, my library also provide a venue for my writers’ group. I guess you can tell I’m a big fan and pretty outraged that these essential places are under threat.

How dull life would be if there weren’t always new things to learn. My grandma clip artcurrent course of study is grandparenting ~ learning to slow down and observe life alongside a toddler, keeping in my daughter-in-law’s good books and how to help grown-up children without interfering.

Writing… hmmm. I’ve written two books, published one myself called A Life Less Lost and had the other, Once Removed, published by the marvellous Crooked Cat team. I’ve won a few local competitions with short stories and I write for my church magazine and my other blog, Biblically Blogging. Currently trying to build enough confidence to work on several ideas for children’s books.

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A few Crooked Cats have agreed to follow on from me; Scott Perkins, www.pagestotype.com, who has an exciting new book, Howard Carter Saves the World, coming out this week, Yvonne Marjot, The Knitted Curiosity Cabinet, author of the brilliant Calgary Chessman and the delightful Ailsa Abraham, The Bingergread Cottage, author of Alchemy and Shaman’s Drum. I hope you’ll visit them later in the week, when they offer a tiny peek into their “Lovely Blogs”.

The break is over!

Writers’ block, too busy, need a holiday… all those excuses are behind me now. It’s back to work big style. Today, I must finish a short story involving some of the characters from Once Removed banner2.jpgfor an anthology Crooked Cat are putting together.

Tomorrow, I’m running a workshop for a group in Howarth on setting up a writers’ group.

cover LLLOn Sunday, I’ll be driving to Coulsdon for my niece’s baptism but good friends from the Holmfirth Writers’ Group will be reading a short clip from A Life Less Lost for me on Two Valleys Radio. Phew!!!!TWO VALLEYS RADIO LOGO ROUNDEL

Crooked Cat Book Sale!

Pop over to Amazon to see all the Crooked Cat Books on sale for this week only. They have a brilliant selection across a wide range of genres ~ something for everyone, including Once Removed. Just follow this link:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Once-Removed-ebook/dp/B007YUZXC4/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1379158439&sr=8-1&keywords=Once+Removed ORcoverpb

Book of the Day!

Once Removed is the featured book of the day on asidefromwriting, a website that brings together readers, authors and bloggers from the YA world http://asidefromwriting.com/2013/05/12/iam-once-removed/ A Life Less Lost also gets a mention. For the month of May they are running a fantastic Indie Author event ~ well worth a visit.

What did the teenagers ask?

TWO VALLEYS RADIO LOGO ROUNDEL

Monday morning I found myself behind a microphone being interviewed by five very bright, polite teenagers from King James’s School, Almondbury. They had been reading my novel, Once Removed, and asked some searching questions. Two Valleys Radio has a “listen again” facility, if you’d like to hear for yourself. This is the link: http://www.twovalleysradio.co.uk/listenagain/two-valleys-book-club-kb-walker/

 

 

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