Getting the Message Out There

on Wednesday, 17 October 2012. Posted in Archive

IFC Holland Conference

It’s very rare that I go to an event and not know anyone at all. I’m here at the International Fundraising Congress in The Netherlands and apart from Gavin, who asked me to attend and speak, I don’t know anyone. It’s quite refreshing actually as I am using all of my networking skills to motor on in on other people’s conversations. As yet, nobody has punched me. Always a good sign!

The workshop I am delivering is ‘Getting Your Message Out There’ which is interesting as this is what I am doing right now with my book blog. It’s an international audience, although I have not met anyone yet who doesn’t speak English, but many do not have English as a first language so I need to be mindful of that when I am speaking.

Also, there are people from all sorts of organisations, big and small, from all over the world. As you can imagine, it is quite tricky to be able to suit everyone. My philosophy, however, is to keep it really simple, but set an expectation at the beginning of the session that I will be asking all of them to identify one thing they will be taking away from the workshop.

I have done hundreds of presentations and workshops over the years. I still get nervous though and I am glad I do, because it keeps me on my toes. I get a real buzz out of doing them and love that moment when you are talking and everyone in the room is quiet and totally into what you are saying. It’s almost as if you are just having a conversation with them. I tell stories to illustrate points.

Maybe that’s why I love writing. It’s just telling stories but to a bigger audience. Wish me luck!


The Heat is ON!

on Tuesday, 16 October 2012. Posted in Archive

Launch Date - 21st November

Promotion for Beyond Fragile Boundaries is now fully underway!

I knew that I needed some help here so I have called on my friend and Social Media expert, Jo Dodds (also known as The Famous Jo Dodds – follow her here)

Digital media now means that there are so many options for authors these days. You do have to be prepared to do the research and put the hours in online, but the ways of getting your book out there are endless. It’s very exciting!

So now the team is ready.

Frances, Editor Extraordinaire is still busy working with me on the edit and we happily chat about Carla, Adam and their family and friends as though we have known them all for years. I have to say, I did not realise that when you write a book, your characters come to life. I miss them now that the main writing is finished, so I love talking about them with Frances and developing their presence in the literary world.

Yesterday was a day full of editorial and marketing meetings. We also are now working on the cover design and our designer, Jerome, has sent through some interesting concepts for us to chose from. It’s all coming together nicely.

We are heading for a launch date of 21st November. Not long now. I can’t wait.

I am off to speak at the International Fundraising Congress in Amsterdam for a few days. There are a thousand delegates and my session is called ‘Getting Your Message Out There’. How very apt!

My New Best Friend JK

on Tuesday, 02 October 2012. Posted in Archive

Wishful thinking?

Okay so it may be a bit of wishful thinking, but I really would like to sit down with the great JK Rowing and have a chat. I watched her being interviewed on the Culture Show the other day about her new novel, The Casual Vacancy. It is really interesting to see how authors write. I am not an expert (yet) but I would think that everyone does it differently.

JK took 2 years to write her book. I would imagine there was a lot of editing going on as well. I have been surprised at how intense that can be. I sit there with my editor and we discuss the characters as though they are real people, and you know what, they have become so!

In Beyond Fragile Boundaries, all of my characters are unique people in their own right. They are not based on anyone I know. I am not sure I could have written about them if they had been. It would have been restrictive.

No, they are their own people. I can picture them in my head. I feel their emotions too. It is really odd to write a page, then read it back and cry or laugh! It has now happened to me quite a bit.

I miss my characters now that I have finished actually writing the book itself, so it is lovely to sit and discuss them at great length with my editor and work out how they would feel about a certain action or tone of a conversation. You actually do get very possessive over them. I am really lucky that I have an editor who totally understands me and knows exactly how I tick. She’s an absolute gem!

If all goes to plan BFB is going to be ready to buy in print and on Kindle around mid November time. I am looking for speaking opportunities, so let me know if you have any ideas.

First Blog as an Author

on Monday, 24 September 2012. Posted in Archive

Well, here we go!

I started my first novel, Beyond Fragile Boundaries, on the 1st of August 2012. It was a strange sensation and one that I now cherish on a daily basis. Writing is the most fun I have ever had sitting on my office chair!

I set myself a task of 3000 words a day which I am proud to say I kept to and then 4 weeks later, almost 90,000 words had appeared and I was able to tell my family.

At first, my only confident, apart from my editor and lovely friend Frances, was hubby John, who has cleaned and cooked and sat on his own each night whilst I type away. His belief in me has been the main driver and I cannot tell him how much that means to me.

Then, with trepidation and even before it went to edit, I printed out manuscripts for my two biggest critics – my Mum and my eldest daughter, Amy.

I waited nervously to hear their thoughts and for the rest of that day all was silent. I was terrified. Maybe it was crap and I was kidding myself. The next morning I work up to a text from Amy:

DSC 0493FYI. I cannot stop reading to sleep. I’m enthralled, and I have read a lot of books since March.

My Mum came in later in the day. She was grinning like a Cheshire cat and said

’Oh, Oh, I’m speechless. Can’t put it down. It’s very raunchy darling. Can I take it you are writing from experience?’

Needless to say that I did not answer that.

So, all looked good. Now the big test. Ed! Also known as Frances. I waited for ages as she was on her holidays, but then I received a text a week or so later, which read:

Loving the overall theme of being true to self. It’s SO a book for women that all men should read! Expresses lovely power of gentleness and femininity. A commercial winner!

Boom! I was in. So, we are now in full edit which takes quite a while and we have made some changes and thickened the plot even more.

I am looking forward to going out to promote my work, so if you have a gathering that you would like me to come to, please let me know. All I want is to bring my books.