Behind every writer is a great reader

So I have a YouTube channel. It’s not pretty. It’s hasn’t the spontaneity of youth or the polish of a confident, mature woman. It’s just me being me really. I don’t know why I don’t wear makeup or dye my hair. I’m not interested in jewellery or cars. I think I would have liked to travel more, to have more girlfriends. I’ve always been a book worm, a dreamer, a romantic. My family, followed by books, music and film make me happy. I’d rather: read a chapter than put on makeup. Cuddle up to my husband and watch Line of Duty. Binge watch OA with my kids.

I wasn’t destined to be a writer. Writing saved me. I had to be good at it. Opportunities are limited for people like me with few qualifications and a major disability that interferes with the standard time clock. If I wake at two am or five it’s fine because I can write. Now I’m a channel producer, a promoter. On Tuesday I’m off to The House of Lords for a reception related to my condition and its charity. If anyone asks what I do I can confidently say I’m an author. I’m not getting ahead of myself; I’ve only sold about a hundred copies and have only a handful of reviews on Amazon but Lynne, Andrea, Laura, Jess, readers of twitter and instagram have enjoyed Random Attachment. So here I am plugging away, asking my WordPress family to check out my vlog, subscribe, maybe buy my book, perhaps twitter it or instagram. I think what I’m saying is I can’t glam up, or be witty, or be someone I’m not to promote my book.

For many indie authors we need the kindness and generosity of others to make this work. That’s why #indieapril is so cool.

I read To Save A World by American author Hollis Jo McCollum. It’s my first fantasy read ever! About a world in chaos following an apocalypse. With Eithne, an elf breaking free of the confines of her tribe to embark on a treacherous adventure. Alongside the aloof but valiant captain of the guard, Darian, she challenges tradition with her bravery and
swordsmanship saving Darian. It is a drama filled with action, dangerous beasts, double crossing and a strong attraction between Eithne and Darian. I’m so impressed with this debut fantasy. To imagine worlds, conflicts, fantasy characters, geographical scenery is a talent. I think Hollis has only tipped the edge of her talent. If she had an editor and publisher on side I think she would flourish. Having enjoyed this fantasy drama I’ve started reading The Cruel Prince, so thank you Hollis for such a riveting introduction to fantasy.

I have a tall TBR pile, all the latest books but I think it’s us indie authors that need support so from herein I’m buying indie! When we write a book it’s exceedingly hard to get representation. It goes without saying we all want a bestseller. But I read a Tweet about someone receiving their 119th no.

I was offered representation within a month. What a high. I thought I’d made it, I could see my book in Waterstones. My agent told me everything she loved about my book then worked with me for a year to squeeze that love out of it. She was super confident publishers would be battling to get their hands on The Rebirth of Henry Whittle. They weren’t. It was too tame. So I was put to the bottom of my agent’s TBR pile. I walked away, needing to regain control of my book. In that year I wrote a second book Random Attachment. It felt so rewarding to write my way, no censure. I missed her though, my agent, her connections to publishers. I was on the outside again. I did try to find another agent but it was half hearted and as a woman who doesn’t wear makeup I hadn’t the enormous amount of energy it takes to sell yourself. So self publishing seemed the right fit for me. I want to sell books, make money etc but my books being out there is what’s most important to me. I think it’s a personal decision as to how you proceed. Whether you take rejection well, if you have a time limit, how you feel about self publishing, how patient you are. A major consideration for me was my health. Yes it would be amazing to have a committed agent on your wavelength beavering away but the satisfaction I feel from readers enjoying my book is a close third to falling in love with my husband and being a mum. When I read @JessLaw247 was enjoying Random Attachment I felt the luckiest indie author in the world. Thank you.



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