Read all about our readathon

Read all about our readathon


On October 4th I’m going to be taking part in a sponsored readathon, which means I will have to read and review a book in 24 hours.

Why on earth would I be doing that?

To raise money to buy books for children who are in hospital.

I have a bit of experience of dealing with kids in hospital. When I was younger I spent time with one of my nieces while she recovered from major heart surgery, she was five, frightened and in pain – I used to read to her, and it calmed her down, soothed her and took her to places in her imagination where life wasn’t quite so frightening.

When I had my own children I spent a fair bit of time in hospital with them for one reason and another. My son had ear problems and had to have an operation – books were a salvation while he was in hospital for both of us. When my daughter was two she had a lump in her face which was suspected Hodgkins disease (fortunately it wasn’t) but while I sat in hospital with a fretful, frightened toddler, books were a godsend and helped us both to get through the ordeal. I had another boy too, unfortunately he didn’t make it, but while we struggled with that in the hospital I vividly remember a nurse sitting and reading to my older son to help him understand and cope with what was happening.

It will be 22 years since that awful time this October. So taking part in this event to raise money for books to help children in hospital seemed like a very fitting tribute and a way to give something back to the people who gave so much to me when my kids were sick, frightened, struggling and in need of the magic that can be found between the pages of a book.

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This event isn’t my brainchild, it’s the work of the lovely lady and book blogger Jennifer Marston, who came up with this wonderful idea and invited people to take part. Jenny loves books, and loves kids and she, along with the other bloggers (and me) who are taking part, really believe that giving a child the gift of books is something quite special. Jen has organised a whole event around this where you can take part, have fun and help us to raise some funds for a fantastic cause. Before the event you can vote for which book you’d like us all to read and review here:

Plus you can sign up to join us for the big Facebook party where there will be fun, banter, giveaways and good times to celebrate the event.

If you’d like to donate Jen has set up a fundraising page here:

We’d really appreciate your support, help and company – so please join in, join up and help us to help out.

How low can self promo go?

How low can self promo go?

I love writing books, but in common with a large majority of my fellow authors I loathe having to promote them. I mentioned in a previous post that I come from a generation where we were taught to be seen and not heard, consequently schlepping about the place constantly touting my book is an uncomfortable experience. I loathe it because it feels pushy, cheeky and just a tiny bit needy. I do it because I have to. Any new author who thinks that just because they have signed with a publisher it means they don’t have to promote their work is barking up the wrong career. Unless your publisher has given you an immense advance, which they then need to recoup from your sales, the chances are there will be few bells and whistles for your debut. My publisher gives me the odd toot on the tin whistle that the marketing department put in their Christmas cracker last year, which is fine 🙂 They may parp the party horn a little louder if I manage to make them some money, which will only happen I sell lots of books 😉

Those of you who are familiar with me from twitter will know that I do promote my book there, I try not to do it too much and for the most part I enjoy twitter for the social elements rather than the marketing opportunities – but hey ho, needs must when the devil drives…which leads me to the point of this post, how low can self promo go?

Being a woman of a certain age I am now entitled to certain privileges at the expense of the NHS – one of those is the three yearly mammogram. I was called up for my first one this week. On Thursday afternoon I arrived at my local supermarket car park, climbed into the back of a truck and stripped off…yes, the NHS is cash starved! It’s not quite as bad as it sounds, there were chairs in the truck and a curtain (which didn’t quite fit) across the ‘strip off in there’ cubicle. Once I had got myself nice and half naked, a nice lady came to take my details – it turns out we share a birthday, so we got chatting while she was manhandling my middle aged mammaries into her x-ray device (emphasis on the vice…) Of course, we eventually get to the question ‘so what do you do?’

Yep, this is how low self promo can go – I flogged my book whilst one boob was clamped flat into an instrument of medically devised torture. I’m not ashamed (well, I am a bit) you have to grab these opportunities while you can! So while she grabbed leftie, I grabbed the chance to tell her all about my book… She’d better buy it, I sustained mortal injury to both my pride and my bosom selling that book!

A prize to anyone (who is also of a certain age) that can tell me which Derek and Clive quote is running through their head right now. I’ll give you a clue, don’t call me Mabel!  ;).