Friday, 29 January 2016

"From the Wild Cornish Coast, to Your Local Library" #NationalStorytellingWeek

Meet me in the library on Monday 1st February, and I will tell you a tale of supernatural secrets, vampires, witches and werewolves, all  hidden in a seaside town in Cornwall, and previously concealed in my very own mind... See you there, at 11:00am sharp!

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Their Stories Must Be Told

It is just about 2:00pm and I return to my seat at the dining room table, my make-shift office in a house that has been overtaken by toys, toddler clothes, and a growing pile of important notices from school. All morning I have been glued to my computer, sorting through a collection of short stories that will soon be released as a Redcliffe anthology. They feature characters from the Redcliffe novels, a series of fictional people that have become my secret family in a mundane world.

Soon I will have to shut down my computer, wrestle my toddler into her pushchair, and step out into fierce wind and rain to fetch my older daughter from school. Then the evening will descend into chaos as I fight with the children to eat their tea, get ready for bed, and go to sleep at a reasonable time so that we can do the whole rigmarole again tomorrow.

While I perform my duties as mother and wife, my mind is still occupied by my fictional friends. Jessica Stone, Jack Mason, Danny Mason, and Marcus Scott all jostle for attention. The witch is strong but confused, the vampires are seductive and wicked, the werewolf is playful and proud. What am I supposed to do? Their stories must be told. At present, they are dissatisfied because I cannot reach the audience that that they desire, the audience that they very much deserve. I am doing my best, I tell them. It is not easy being a writer, and a mother, and a housewife. There is so much to organize, so many roles to fulfil, and never enough time in the day.

I push on, as we all must do, because this job is important to me. My stories must be shared with the world, even if that world is often too busy to listen. One day soon, my fortunes will change. I will be the next British bestseller, featured on all the major TV channels, interviewed by all the most influential people. I will. I have to. My dream will never fade.

Their stories must be told.

Friday, 22 January 2016

Happy Birthday, Book Lover! #amreading #ASMSG

It's my birthday, woo-hoo!!! I have had a very busy week, because we celebrated our elder daughter's 5th birthday just a couple of days ago. Naturally it turned into a big celebration involving two parties, two cakes, and lots of crazy kids running riot. Today I am taking the day off (well, sort of, I mean I still have to do some mothering outside of school). I am going out for afternoon tea with a friend.

Now, since I can't very well share my birthday cake with you here online, I have another treat to share: grab your FREE COPY of my brand new short story It's Complicated (A Redcliffe Short Story) while I am in a good mood... hurry! Have a fabulous weekend my friends.

Friday, 15 January 2016

The Not so Glamorous Life of an Author

I was scanning the newspaper headlines earlier this week when I came across a couple of stories that made my heart sink. The first one came to my attention via The Guardian newspaper. It’s headline read: “Philip Pullman: Professional Writers Set to become an Endangered Species.”

This was terrible! I read the story, nodding in agreement as I went, and then I found a couple of similar features on other websites. The future of our professional writers hangs in the balance. There are thousands of very talented writers out there in the UK, and yet we cannot gain access to the channels that will properly share our voice, our books, and our work.

I am one such writer. I am very talented, very focused, and very good at the process of assembling words into a coherent and entertaining format. My challenge is getting those words in front of people who want to read them. That is a mammoth task indeed. I am not trained in the ways of  business, marketing, or promoting. I am now partaking in an online training course that will show me how best to progress, and how to drag myself from the proverbial writer’s garret, and bring me something that resembles a decent, livable wage.

Being a writer is an incredible experience. During the course of a day I can travel to faraway worlds, meet exciting and exotic characters, and translate their stories. When I step away from the computer, however, I am faced with the heavy burden of being just another nameless person in the crowd. Nobody knows who I am, or what I do. Nobody really cares, because they have not had the opportunity to sample my work.

I have tried for many years to find an agent and a publisher that has the financial means and the business knowledge to put me “out there” in the public domain. Alas, I cannot break through the perimeter fence in order to face these mythical gods of the literary world. It is down to me, just me. I am but a lone warrior, battling to send my books out into the world, and to persuade people to read them and enjoy them.

Did you enjoy this article? Join my tribe today, and I will send you a fabulous FREE book to get you started… (be warned, my vampires do not sparkle, and my wolves will bite!)