After years of writing, editing, and living Silencio, it was incredible to see my novel on the stand at London Book Fair 2016. The fair is an industry event and some authors find it difficult to enjoy however I love everything about books and so the business side also interests me. Well-known writers including Marian Keyes, Jeffery Archer, Meg Roscoff participated in interviews but the most impressive was Judith Kerr, in her 90’s and as sharp as a youngster. As usual, there were interesting presentations at the Writer’s Centre which included advice about public relations, marketing, self-publishing through different forums and how to beat the slush pile.
I have returned to my office ready to write.
I will be discussing my novel Silencio with Gill Henry on Total FM 91.8 Costa Blanca at 13:30 Spanish time. In addition to the inspiration and stories behind the book, I will be talking about some of the influences on my writing, the music I love and anything else we can fit into our one hour slot. Send me in some questions in the comments section and I’ll try to answer them during the time I am on air.
The following is a copy of a 5* review of my debut novel Silencio on Net Galley. Needless to say, I am delighted.
Totally love this book and pleased to be able to review it for Net Galley. Well researched, full of suspense. A mothers worst nightmare, her newborn is stolen. Overtime Mercedes is relentless in her search for the truth about Spain’s stolen babies.
I cried so much reading this brilliant book about baby trafficking, how 40years after franco’s death people in Spain searched for so many “lost” babies. I live in Spain for part of each year. I did not know about this and am reading more about it since reading Silencio. A heartbreaking true fact. I cannot imagine how these mothers must have suffered. I loved the ending, can’t wait to read her next book. This is a winner.
I have just been told that my novel is available for pre-order through Apple. Other retailer links to follow.
I’ve bitten the bullet (sorry for the cliché) and, after 18 days of trial, bought the Scrivener package after an evaluation that revealed keeping track of the progress of my new novel and the various short stories that I am writing seems to be easier. When I need to refresh my knowledge and memory about the characters, setting and plot, the package enables me to do so with ease, and after the initial wobbles using the software, it seems to be second nature.
So far, I have written about 15,000 words of my second novel and I am reminded of the excitement there is in developing a plot and interesting characters. The biggest challenge is what happens to me when I do research; I lose valuable hours. To give you an example, the other day I wanted to find out about the railway service and town plan for one of my settings in the 1960’s. Three hours later, I had followed the little person on Google street view all around the town, read all kinds of interesting stories about local celebrities and discovered how the rail network has changed in the past 50+ years but I had not written a word of my novel. Scrivener allows me to record my research into a folder where I can refer to it as I continue writing and that is a great feature however it is hopeless for someone with my sense of curiosity as I do get sidetracked by all of the interesting history.
Another useful tool has been Pintrest. Despite signing up for it a long time ago, I had never used it effectively until this novel. Now I have a pinboard plastered with people, cars, uniforms, food, etc from the 1960’s and I think that is going to bring my writing to life in this new novel.
One can only hope that this will be the big one.
Yesterday I was at lunch with another writer, a man whom I had never met nor heard of. He is writing his third novel and sells the others as e-books on Amazon. By co-incidence, I met another writer last week who is writing his first novel.
All three of us are having a completely different experience. One pays for and uses a mentor to review his work while it is in progress. The other writes and sends to an editor. I, on the other hand, like to get my work well under way before I show it to anyone, although I am a member of an on-line support group.
Yesterday’s writer approached a few agents in the early days but found it a frustrating exercise and is managing to market and sell his work on the internet. The other is not at the stage of approaching agents; however, that is part of his plan.
All of us are over 50 years old and have the luxury of time to write. We are also inspired by our life experiences and have decent stories to tell. Self publishing allows us to put our work out there yet each of us would love to acquire the ultimate of a literary agent and a publishing deal.
There are so many of us with that goal that it could frighten an aspiring author.