“You have to wait for the well to fill again,” I was advised recently by a fellow author. I’d just been complaining that I didn’t seem to be managing much writing at the moment. In fact the only writing done by me so far this year was song-writing. Pretty pathetic, heh? Call myself an author? Aren’t we always told that authors are supposed to write every single day?
But the inspiration wasn’t there and, strangely enough, beating myself up wasn’t helping in the least. I know you are meant to just start writing any old thing and the ideas are then supposed to come. I’d tried that. They didn't. Writers' block? No. Just plain exhaustion. I realise now what a herculean effort I made get book 2 finished and then the minute it was done there were all those Christmas performances that required mega-concentration. My poor old brain needed a proper rest.
“In the meantime you can put your energies into publicising your books,” my friend, who is a far more experienced writer than me, advised.
Ah, publicity! That is something that’s beginning to loom large in my life. I have a huge number of events lined up for this year and need to hone my public speaking skills. Thankfully it’s not all up to me. My fabulous publicists have been working hard. ELLIE AND THE HARP MAKER came out in a beautiful, leafy, shiny paperback cover last week and suddenly there’s big rush in sales. The reviews on Amazon have at last topped 100 - and apparently the number of reviews is very, very important for a novel’s success (please leave reviews, readers!). My book has also been featured in some of the major women’s magazines and it’s even on sale in Tescos!
Purrsy, however, remains unimpressed
While in my non-writing limbo, I did have some fun in the name of publicity. I took a trip to Living Coasts in Torquay for a photo shoot (Living Coasts helped enormously with research for AWAY WITH THE PENGUINS, my second book, which is out very soon now). Unfortunately I had a battle with the parking meter in the whirling gales and rain for ten minutes just before going in. There now exists a photo of a wild-haired but proud me showing off my new book to a very handsome penguin. Watch this space.
It’s very nerve-wracking when your book goes out into the public for the first time, and I’m anxious about how readers will react to AWAY WITH THE PENGUINS. Thankfully a few people have already contacted me to say they love it, which has helped calm my fears.
And now, as if by magic, ideas for book three have started flowing. There is a setting, there are characters I already love, and there's even an embryonic plot. Well well well!