Changes and Apologies

Summer is over and it’s been a busy one. No competitions were won (not even by Liverpool FC) but the exciting news is that the new book Her Parents’ Daughter is going to be ‘out there’ soon. It leapfrogged A Set of Lies which will be published in the spring of 2015.

For this, my fifth book, I’m doing things differently.

Firstly, after 8 years with Troubador, I have decided to change publishers and am now trying New Generation – we shall see how that goes but so far so good (I think).

Secondly, since having a stock of books is the last thing a self-published author wants to be left with I’ve decided – on the strong advice of my husband Colin – to go with Print on Demand. I took some convincing but fingers crossed the quality will be as good as NGP say it will be. Her Parents’ Daughter will, of course, also be available as an e-book in all tablet formats.

Finally, after comments from several of my readers I understand that the genre of this book is Crime/Thriller. Re-reading the previous books I understand that this should have been the genre for all but Highly Unsuitable Girl.

Once the physical book has been seen and approved I begin the rounds of Sales and Marketing. Shops and Press on the Isle of Wight will be harassed to take stock and coverage and then the press and shops in Ludlow, Shropshire, where I used to live and where some of the book is set.

Fingers, as ever, are firmly crossed……..

PS – A note on the title.

Her Parents’ Daughter was originally to be called Silver Birch but I decided on Her Parent’s Daughter because it is who the main character’s parents are that cause her all her problems. I did not know of similar titles. SO….

Apologies to Carlos Bernard, the actor who played Tony Almeida in 24, who produced a short comedy film called ‘Your Father’s Daughter’ in 2012.

And to Alice Pung whose book ‘Her Father’s Daughter’ was published in 2011.

And to Gene Stratton-Porter who had previously published a book called ‘Her Father’s Daughter’ in 1921.

How difficult it is to choose something totally original!

Competitions

I’m not very good at competitions.
I am a coward, preferring, most of the time, to keep my head below the parapet, out of the firing line so I can avoid any risk of losing. I could never, for example, stand for election for anything.
My father stood several times as a Prospective Parliamentary Candidate through the 40s, 50s and 60s but he never won – he was a Liberal and in those days (as today?) it was a very unfashionable political position. No. I could never stand for election.
But I do go in for some easy forms of competition.
Several years ago I won the bonus ball at two pubs, the Sunday meat raffle and the Giant Easter Egg Draw – all in one week. This week I won the pub bonus ball, and I’ve drawn Costa Rica in the World Cup sweepstake (stranger things have happened!), but I don’t see those as proper ‘I only win if I’m better than everyone else who’s entered’ competitions.
I have won two of those, though in neither case did I actually put my name forward. In 1968 I was awarded the Sixth Form Prize for Geography at my school (Birkenhead High, and I still have the atlas I won) and in 2006 my first book, The Last Dance, won the David St John Thomas Prize for self-published fiction. The £250 I won for that was more than eaten up by the cost of going to Harrogate to pick up the cheque.
Now I’m breaking the habit of a lifetime and entering my work (myself?) into a real competition.
Last week I submitted my fourth book, Highly Unsuitable Girl, to Guardian Legend Self-Published Book of the Month competition.
Fingers are crossed……..

Perhaps……

Spring is two thirds of the way through and what’s happening?

Liverpool Football Club may or may not win the league for the first time in 24 years – but even if they don’t come top they’ve done brilliantly.

England Cricket is going through a transition period and may or may not come out better at the other end, surely it could hardly be worse than this last winter. (Did they mean to lose against The Netherlands so Ashley Giles wouldn’t get the job?)

And I’m on my final “Director’s Cut” of the two books A Set of Lies and Her Parents’ Daughter that have occupied my mind for 12 and 4 years respectively.

Perhaps by the end of May Liverpool will be Champions, England cricket will know where it’s going and perhaps, also, I’ll be progressing publication of both titles……

And, just perhaps, it will be warm and dry again with a long hot summer in prospect……

Daffodils

February is nearly over, and although I have to say good riddance regarding the weather and the road works in Bouldnor Road blocking easy access to Yarmouth I have to say it has been a good month.

I’ve finished the umpteenth draft of HER PARENTS’ DAUGHTER and am getting happier and happier with it every day. It should be out and about in time for Christmas – one way or another. The future of A SET OF LIES is becoming more settled and should also be available, at least in e-book form in September – in good time for the bi-centenaries coming up next year.

But more importantly the daffodils are out in the garden. And daffodils are increasingly in evidence on people as the Marie Curie Daffodil Appeal gets under way.

Every year I buy three daffodils to add to my collection (one for each dead cat – Solomon, Pachelbel and Beaver) and attach them either to my scarf or to my multi-coloured woolly hat. The hat always brings a smile in the middle of winter – it even made the papers in Ludlow five or six years ago.

Buy yours. Marie Curie is such a good cause. “Wear your daffodil with hope.”

Now is the time to submit to agents…….

This should be an interesting week. At least I hope it will be.
Introduction letter and synopsis for A Set of Lies have been written.
The first chapters have been extracted.
All documents are saved as PDF files.
I even had to produce a CV – for the first time in over thirty years!
And now I’m ready to submit A SET OF LIES to various agents who, I really hope, will be sympathetic.
It’s a good story that took twelve years in gestation and four more in the writing.
It’s gone through so many proofs and re-reads, re-writes and rearrangements, re-thinks and even more re-reads I cannot imagine how many hours have gone into it.
Hours spent with a laptop on my knee while Colin watches television.
Hours spent lying awake wondering whether I have covered all the details of how Sir Bernard did what he did.
Hours spent with the laptop on the kitchen table with Lodger the cat trying to help by walking over the keyboard.
Hours spent at my desktop when there was no ‘day job’ work to do.
Every single one of them enjoyable – in one way or another.
I have loved writing A SET OF LIES and I shall be sorry to wave it off into the real world.
I shall have to say goodbye to Skye, Andy and Carl (though Carl may crop up again – he was after all in THE LAST DANCE, WALKING ALONE and RUNAWAYS).
I no longer need to worry about whether William and Josephine are rather too unhappy and whether Bernard and Catherine are rather too unsuited.
And did Gussie really have to die the way he did? And was Bernard’s punishment of George rather too harsh?
And were the Married Women’s Property Laws that unfair and Estate duties in 1917 that draconian.
Ah well – perhaps one of the agents will spot potential and perhaps they will will find a publisher who will want another re-write and I’ll get to know all the Laceys again.

2014 – Well the first few days anyway

Images of 2014 to date:

Our part of the island saved the worst of the weather though it has been wet and windy.

Roads are really suffering with pot holes opening like sink holes.

Road works are making it increasingly difficult to get into Yarmouth – roll on Easter!

Cricket a disaster – hopefully it will improve for the ODIs and T-20s – can’t be any more depressing.

Absence of alcohol in my diet (since 8pm 31-12-2013) is beginning to pay dividends

@iowauthor is tweeting a lot on #thearchers tag and getting lots of retweets and favouriteds (I never thought I’d think those were real words.)

Real progress on A Set of Lies

Bah Humbug!

Nine days to Christmas and it’s warm, wet and windy on the Isle of Wight this morning. Although the leaves haven’t quite all fallen from the oak tree by the front gate they have, pretty-much, left all the other trees and cover the lawn and the drive as a very real reminder that some clearing up will need to be done.
Perhaps a Christmas Day bonfire will be in order.
Having a bonfire is one of the better things to do on Christmas Day.
Bah Humbug!
Husband Colin and I were in a pub in Shropshire, quite close to the Welsh border, a few years back and prominent in the Christmas decorations was a big red banner saying
B A H  H U M B U G !
“What does that mean?” innocently asks an American tourist.
“It’s Welsh for Happy Christmas.” Says the Landlord with a knowing smile to his regulars.
“Well Bah Humbug to you all.” Replies the innocent tourist with an innocent smile and a handshake.
Perhaps that tourist, and his wife, still smile and say ‘Bah Humbug’ to complete strangers at this time of year.

Where did “Bah Humbug!” come from? Is it Dickens? It sounds like it should be Dickens? I must check.