…but it helps. Take me, for instance, I’m as mad as a box of frogs. I must be! I go to work and come home, pick up my notebook and laptop and scribble, thinking, ‘You’re crackers! Why are you doing this? There’s a world out there, you’re getting no exercise (Actually, in eighteen months I’ve lost close to three stone in weight thanks to a drastic eating programme, so there…), and you’re playing at being Jane Austen!’
The answer is: because I want to. I may never write the next bestseller, but it’s something I can’t stop doing. Sad and mad? Maybe.
Unless you’re writing in collaboration with someone else, being an author is a solitary occupation. There are a lot of people in my close orbit who don’t even know I’ve self-published five books; that’s even sadder. I’ve only trusted a couple people I work with about my dirty secret (one colleague wanted to follow me on Twitter and my Twitter handle is my author name, so I had to explain about that) because I don’t want to have my leg pulled, nor do I want to be closely interrogated and irritated by that classic comment I got once from an ignorant, so-called friend, ‘Oh, but they’re not properly published, are they?’ (FFS!), and if they read my books and don’t like them, well, awkward alert! Actually, those who do know are pretty impressed by my website, blog and blind dedication, but that’s not to say they will ever read my work. One of them admitted she isn’t a great reader, and that’s OK; my husband isn’t, either, and he designs my book covers!
Having said that, my organisation has a library and every year they invite aspiring authors to be included in their newsletter. Most of the books are non-fiction because of the nature of the organisation, but some are fiction. I add my stuff every year and get a glossy mention, but last year there were no invitations because a new building was being built we had to move into and everything was up in the air. I have been with this department only eighteen months and if a colleague sees my work in the newsletter they may be pleasantly surprised, not least because they’ll find out I know how to spell my own name (it’s a hospital, doctors and stuff – up themselves). Well, it’s all publicity, eh?
Meanwhile, Goalden Sky is selling but I need REVIEWS! Why won’t Joe Public review a self-published book? It’s so annoying! Maybe I should research that and leave it for another blog post. A few reviews are pending, but it irks me that people say yeah I’ll leave a review and never do (this is one of my main gripes, for I have many…)
Anyway, chapter 1 of Episode is finished and I’ve nearly finished the first chapter of Owen Goal, too; see what I mean? Mad!