Sunday, 23 September 2012

Happy Birthday Baby Misfit

Son of Mummy Misfit turned seventeen last week.  How it happened I’ll never know!  It seems like only yesterday that I was giving my husband and sister murderous looks as Baby Misfit bungee-jumped in and out of my ‘fandango’ with the umbilical cord around his neck.

So what type of celebration do you have for a young man who likes things to be fairly low key?  Well, his oldest and best friend had turned eighteen the week before and had also decided on a ‘no fuss’ birthday, so we decided to get both families together (with another close friend) and have a dinner party quiz night.

As there were eight of us, our usual dining table wasn’t big enough so we had to use our ping-pong table which is stored in two halves under our sofas.  After manoeuvring the dining table through the hallway and across the kitchen to the back door we proceeded to try to roll it out into the garden.

We must have done this a dozen times before.  It’s not possible that the table has grown or the door frame shrunk but we found ourselves - The whole Misfit family - with it firmly lodged and refusing to budge for about 45 minutes.  Think ‘Krypton Factor’ or one of those really annoying puzzles which you have to jiggle and shake to set something free.  It was certainly ‘fun for all the family’ and I thank heavens I have such a patient husband.  Finally the table must have breathed in and it was released into the garden.  It must also have shrunk in the cold because there was no problem getting it back in later!

With everything now in place I could start on my decorations.  Now, those who have read my other blogs on party planning will know I love to give ‘good table'!  My son chose green and yellow as the theme - opting for a grass effect gift wrap with contrasting grass and flowered serviettes.  Grand total of £2 in Tiger!  I re-covered old drink mats with the paper and then coated with clear contact.  I then painted old party favour boxes and hubbie covered the lids to match the mats, finishing off with a paper daisy and filling with chocolates and Smarties.

My centrepiece was an old vase filled with oasis and decorated with more paper daisies.  The flowers were from Poundland!  Grand total of £4 - typical Mummy Misfit style.

So I think my table looks pretty impressive for the princely sum of £6!

The menu, with three fussy teenagers, (son’s friend’s sister is my God daughter, so was also there) was slightly trickier, so I opted for lazy nibbles to start - smoked salmon on rounded bread with cream cheese, parmesan crisps, stuffed mushrooms, nuts, tortilla chips and breadsticks.  The main was a safe chicken casserole, roast potatoes and veg - a winner for all!  Pudding was green and yellow cupcakes with a healthy dose of chocolate ganache.

 Cakes in the making.

The quiz comprised of six rounds for three teams of two - hubbie and I were in charge as we’d set the questions so couldn’t take part.  Some rounds were done before eating and the rest after.

Dogs - name the dog breed
Lyrics - what’s the next line?
Cryptic pop groups - who are they?  Eg: Nun on a toboggan = Sister Sledge
Number challenge - eg:  10GB H on the W = 10 green bottles hanging on the wall
Logos - name the company.
Totes random!  - how many objects can you find on the tray, within three minutes, beginning with the letters you’ve picked from the pot?

I think you'll see from the photos that much fun was had by all.

  Team one - 'The Drury Lanes', deep in discussion.

Team two - 'M&M'

Team three - 'The Birthdays' - who drew willies and testicles all over the dog round pictures!

Quiz in full swing.

Me and the boys.

Me and my boy - tall and skinny (him, not me!)

Some of the cupcakes in all their glory.

Misfit and the cakes

The winners, by one point!
The scratch card prize which revealed - a big fat ZERO!

 A gossip at the end of the night.

Music ranged from The Beatles to The B52’s to Bowie and, as is customary with these friends, ended on Radiohead’s ‘Creep’ with us all singing along, playing drums or spoons on the table and punching the air.

So I think that just goes to show that with the right mix of friends and at very little cost, you can throw a truly fun night.

Did you know that my Mummy Misfit books have remained in the Top 50 in humour on Kindle for the past week?  Go check them out - at only £1.91, what do you have to lose?

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

The Next Big Thing

This past week has seen both the Mummy Misfit books in the Top 50 (UK) in PAID humour for Kindle on Amazon!  My free promo days seemed to raise my profile and I’ve been selling more books than ever before!

Good, huh?

So it seems rather appropriate that I should have been tagged by my Indie buddy, Michelle Betham, to introduce to you The Next Big Thing’.

This is where I have the opportunity to answer questions on my current work in progress.  You can read Michelle’s here.

So, here goes. 

What is the working title of your book?

Book Four will be called, Stilettos and Stubble’ ©.  You heard it here first.  The title is mine and no one can pinch it, OK? 

Where did the idea come from for the book?

The world of drag clubs has always fascinated me and I’m a massive fag hag so, once the seed of a plot popped into my head, I grabbed it and ran with it.  I also wanted a less than perfect heroine and watching Miranda Hart one night gave me the perfect inspiration. 

What genre does your book fall under? 

‘Stilettos and Stubble’ will be a rom-com. 

Which actors would you choose to play your characters on screen?

My lead, Persephone (or Percy as she prefers to be called!) would be played by Miranda Hart.  She needs to be larger than life, a little ungainly and an expert at putting herself down. 

You may be surprised to see such a glam picture of Miranda but it needed to be this one for a reason.  Much of the production would see her looking as polished as this - but of course we’d also get to see the scruffy Miranda we’ve grown to know and love!

As for the ‘love interest’ that’s a bit tricky because he needs to be taller than Miranda and strikingly good looking.  Research was fun though and if the lovely Gerard Butler could bulk himself up just a tad more, he’s got the job!

Another vital character in the book is the owner of the drag club, Annie Vestite.  Oh such an easy decision here.  I bring you the fantabulosa Julian Clary.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

‘It’s what’s inside that counts.’ 

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

I'll remain an Indie writer unless I’m snapped up by an agent I have complete faith in. 

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

I started work in May and I plan to have the first draft finished by mid-October.  The book will be launched at the beginning of December. 

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Hmm, not sure about that one.  I’d like to think it has the humour of Jill Mansell and Sophie Kinsella but it’s something that really hasn’t been done before so, … well … who knows? 

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

Back to Miranda Hart again!  So many books seem to have perfectly petite heroines with high flying careers and men dropping at their feet.  I wanted a ‘real’ woman with failed dreams and ‘issues’. 

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

What’s not to love?  Glitz, glamour, humour, bitching, love and friendship all rolled into one.

So watch this space.  ‘Stilettos and Stubble’ will hit the Amazon and Lulu shelves in December.  And remember, it’s what’s inside that counts!

I now tag two fellow authors and Twitter pals. 

Jamie Dougan - you can find his three books here and currently all proceeds are going to Cancer Research. 

Robert Daws - introducing the 2nd in his Sullivan and Broderick Mysteries with ‘Poisoned Rock’.  The first in the series is called ‘The Rock’ and can be found here. 

Currently all three of my books are available to buy at Amazon UK and for Kindle.  Also in paperback at Lulu.

Saturday, 15 September 2012

The Madness of Kindle

So, my three days of free downloads for 'Diary of a Mummy Misfit'  have ended and ... wait for it ... over 20,000 people took advantage of the offer!

That's 20,000 who may never have heard of little old Amanda Egan until that point.

During the free promo days, The Diary went to #1 in free humour and #3 free overall.  That's not bad going, is it?  I even managed to top Miranda Hart at one stage!

The knock-on effect has been incredible.  My sales have instantly taken an upturn and 'Diary of a Mummy Misfit' is currently at #34 in PAID humour and 'The Darker Side of Mummy Misfit'  is at #39.

All in all, I'd say that's a pretty good result!  A massive thank you to all who took advantage of the offer and to those who plugged, tweeted and helped spread the word - you know who you are!

If you did happen to grab yourself a freebie and enjoyed, please take a few minutes to leave a review at Amazon.  You could also continue Libby's journey by downloading 'The Darker Side of Mummy Misfit' for just £1.91 here (UK).

Remember, you can also have a little romance with a hunky vet in my novel 'Completing the Puzzle'.

In other news, I'm just back from a rather exciting meeting which could mean great things for both the diaries.  Watch this space ...

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

I'm Free!

So, following yesterday's blog, I've decided to be a big, brave girl and promote 'Diary of a Mummy Misfit' free on Kindle for a limited time only.

The positives seemed to far outweigh the negatives and I felt I had nothing to lose.

I'd like to thank all those who left comments here, on Twitter, by email and phone calls.  It was a busy old day and it reminded me how supported us Indies really are - not only by one another but also by our readers.

So I'm calling on you to please ask your friends to head over to or and grab a handful of Mummy Misfit for FREE!  And don't forget they don't need a Kindle.  There's a free app at Amazon for reading on iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, PC, Mac, BlackBerry, and Android-based devices.

Thank you all again, now spread that Mummy Misfit love!

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Giving It Away

I’m looking for advice this week on the blog.

There’ll be no ranting, no raving and no attempts at making you laugh. All I ask is that you put yourself in my shoes for the time that you’re reading and ask yourself, ‘What would I do?’

I’ve been in this writing lark since 2006 now - that’s if you don’t include the times that I was having a little dabble prior to that.  But it was six years ago that saw me starting the book I knew I could finish and securing myself an agent.

As my regular readers will know, that whole saga went ‘boobies up’ and I came ‘close but no cigar’.  Thus began my Indie route.

Diary of a Mummy Misfit’ went onto Kindle in June of last year, swiftly followed by the paperback version on Lulu.  December last year saw the launch of ‘The Darker Side of Mummy Misfit’ and then June of this year ‘Completing the Puzzle’ - all books in both formats.

I was told by my agent and publishers that I would need to have more than one book under my belt and, boy did I take that advice on board.  There’s been no stopping me.

My sales have been steady - on some days I jump for joy!  But my Amazon rankings never really move much because of the sales I make in paperback.  I made the decision to print traditionally as so many had asked for it in ‘good old fashioned book form’.  That may have sold me more books in total but it's clearly hindered my Amazon ratings.

So, as us authors make it a daily task to check our ratings (and I know mine are altered because of the paperback), here’s my dilemma.

Lots of writers do a stint of ‘download for free’ days and they say it increases their sales afterwards, in particular with their other books.  I can see sense in this, really I can.  I’m not that proud that I don’t consider new options.  I can see that if I did a couple of days free for ‘The Diary’, those that enjoyed it would go on to buy my other two offerings.

BUT … and this is the big one.  There seem to be some real meanies out there who download these freebies, knowing that it’s not their usual genre and then leave nasty reviews.  One writer told me that she received comments saying, ‘Didn’t enjoy.  It read like chicklit.’  It was chicklit!  Don’t help yourself to a freebie and then diss it, please!

Now I like my reviews.  I pride myself on the fact that I haven’t received a bad one yet - touching wood and opening myself up to a whole load of nasties who’ll go off and say my books are pants!

I’ve worked hard to get those reviews and, at roughly one pound a book and the hours that I put in, I mean, hard!  I’d also like to add that less than a handful of my reviews have come from family or friends.  I’ve found all those people myself.

As much as a freebie might ultimately boost my sales, do I want to run the risk of blotting my copy book with a bad review from a Goth in NY city who usually only reads vampire books?   Although why these people download just to put people down, I have no idea!  And they can be harsh, trust me, I’ve read some of their words.

I know when you hit the big time, you’re going to get a mixed bag of opinions.  I’ve read the negative reviews for ‘50 Shades’ and I’d be sobbing if I was EL James (well, sobbing whilst laughing my way to the bank - which would probably see me having a long stint in The Priory!), but the fact remains that I haven’t hit the big time (yet!) and I don’t want anything to ruin my reputation.

So, readers, writers, bloggers, what do you think?  Do I risk it and see if it works?  Do I bite the bullet and offer a freebie?  Do I buy a HUGE box of tissues to deal with the comments from the likes of ‘Evil Snake Eater 666’ who leaves a review saying, ‘Bag of sh*te!  All about kids and stuff.’?

HELP!  I’ve seen it work for others but can it work for me?


Worried Misfit.

You can still PAY for my books (for very few pennies) at Amazon and on Lulu.
Don’t forget my radio show - every Tuesday at 8.30pm (UK) Mummy Misfit Radio, live from my kitchen table.

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

A Prick in the Bum

I’ve been a foolish virgin - as my hubbie often tells me!

Through the summer, what with one thing and another, I let my yoga slip.  Sitting at a laptop for long hours at a stretch, and with a history of recurring disc bulge and sciatica, are not a good combination.

So what happened?  Yep, the stupid disc bulged again and left me in absolute agony.  Of course, once this happens, it’s too late to throw yourself back into yoga.  You can barely throw yourself out of bed.  Or, on a bad night, into it!

Boots and various other chemists have made a fortune out of me in the last couple of months.  Doubling up on Ibuprofen and Paracetamol (as recommended by the doctor) didn’t even seem to take the edge off the pain and still saw me pacing the kitchen floor in a manner reminiscent of labour.  I tried hot pads, cold pads and their equivalent in sprays.  I then went onto picnic-bag ice blocks wedged into the back of my knickers to freeze the pain.  I even went to see Mamma Mia at the theatre with one firmly in place.  I got through the night with that, wine and mega-strength French medication that my friend supplied me with - it’s a wonder I remember anything!

Then a lovely Twitter friend @mireilleeustace from the Napiers Alternative Clinic, Glasgow, sent me some Chinese Wood Oil.  For the first few applications I felt like a new woman - OK, a hot-buttocked woman but it seemed to be easing the pain.  I would strongly recommend it to any back pain sufferers but I would suggest you try to use it when the first symptoms hit.

As with all my bouts of sciatica, I know it gets to a point where it is quite unbearable.  A few trips to the osteopath usually see it sorted but, as money is a little tight in the Misfit Household at the mo, £50 a time was not an option.

I was just about at my wit’s end with the pain - not only was it in my back, bum, hip, back of knee, tendon and ankle, it had also spread upwards to my middle trunk and waist which, on occasions would make breathing difficult.

So, needless to say, I was a pretty miserable specimen.

Then, as if by magic, a twitter friend and avid Misfit reader (@Jackie495) told me about acupressure mats.  Now, I’d heard of them before but had never considered using one.  After a little bit of research, I figured I had nothing to lose.

When it arrived, hubbie pooh-poohed it.  At 38 x 19 cm, it’s not the biggest thing in the world and it’s covered in circles of tiny plastic pins.  Hubbie declared it a waste of £25 and 'not particularly scientific’!

 So Night #1 came - they recommend that you use it for 20 minutes, on your mattress, before sleep and that you gradually build up to an hour.  How hard could that be?

This is where my language needs to be bleeped.  It was ******* unbelievably painful and after about two minutes, I was ready to quit.  It wasn’t just the ******* pricks in my back, bum and legs but I also experienced a cracking pain right down the middle of my forehead which only stopped when I grabbed my head and held it really tight.

Being a brave (read desperate) girl, I completed my 20 minutes and spent the next 10 rubbing my buttocks and back which felt like they’d been dragged across concrete and dumped on burning coals.  The heat was unbelievable!

But what was more unbelievable was … the next morning I woke pain free!  OK, it didn’t last for long but it was definitely a much better day for me.

I’ve now used  the ‘mat of torture’, as it’s now known, for five nights - moaning and sweating the whole time - and I am virtually without pain.  I’m not on four-hourly pain killers anymore and I even had a pretty pathetic attempt at yoga this morning, although my fingers have yet to be reintroduced to my toes.

I can only put my recovery down to this miraculous little mat (thanks so much Jackie), but I have to add it’s not for those with a low pain threshold.  After the 2nd night of hearing me whinge and complain, hubbie decided to give it a whirl to see what all the fuss was about.  ‘******* *** ****  wow, this hurts!’ were his first words.  Followed by more ******* ***** and *****!

But, 20 minutes of pain every night beats 24 hours of constant mind numbing agony so I’m sticking with it.

I would highly recommend back pain sufferers give it a go - no, I’m not on commission, I wish I was, but if my experience helps just one person, I’ll be happy.

And, as you lie on it for the first time and feel the pricks in your bottom (Ooh, Matron!), think of me and my miracle!  Enjoy.

I bought my mat HERE but there are many other places to buy them.

My novels are available at Amazon for Kindle and in paperback at Lulu - see links to right.