Thursday, 23 October 2014

Evolution of a Writer...

This weekend I attended the Isle of Wight Literary Festival. I was lucky to be given a slot alongside some fantastic authors, which I mention on my main blog - click HERE for more.

I also managed to get my books sold by the Waterstone's stall on site - I was organised enough to ask them a month before they event and they put me on their system!

It is an impressive sight to see my books alongside those published traditionally and to think "they look good!" Createspace did a great job with these - I love the smooth silky feel of the cover and pages, and the whole effect is fantastic!

Either way, I am an unknown author and my books were stacked alongside the YA books (even though I am not YA) so I did not sell many...

... so I'll tell you a bit about how it went.

There was a fundamental problem (as much as I am grateful to be included). It was not possible to buy adult tickets for my event unless you had a weekend pass! The reason for this is unknown to me, but I suspect that when I was given the extra session in the afternoon, since it was a talk geared at adults, they failed to take it off the children's program.

This would have been a great turnout
for my talk!
At one point, I figured I'd go with my friend Donna for tea & cake and forget it all if no-one showed up! I also came up with a plan B and changed the room layout so that I could do a writing workshop instead if the turnout was poor.

Luckily, adults managed to get tickets, although it was strange to see them enter with a child ticket!

Anyway, I was glad to see about 20 people arrive and all the chairs were filled. Trust me, I breathed a sigh of relief. Compared to the last talk I gave in Gibraltar this was a small cosy affair.

My plan was to talk for about 30 minutes and then do a writing workshop for the second half. Well... I talked for 50 minutes instead. What exactly I said is a blur, but I think everyone enjoyed it. Ultimately, I could have said so much more, but I focused on the lead up to my writing career and read excerpts from my trilogy that focus on topics such as relationships, war, my upbringing in Gibraltar, and personal conflict.

If I had been more organised I would have shown the trilogy video I made, but I did not think of that!

I was not focused on selling and it showed.

Honestly, I barely slept the week before and felt sick on the day of the talk... I was so nervous! I guess I am out of practice and lack confidence.

If I ever make it (and I doubt I have to worry about that too much) I'll laugh about this one day...

For the last ten minutes, I carried out a writing workshop. I gave them 2 minutes to write something about a character chosen by chance. Three of the adults read aloud what they had written and I was stunned by the quality. There are so many writers hiding in the woodwork, waiting for a chance to peek out and shine! Self-publishing has helped many do this already...

Ultimately, if my talk helped anyone discover hidden talents then it was all worth it! I can't help but think that I love to teach not to sell. Therefore, I am going to try to focus on what I started this for. To write and have fun. I am lucky to have achieved what I have since 2012. I have not done as well as others, but I simply am not ruthless enough. I can not change who I am and refuse to. If this means I sell no more books, then so be it.

I don't think Vincent Van Gogh would have ever believed how much his paintings are worth today... talent is not always spotted until someone gives it credibility.

I must thank my wonderful friend, Donna, for helping me on the day and for being incredibly supportive.

I also have to say a huge thank you to a lovely friend I have made via the web, My Book Fairy. She is also trying to drum up support for my NEW release, Emily via a BLOG TOUR. If you have a blog and are willing to get involved please contact her. Again, I am over the moon to have someone else who is willing to wave my flag!

In 2010, I had the foolish idea that I should write for fun... nearly five years later I have self-published three novels, seven anthologies, and am about to release a novella. My weakness is the fact I have wanted to do it all myself (I should get someone to design my covers one day), but I am proud of what I have achieved and hope some of you see something good in what I do.

Thank you for reading,


  1. I am so glad to be able to help you, and I can't wait to start your blog tour tomorrow (October 25th). I am also glad you are focusing on what makes you happy because in the end that is all that matters! <3

  2. Thank you so much for your support, Aislinn - you are a GEM! :)

  3. Wow! Hugely well done, and I think daring to speak in public is the biggest achievement of all! What fun... and it certain brought out the teacher in you! You could post this on #wwwblogs today - Wednesday Women Writers or something! Hugely sexist, I know.... :^D