Thursday 22 September 2022

Progress and a break

The above was taken this week at Idless Woods, where Laurence Reed interviewed me for what will be a very short video to publicise my novel, The Rescue. I have to say, we filmed for an hour and Lainy was absolutely brilliant, and sat or lay beside me as if she'd been born on a film set. Dear girl is six today, so happy birthday Lainy.

The video will go on Booktock and other social media platforms, I am informed by my Head of Publicity aka dear friend Pauline. So watch this space!

I realise, with horror, that my last post was nearly a month ago, and the days have sped by. Apparently we get less and less daylight at this time of year - we're actually losing about half an hour's daylight a week at the moment.

September has been swallowed up finishing very last edits for The Rescue, approving the cover and starting the new website. I hasten to add, I'm not doing any of this but the wonderful Tammy is, and when I have both I will post them. It's incredibly exciting and, as typesetting looms nearer and it's too late to make any changes, I'm becoming increasingly paranoid.

What if people don't like my book? Well, there are bound to be some people that don't, but the thought of it is horrifying. Far more so than for my walks books, as novels are so much more personal. Receiving criticism is always difficult, especially so when I did so a few weeks ago from someone whose opinion I value highly. She made a comment and then said, "Has anyone else said this?" I said, with some measure of relief, "No." For while I always listen to what is said, if several people say the same thing, then it's generally worth looking at or changing. If not, then maybe it is, maybe it isn't - that's for me to decide.

On Saturday my mate Jac and I are off for a few days to North Devon, where we visited in March, and as it was so gorgeous, we're going back. There's also a pool so we're hoping to get some swimming in, though as it's getting colder, I'm not sure how enthusiastic I'm going to be. She's much braver than me and swims all year round. I like it to be hot before I get cold, if you get my drift.

On my return it's all go for a talk for the Falmouth Book Festival at the end of October, then planning the launch party, writing press releases and all that stuff. And all the while I am writing the sequel to The Rescue..... In the meantime, here is the view on the way to singing this morning at Penryn bridge....

Thursday 1 September 2022

Self publishing journey

Apologies for absence. Life seems to have been extremely busy, what with preparing for publication, trying to learn as much as I can about the process which is fascinating but a steep learning curve, and starting the sequel novel.

I met with a few other authors recently - Paula Rooney whose book "I hope There's a Kettle in my Room" is a fascinating account of her solo travel round Europe during lockdown, age 55. So for anyone who thinks they're too old to try anything new - try it!

Then yesterday I met with Ben Rowswell whose books for children include Cornwall: An Archaeological Adventure and I Spoke to the Sea, both of which are beautifully written and illustrated and a really fun way of learning for any child.

Lainy came to both meetings - last week, with Paula, we managed to find a shady bench with a table to sit and chat and have our coffee. Yesterday, Ben and I met in Boscawen Park, which is lovely but incredibly busy with children on scooters or running along, some anxious looking grandparents, overheated parents, and a selection of other dogs. As Lainy's not used to too much close interaction with fast moving people, I had to keep a very close eye on her, but in fact she did brilliantly.

It was quite tricky concentrating, writing notes, reading Ben's books and keeping an eye on Lainy, but it was very good training for her, and Ben was very generous with his time and tips.

We all believe that business should be about helping each other: sharing contacts and suggestions of where our books might sell - after all, that's what makes the world go round, is it not?

We had a beautiful walk up a footpath and into fields and woods, then ended up meeting a friend in Victoria Park the other side of Truro which is a real hidden gem - quiet and shady with a lovely bandstand, a tiny cafe with plenty of water for hot dogs and hot owners alike. That's my idea of a business afternoon!