Sunday, 3 July 2016

An Author's Apprenticeship

I've now written nine books, five of which are published. Out of all of them the one closest to my heart is Broken Faces. As I've mentioned before this book did well in a competition and was the reason my agent signed me. It has culminated in four years of ups (a few) and downs (too many to recall) but that seems to be part of the apprenticeship of being an author. 

Now, though, Broken Faces has been published as an ebook - it will be out in paper back this autumn. It's been given a new cover because the previous one, though historically accurate, didn't show the hope in the book, only the dispair. 

I'm learning about writing, promotion and all things book related as I go along and sometimes, when I spend entire weekends facing a computer screen, I do wonder why I'm not outside enjoying my free time. But when it comes to writing there is no free time. I'm either physically typing at a keyboard, checking information for research, or promoting (which is what I find most difficult). If I'm not doing any of those things then I'm working through plot points in my head. Writing a book seems to take up an awful lot of time each day. Thankfully, for the most part, it's something I thoroughly enjoy doing.

Apart from a reader buying and enjoying a book, the most exciting thing is when they take the time to review it. Today I discovered another five star review for Broken Faces on Amazon US. (The reviews on Amazon UK and Amazon US are not automatically linked). 

This morning I've been designing new postcards to be handed out. Later today I'll go out with my family for a meal where the chatter will be about many things and very little of it book related. 

I've also been updating my website

Tomorrow I'll sit back down in front of my computer screen and carry on with the next book, a sequel to Broken Faces based during the Occupation of Jersey in WW2.

Friday, 1 July 2016

The Somme - 100 Years Ago Today

100 years ago today at 7.30am it was zero hour.

Tens of thousands of men lost their lives, were permanently maimed and if they survived they not only lost many of their friends who'd fought bravely by their sides but they'd witnessed a carnage that we can only imagine today. The sights, sounds and smells of that day and those that followed is something we're lucky enough never to experience.

Whenever the Great War is commemorated in any way, or when I research that terrible time, I can't help being moved by the thought of those young men and what they went through. 

We will never forget these men.

My research has mainly been with the cavalry as my great-grandfather, Charles Wood, was in the Lancers during the Great War. He survived only to die in 1922 just before Christmas. He'd been in the forces since the turn of the century, so was used to a battle fought on horseback. He fought in the Boer War and India, where my grandmother was born. I don't have a picture of him because when he died my great-grandmother burned them all because he'd left her.