Friday, 16 October 2015

Butterflies and Book Events

What always amazes me about having to speak publicly about my writing is how nervous I become before the event.

Yesterday evening I went to promote Holding Paradise at Isleworth Library, one of my local libraries, and I had the usual butterflies in my stomach. As usual I didn't pre-plan a talk, I just had a general idea of what I wanted to say and thought I'd go with the flow. I don't like going to talks where the speaker reads from a page, quite frankly, so I wasn't about to do that.

I have butterflies as I get ready to leave, on the journey there and just as I enter the venue. Then, as normally happens, the second I walk into the event, I'm fine; I start to speak and I forget all about the butterflies.

This was helped a lot by the fact that the participants were all fabulous. I was particularly thrilled to bits that one member of the audience had read my book in a day! She said she couldn't put it down. I loved that. I also secretly wished that another million of her existed because then I would be bestseller, right? Well a girl can dream can't she?

Below are a few pictures of my dream author event (sorry about the quality). I have another in a few weeks.

Bring on the butterflies...

Monday, 5 October 2015

Pub Crawls to aid Creativity

Feeling a bit down and unable to write, I decided I'd go for a run to clear my head. It's worked for me in the past. Despite it being the Sunday morning after a late Saturday night, I realised I had to do something to help me complete my 2000 words a day quota for my ghost writing job. It must be noted that I do far fewer words on my own projects a day - but at least with ghost writing I get paid.

You might be wondering how a pub crawl comes into any of this. It does, but in a round about sort of way. My minimum run is 5K and that's how far I ran on Sunday. On the route I chose, it ocured to me that I pass several pubs. Seven to be exact. Eight if you count the Beehive which is just visible before I turn off for home.

Seven pubs. As I run by all these pubs, I catch my reflection and realise that I'm not actually running. I'm ambling and eventually I look like I'm crawling. And that's how my attempt to give myself a creativity boost becomes a pub crawl.

Yes, I was tired and, to be honest, I haven't run in a while. My running was slow and plodding and all because I'd left it too long between runs.

That said, I hadn't left long breaks in between writing but I was still having problems getting up to speed. With a ghost writing job, in fiction at least, sometimes the plots you are given can be so thin you could bump right into one because you didn't know it was there.

The run itself helped me look at the plot in a new light. I was able to see a way of crawling my way to the end of the dreadful storyline by adding some much needed detail. In another 6000 words, I would have fixed this dreadful story. Then I'll move on the next and hope to goodness I don't have to resort to another pub crawl to get the best out of another loose plot.

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Black History Month Ocotber 2015

This year my local library have invited me to talk about my first novel, Holding Paradise as part of Black History Month.

I didn't hesitate, I jumped at the chance. Not only because I'm black and slightly historical, but because I get to talk about the stories and history that influenced me to write the novel in the first place.
Since the novel's publication in 2014, I've started many writing projects. I am a ghost writer now, I write under a pseudonym and I embarked on a joint writing venture. All very exciting stuff that keeps me busy. But Holding Paradise was where it all started and it's nice to take a trip down memory lane.

After finishing the novel and long before the publishing deal came along, I was still being visited by scenes and people from the book. I couldn't get the characters and settings of Holding Paradise out of my mind and had to go in and do a follow up. It came in the form of a short story collection called: The Long Way Home. 

I'll be discussing both books, doing a couple of readings and answering questions. So, if you're anywhere near Isleworth on Thursday 15th October I'd love to meet you at this free event.