As the release date for The Lost Child approaches (19th May. in case you didn’t hear me squee the first 1,000 times) I thought I would give away this:
Elaine, one of the characters in The Lost Child, is rather partial to a scarf to two – she is rarely seen without one and there is quite a tale behind why ( guess you’ll have to read the book to find out).
Anyway, if you’d like a chance to win this lovely scarf, printed with an excerpt from Sherlock Holmes ( see what I did there? The scarf is a clue…) just email me through the contact page, or find me on Twitter – @TroupAnn – and start following.
I was born in an era when parents taught their children to be seen and not heard. Consequently having to tout myself all over the internet and social media yelling ‘look at me, buy my book’ is a profoundly unfamiliar experience.
The photograph of me on this blog, on Facebook, on Twitter is the only photograph that I have agreed to have taken in 13 years ( I am not a fan of my face, I have an over familiar and contemptuous relationship with it based on the fact that it doesn’t match the one in my imagination and always looks like it needs a quick rub over with a warm iron, like a crumpled sheet). Now everyone gets to see my face. I have to see my face every time I shove the fact that I have a published novel in someone else’s face. For someone who was bred to be seen and not heard, this is a more than uncomfortable state of affairs.
Apparently this process is called self promotion, and you need to do it if you have created something that you want to sell. Apparently it is necessary. Apparently I must establish myself as a ‘brand’. I don’t think I’m going to be very good at it, I’m a middle aged housewife who likes to write books and who, until recently, wore my obscurity in the same way that I wear my comfy old cardigan; it’s shabby and boring but also familiar and cosy.
I’m not knocking the process and love to see other people embracing the opportunity to get out there and meet the world. I just don’t really know how to do it well, or if I am doing it right…let’s face it, when I was a kid we thought we were the bees knees if we had a private landline. The nearest thing to an internet that I was familiar with was the thing my Nan shoved on her head at night to stop her curlers falling out! I am adrift in this world of mobile communication, instant info, social networking and selfies and I am a bit worried that I’m going to make a fool of myself. I probably will, and as long as I don’t offend anyone that’s fine. I’ll live. In the world I grew up in it would be tomorrows chip paper or yesterday’s gossip. But ruddy google lives forever!
Having just discovered that my book – The Lost Child – is due for release on 19th May this year, I thought I would celebrate by giving away another ’empty nest’ creation.
To enter you can either email me through the contact form, or whizz over to Facebook and like and share my page. I will draw the winning entry on Friday 24th and contact the winner then.
Over the past ten years I have written five full novels, self published one (briefly – you learn a LOT) and have now landed a very nice publishing contract. In all of that time the only ‘works’ of mine that my husband has read have been the notes that I leave him reminding him to put the bin out, feed the dog or buy milk.
Now that I have the kudos of a real contract he has finally decided to read the book that is due to be published this year. I am quite amazed. In the sixteen years we have been together I have never known him read more than one page of ANY book or comment on its quality. He has now reached page 119 and said “It’s really good. I’m surprised”.
Now, you might think that I have just been damned with faint praise. Given the myth that one’s family members will automatically rave about everything their relative does this may imply that the book is pants and he is just being kind to his long suffering wife. Not at all, believe me coming from him this is massive kudos to both the book and me. If he says it’s good I am inclined to believe that it just might be.
No, he’s not a tyrant or an egotist, neither is he unsupportive – quite the opposite in fact. He is a man who leaves for work at stupid o’clock, works like a trojan and who arrives home just in time to eat and collapse. He is scrupulously honest in his opinions and judgments and is a man who does not believe in false flattery. That he took time out of his ridiculously pressured days to read the book is profoundly flattering. That he liked it and said so is gobsmacking. Oh, and the reason he was surprised was not that I am capable of creating a book, it’s because he read 119 pages and was pee’d off that he had to stop and rejoin the real world. That’s good praise, that’s kudos, that’s me thinking that I might just have pulled it off and written something engaging, exciting and entertaining. If I hadn’t, he’d be the first to tell me.
Now he expects my reminder notes to be written with similar flair…
Here we go…to win this book sculpture, made by me, just contact me through the contacts page and tell me which book this scene is from. Don’t worry if you don’t know, I will enter you into the raffle anyway. The winner will be drawn at random on Saturday 18th April and notified by email. I promise not to pass any email addresses to anyone else. Good luck!