To become a writer is to expect disappointment… wise words, from a wise writer. His quirky, lighthearted, semi-fantasy writings are deceptively wise. His name is Alexander McCall Smith.
And at a rather bad time in my life, a friend’s kindness was to introduce me to his wonderfully affirming stories.
An Indie Author Life seems about the worst idea in the world. Edit and publish your own books? Write, design, and print your own publicity? Promote yourself on social media? Find your own readers?
Fun at The Fox: the Hawkesbury Upton LitFest
One of many ways to promote our books is to follow up every opportunity to appear before an audience, willing to invite them into your stories by reading an extract or two. Thursday was World Book Night, and over a hundred people gathered at The Fox, Hawkesbury Upton, to celebrate.
It was a warm sunny evening, and the initial readings could be held outdoors in the marquee, giving the event a summery feel.
Later, after the official opening by Katie Fforde of the Romantic Novelists Association, a huge-er than imagined crowd meant we were packed in the Function Room like happy, book-loving sardines. Authors (gathered partly via our membership of ALLi http://allianceindependentauthors.org/) were wreathed in smiles, locals curious enough to purchase a pint and join the fun gathered to hear a bit about the writing life. And more 5-minute tasters of Indie authors’ work.
Situated in a village rather than a large town or city, had a really cosy feel, and The Fox was providing not only the venue but dinner in the restaurant and/or B and B for some of us.
I was able to read from both my novels (Baby, Baby and The Labyrinth Year) about the Mullins family – Max the GP and his wife Jenny, genetic researcher – and my ‘Wannabe’ poem found a use illustrating the apparent romance of being writers … (see blogpost Trips and Tropes ... )
The LitFest Effect …
Friday morning was time to take a walk around the village: rolling green Cotswold countryside, wild flowers, a sloping lane bordered by woods, and the ancient, part-Saxon, St Mary’s church.
Where a friendly local dog-walker borrowed a key and showed us around. After a few over-busy months, and a series of appliance disasters in our house, elated by the country break, ‘Writing this now,’ I wrote on Saturday evening, with that quote from Alexander M S in my head, (Radio Four Saturday morning)t- ‘I’ve still got that now all the exams are all over feeling … ‘
It was actually time to affirm the whole quote …
To become a writer is to expect disappointment… until you remember that the glass that’s half empty is also half full.
Half full, half full, I am telling myself … Thursday to Saturday maybe it was completely full … but even if I (and others) sold nothing, the glass is not half empty (as here in this intellectual city we so easily think) … no, it is definitely half full – and it will be full again … Mma Ramostwe of the No 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency is so encouraging, as she says, ‘... it is well known …’
From an Amazon review … (G.Heppel, Kindle Edition, http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Labyrinth-Year-Mari-Howard-ebook/dp/B00T81L1AU)
… Alice and Zoe, Max and Jenny’s children, are beautifully realised characters in their own right, not drawing attention to themselves, fitting into the story exactly as they should.
The conflicts begun in Baby, Baby of religious fundamentalism versus tolerance, scientific progress in genetics and fertility against the risks of new procedures, are more relevant than ever, and Mari Howard does an expert job of weaving these themes into her story without ever letting them weigh it down. In her wonderful, accurate portrayal of the different strands of Christianity, she shows how faith and science don’t need to be mutually exclusive …