Promotion through talks

What a great start to the week. I gave two talks on ” My Life and Works” and sold five books at each. The audience at these social gatherings are always so kind and friendly that they are a joy to do, even if I do have a half hour walk to a train station pulling my trolley. My fault for refusing to take the car!

It is always interesting to discover which part of the talk interests them most and it is usually the fact that I used to tutor dyslexics. It is amazing how many people tell me of someone in their family with the same problem and the stories about help or lack of it depending on where they live.

Tonight I am taking some poems to a folk club as they sometimes allow me to recite.Hopefully by Saturday my printer will be operating and I can start advertising our next Charity Gig. Pity I’ll miss Crawley Book Fair but I do like my annual weekend in a hotel and this time it’s Cardiff.bookwormclipart

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Sea scribes books.

sea-scribes-at-windmill.jpgOn Sunday the Sea Scribes had a stall at a craft fair at the High Salvington Windmill. We were displaying our books and offering to sign them.

People came up and expressed an interest, one lady said to me “I have read one of your books and enjoyed it,” but she didn’t buy another. Maybe it was because our pitch was next to a stall selling second hand books for 25p each!

It was a beautiful day and the entertainment was good, a bunch of Morris Dancers and a mechanical organ. The non fiction books always go down well, especially if they have ‘Worthing’ in the title. Never mind, we made some good contacts with a local charity and look forward to working with them on an event of our own later in the year.

I was cheered today when a friend who had bought one of my books a year ago said she had started to read it although she didn’t usually read books. That was “Never Run Away” and it does seem to chime with people. How many women have secretly wished they could?

Doubting

Have you ever got to that stage when you are starting a new project but you aren’t sure if it is good enough to continue?

I have a couple of unfinished novels packed away somewhere but this is a different feeling. I think it needs to stew in my imagination for a while until I have enough to start writing. When your work is character driven, as mine is, you need to be really certain about your characters before you put them into a situation. Then they usually behave consistently and the story makes sense. I need to flesh out the personalities and backgrounds of the people in my next book before I concentrate on the plot.

Meanwhile we have a Craft Fair on Sunday where I am taking a few of my most popular novels, “Never Run Away” and “Never Pretend,” as well as the latest two, just in case there are some local readers who would be willing to purchase them. I think there will be a number of second hand books for sale so I don’t hold out much hope.

The more I read the less confidence I have in my own work. For one thing, most books I enjoy are twice as long as the ones I write. What is it, I wonder, that makes it possible to keep a plot going that long? If it is, as I suspect, a deeper understanding of what the characters are thinking and feeling, then I have to introduce that. If it is a broadening of the plot to include more related events, I need to try that. It gives me something to aim at and I’ll let you know if any of it works!bookwormclipart

Flyers

I had two ideas this morning, one: to make some flyers to advertise my latest novel as I haven’t had any new bookmarks printed. I can take them to talks and they will be ready for the UK Southern Book Show in October. Two – I would like ” Lane’s End” my first novel to be available in large print as it was written for my late mother who only read large print books. I have seen ways to do it on print on demand but I am hesitant to go down that route. Also, I wanted a new cover but, so far, haven’t found one that is better than the original. At least it’s keeping me busy.

Lane's End cover copy

Short Stories

With no new novel on the go I have turned to Competitions to find a subject for a short story. Maybe I’m odd but I avoid all the ones with no theme.

Writing Magazine always has lots to choose from but when I tried to write one on ‘Love’ I could not think of anything original. I thought about entering the one on ‘Hate’ but found that even more difficult.

‘Scribble’ magazine always has a great selection of stories but the last two I sent in were rejected. I could see why – they just weren’t fascinating enough. Also, my writing style has changed over the years and dialogue is taking over. It should be appropriate for short stories but there has to be a balance.

The UK Southern Book Show now has a website with notes about some of the authors who will be attending. This promises to be an exciting event so I am looking forward to October.bookwormclipart