Saturday, 2 September 2017

A new reality

Am I grown up now?
Over the summer I have submitted two books for publication. One, an academic book on writing young adult fiction, and the other, a middle-grade historical adventure novel, FLIGHT, to Firefly, which hopefully will be published next summer. Suddenly I have found my world has shifted slightly on its axis. Does this mean I am an author? Have I become a grown up now?

I am thinking about different things. Firstly I had to fill in a hugely detailed media form for Firefly which was very useful and certainly made me think. In part, it was completing this form that started this current journey. The one where you become a twenty-first-century author. Gone are the days where an author used to write a book, present it to the publisher and disappear while they wrote the next one. Oh, no thanks to Robert E Kahn and Vin Cerf who invented the Internet and Tim Berners-Lee who invented the World Wide Web, which we all think of as the Internet. Then, of course, there was the first recognizable social media site which was in 1997 and was called Six Degrees. All of which have had an impact on the modern day author and how they behave.

On the day it was announced that Firefirely had acquired FLIGHT I spent the whole day dealing with social media. It was amazing. The brilliant author Jennifer Killick had warned me but I had no idea it would as frantic as it was. The support across Facebook and Twitter was truly incredible. I then did the simple things like ensuring in my social media profiles that it says that FLIGHT is being published next summer. I have been busy on Twitter making contact with other people, book bloggers, teachers, librarians, booksellers, anyone who might be interested in FLIGHT in the future. I have tried to ensure that I have been giving them something so they don't feel like I am using them.

I have created a Facebook author page. I am careful what I post on here and ensure it relates either to writing or to FLIGHT. You have to watch how much time you spend on social media though, it can suck time.

I am beginning to plan my website. Following advice from James Nicol, Jennifer Killick and Vashti Hardy I started off by looking at other people's to see what they had done. Working out what I liked and what I didn't. I made notes on all the sites I visited. I am not going to start my site until I know what my cover is likely to be so I can use some of the colours from it. I have been thinking about school resources that I can include. Talking to teachers so that I make sure the resources are the most useful they can be.

In the meantime, I have been talking to Vashti again about author photographs. She very kindly shared a Pinterest board she had created and shared some very valuable advice. As I was very worried about it all because the photo that went out with the press release was a bit of a rush job taken by my son in law - thank you, Greg for doing it. Vashti and I have had several long conversations about this. I have decided to have some professional photographs taken because then I will have a bank of photos I can use for the media, for the back of my book maybe and for the website. I know it is an expense but I am doing this because I hate having my photo taken and the photographer I have chosen is a friend of my son that I have known for years, I love his photos, therefore I know I will trust him and will then be relaxed. Watch this space for the results.

And then there will be the book I can't think about that at the moment. See it all becomes suddenly very real. I know these are all very wonderful things to be worrying about and I know I should be grateful, I have dreamt about being at this stage for a very long time but it is very scary! And I am not even thinking about the academic book ;-)

And now for all those phenomenal women I know listen to Laura  Mvula's 'Phenomenal Women'


  1. Could not happen to a nicer person. IMO the best thing to be on Social Media is yourself.
    All the best with it!

    1. Thank you. I agree about being yourself is the most important thing. xx