Sometimes you have to let petals fall. I’ll try and explain what I mean.
Last Easter I had a bit of a turn (some of you may remember) – a frightening episode when I had a four-hour bout of transient global amnesia and ended up in A and E. Lots going on in my mind and a bit of a wake-up call.
A couple of weeks later, Endeavour Press went into liquidation. I could have joined their new outfit, but I decided to go it alone. I wasn’t sure what to do when another digital publishing house approached me after that. At the time, despite feeling I might be losing out on a great opportunity, I had to follow my heart and turn Bookouture down. I felt I couldn’t meet their deadlines. I didn’t need any more stress.
But Bookouture describe itself as family. And I really feel they care about their authors. I had a couple of long phone calls with one of the team, and she reassured me deadlines could be adjusted. Still undecided, my decision to eventually accept a Bookouture contract was helped by a stroke of serendipity.
In July I attended my first writers’ conference in Leeds as a new member of RNA (Romantic Novelists Association) and one of the Industry Professionals offering author slots was none other than Bookouture. I went to their excellent presentation, feeling like an undercover spy, nursing the knowledge that a member of this dynamic, forward-thinking team had told me she had “fallen in love” with my book. My fears of shadowy, non-existent people on the net were soothed by listening to intelligent, REAL PEOPLE standing in front of me in the auditorium.
The package included help with the writing process: structural edits, line edits, production schedules, copyediting, proofreading, typesetting, packaging, covers and, joy-of-joys: PUBLICITY. Yes, all those things that make my shoulders slowly reach up to my ears, as I hunch over my laptop and that constant fear of making a bundle of errors creeps into my brain. It is hard, but not impossible, to self-publish, but, boy, does it take away from writing time. And I am such a technophobe.
So, I’m glowing when I say I am now part of the Bookouture family and I’m determined to give of my very best.
“Tuscan Roots” will be altered and republished in June 2019 and I’m up for that. I wrote this debut novel in a rush for my Italian mother-in-law in 2012, when she was very ill, wanting to honour the many war memories she had shared with me. My writing has moved on since then and I can see there are tweaks to be made. And I’ve been commissioned to write a new Tuscan novel, to be published April 2020. I’m so excited about these projects.
So, I’ll be what’s known as a hybrid author. (I always think that sounds like an animal species: definition: “the offspring of two plants or animals of different species or varieties, such as a mule.”) “Mavis and Dot” is being self-published (I’m grappling with formatting at present. Grrr!) and will be launched December 1st.
Sometimes we have to sit back and let petals fall, instead of thinking that if we relax for a moment, everything will fall to pieces.