There was no blog post last week. I had a week off. I have reasons: it was half term (excuse #1) and I was away camping (excuse #2) but there was a more fundamental reason.
Not really writers’ block: more a feeling of utter despair that I could possible write anything good, anything that anyone else would want to read. It had been creeping up on me over a few weeks, with criticism online and from my local writers’ groups. Perhaps I should give the whole ‘sequel’ idea a miss. Perhaps Book 2 is a lost cause. It’s not as if I don’t have plenty of other things to do with my life (drink tea; eat biscuits…)
So it was with a sigh that I picked up July’s Writing Magazine when it came through the letterbox, made worse when I saw through the plastic that it was focussing on self-publishing. Oh good, I thought. I’ve tried that and now I’m not writing and I’m a failure and… (you get my self-deprecating drift?)
As I always do, I started reading from the beginning. (It is a sad trait that I can’t help applying to all reading material – books, magazines, articles – reading all the intricate details at the beginning before I start on the main body of the work.) So I read the editor’s letter and realised that they were announcing the Self-Publishing Awards for 2013 so I zipped forward to page 26, abandoning my long-held views on working through the magazine…
… to find In the Shade of the Mulberry Tree in the middle of the facing page!
I’m not ashamed to admit I squealed. And gasped. And jumped up and down and danced around the kitchen.
Ok, so I know I didn’t win. Looking at the winner and runner-up (hiss, spit) they truly deserved the accolade for their exemplary marketing efforts.
But I was short-listed!
In fact, if you look very closely at the tower of books (top left) you’ll see mine is right at the top, after the two winners. As my daughter pointed out, “That means you’ve got bronze.” (I explained that it still didn’t mean I’d won anything, and anyway I shouldn’t read too much into a promotional photo, but she was quite insistent. I love my little girl!)
My book was not dismissed. My writing was not thought appalling. My presentation was not repellent.
In the spirit of all great award winners at ceremonies, I must give credit where it’s due. The book cover – which I still LOVE – was designed by designforwriters.com. Using them was the best decision I made. Also I must thank my lovely friend Ann for proof reading, as there is nothing more irritating than a good book littered with preventable grammatical and spelling errors.
But most of all, I thank you for reading it and supporting me with your lovely comments. The mojo is back: roll on Book 2!
In the Shade of the Mulberry Tree is available in paperback and ebook from Amazon in the UK here and in the US here. It is also available as an iBook and on Amazon platforms across Europe and in Australia.