Books, Books, Books

Some thoughts on writing and publishing – and mostly recommendations for your next best reads!

When you’re close to having a book published, the online world can start to close in until it feels as if everyone is doing likewise. This can be both uplifting: ‘Wow! Look at all these great books out there, and mine is soon to be one of them!’ and dispiriting: ‘Wow. Look at all these great books out there. How will anyone ever see mine, let alone read it…’

There are a few practical ways to deal with this – stay off social media, is one. All very well but it doesn’t work if, like me, you’re fundamentally nosy and suffer acutely with FOMO. Bombard your own and everyone else’s feed and timeline with your own work is another, but that’s a way to automatic reposts at best and ‘unfollows’ at worst.

Attitude is key – in my opinion. Treat others as you’d like to be treated might be an old age but it’s true. Of course you want people to be glad for you and your success, and the only way to guarantee that, is to be glad for them and their success first (yep, even the bombard-ers still popping up in your peripheral vision!)

I’ve found the writing community to be one of the most supportive around. My face to face writing groups, like OxPen, Gilmerton, and Southside Writers, and the online ones ranging from the OU to Writers Ink are invaluable. Everyone is somewhere on the writing ladder and – to put it inelegantly – everyone is pulling someone up or being pulled up at some point.

Writers Ink members are currently running up that ladder – and I’m glad to be grasping that bottom rung to chase them! Crime writer Sam Blake (along with Maria McHale, one of the founders) continue to have another hit with Three Little Birds and Sharon Black (who I wrote about back in October) going from strength to strength with top star reviews for The Last Saturday in July.

And there are two more authors hot on their heels. The Weekend Break  (‘Four Friends, Four Secrets, One Explosive Weekend’) is coming early March from Ruth O’Leary – tagged impressively as ideal for fans of Carmel Harrington and Marian Keyes.

Following on, at the beginning of April is Lucy O’Callaghan’s The Lies Beneath (‘A gripping tale of friendship, love, and the masks we wear…’), which the highly acclaimed Michelle McDonagh endorses as intriguing.

I’ve read snippets of these novels, I’ve watched the authors write, rewrite, edit, submit – and have their books accepted for publication. Now I can’t wait for them to be on the shelves and being read and reviewed. Meanwhile, I’ll be waving up from the ranks, brandishing The Almost Truth and yelling, ‘Save a spot for me, lads!’  The best thing is – they’ll already be doing so.

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