In early June I published my first book on Kindle - all very exciting and nerve-wracking but I received great reviews and was relieved to find I’d made the right decision to go Indie.
I now have two books on Kindle and in paperback and the long and exciting job of marketing and promoting is stretching out ahead of me.
So … what have been the highs and lows in the year of a Mummy Misfit?
- Hubbie woke me at 2 a.m. to tell me I’d had my first unbiased praise on Facebook. The joy of knowing that someone I didn’t know had found my book and was enjoying it had us up and out of bed in the kitchen with a glass of wine and jumping for joy!
- I blogged every single day for three months - I wrote about everything from my how I got my 38C’s to periods, dream jobs to imaginary holidays. Then I realised I just couldn’t keep it up - I could be writing another book. My daily musings became weekly and the pressure was off.
- I went from Twitter virgin to addict in the space of a week. When my husband told me I should join, I poo-pooed it - what could Twitter do for me? Now I get an attack of the heebie-jeebies if I don’t get my ‘Twit-Fix’. I even dream about it! But I’ve met some great people and it’s helped to sell heaps of books. I learnt a harsh lesson quite early on - you can’t trust everyone but I refuse to listen to my mum when she says that nobody on there is real! So what does that make me?
- A literary agent changed his mind within the space of 24 hours about representing me. My work was “excellent with a strong voice and great dialogue” and the next day I was “too commercial!” Go figure! I give up on them and will continue to fly solo and work my socks off for myself. I will get that six part mini series!
- My marriage survived getting two books out there and editing the second. Many late nights and hissy fits (me!) were involved but we got there in the end. I would fight to keep every word I’d written but I know he’s usually right and would back down in the end. Twitter friends gave me permission to poke him in the eye if he got too bolshie but I refrained - I did sulk a lot though.
- My clever son designed both of the back covers and also helped with a tricky bit of formatting for Kindle. Sixteen year olds have their uses and it lifts my heart every time I sell a book and I hear him shout, “Go, Ma!”
- I’ve been through more highs and lows than I ever thought possible in this past year. I’ve gone from having complete faith in myself and what I’m doing and then I’ve had days when I find my work dominating my life and I just want to throw the towel in. Another book sale, a great review or a happy tweet from someone can change all that in an instant.
- The day I received my first hard copy of the book felt surreal and dreamlike. It arrived on the day we’d decided to go to St Paul’s to check out Occupy London and I remember drifting around the streets thinking “I finally have a copy of my baby!” I now have them both in paperback and I can quite happily sit and stare at them for hours.
- I’ve realised that writing is something that I have to do - maybe it’s the frustrated actress in me coming out in another way but I need to do it. People like what I write and that feels good. It was very flattering to have readers begging for the sequel and it meant the world to me. BUT I’ve got to put all my time into getting these two books talked about and I’ve decided to ban myself from working on a new book until Easter. I don’t always listen to myself though, so who knows? But that’s the plan at the moment.
- I’ve realised that writing isn’t a lonely profession any more. There’s always someone out there to chat or moan to. I’ve made some real friends - some writers, some not, but I know I can always find someone to connect with. Poor old Barbara Cartland would have been all alone in her negligee and feather boa - I don’t know how she did it.
So that’s my year in brief and I’m very excited at the prospect of 2012. I don’t believe in New Year resolutions but I do believe in having a dream and the drive to see it through.
I wish all my readers a very happy and peaceful 2012 - watch this space, Mummy Misfit is going to be hitting the ground running.