March’s Pot Luck Club
Welcome to this month’s Pot Luck Club, a round-up of writerly bits and pieces. It only seems like a couple of days since I wrote last month’s copy. But if, like me, you think time is rushing by, imagine what it was like last Saturday, when I spent the evening dancing to Carnaby Street, a brilliant 1960s cover band, well-known here in Devon. I remembered every word of every song and refuse to believe it’s fifty years or more since most of that music was first heard. A salutatory reminder how quickly our time on this earth flies by. Maybe I need to send less time on FaceBook and more time writing (or maybe dancing).
And talking of writing, let’s start with my latest novel, Corruption!. This time last month, the manuscript was going through a structural edit. My two reviewers were kind, but consistent, in their comments. And I have spent this month removing great chunks of back story (that they’d also made me remove from Deception!) and rewriting the early chapters to make them more gripping. I struggled with that to start with, but last week it all fell into place and I’m working on the last little bit at the moment. The revised version will be going out to my beta readers at the end of this week. I have been asked whether it is a good idea to send my work out on April Fool’s Day, but as it’s also Easter Sunday, I prefer to think of the date as a positive one.
Business of Writing
The rewrite of books 1-3 is proceeding apace and I have set the publication date as 31st May. The pre-order pages for Business Start-Up; Finance Matters; and Improving Effectiveness are already up on Amazon and the other major distribution channels. Book 4, The Business of Self-Publishing, is due for release at the end of June, and will be on pre-order within the next few days. And book 5, The Workbook, will be available in August. And I have a brand new cover that I am very pleased with. You can find out more about the whole series by clicking here. Or check out my trailer here.
I’ve written loads of websites in the past, including ones for Heathside, my previous company; for Chudleigh Phoenix, our town’s community magazine; and for Chudleigh Writers. These had always been written using one of the more simple platforms, such as Blogger.com or WordPress.com.
My main website was written for me by the wonderful Natalie Harris at Webmelon, and I was very happy with the service she provided. But, the control freak that I am, I wanted a site I could fully customise myself. And this meant learning a new platform: WordPress.org. So, I booked a one-day training course with Paul Lincoln from eMedia South West. Paul was brilliant; he explained things carefully, patiently answered all my questions, and talked me through the whole process. Then, I spent six months, writing the new site. I had a few difficulties. Some I solved myself; for others I had to go back to Paul. But it’s now finished. And you are reading this blog post on the new site. I am very happy with it. I was aiming for simple but elegant – and I think that’s what I’ve achieved. Do have a look around and let me know what you think. And if you are thinking of going down this same path yourself, I would say: go for it. But make sure you get the expertise first and spend the time getting it right.
Calorie-Free Easter Gifts
As I’ve already pointed out, we have Easter coming up. A long weekend, with not one, but two Bank Holidays (at least here in UK). The perfect time for curling up with a book. Providing hours of enjoyment and completely calorie-free! So if you are looking for a suitable gift for the reader in your life (or for yourself) then look no further.
Of course, there are lots of authors out there; many of whom will be happy to provide signed copies of their books. So you don’t have to choose one of mine… But if you would like a copy of Gorgito’s Ice Rink, Counterfeit! or Deception! just get in touch. With the dedication of your choosing, I’ll even gift wrap and post it if you like!
Writers Are Readers Too
My Goodreads 2018 challenge is doing well. I have read and reviewed twenty-three books so far this year, and am bang on target. This month’s recommendation is couple of years old, but with a film adaptation due for release later this year, this seems like a good time to mention The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. I rarely give 5 stars on Goodreads. But this is a wonderful book, written completely as letters and telegrams between the main character, author Juliet, and a great collection of friends and acquaintances who become friends. Juliet’s voice is sparkling, witty and sincere. And there is a beautiful and amusing piece of ‘showing not telling’ in Isola’s observational notes towards the end of the book. Yet, one of the main themes, the Occupation of the Channel Islands during WWII, is deadly serious. It is dealt with sensitively; and the horror of those days stands out starkly due to the simple way it is presented. The contrast between the recent history (the book is set in 1946) and the new future is striking. And the Literary Society itself was pure genius. I loved this book and couldn’t recommend it highly enough.