Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Doodle Mayhem - the story of an imagination running wild , and a world where words and pictures come alive... #LostinaBook

Doodle Mayhem - The story of an imagination running wild - imagine yourself sat in a classroom trying to think of a story to write, but all you want to do is draw...

Then you think you must be dreaming when your doodle starts talking to you. You try to ignore him, but that's a bit hard to do when he's ripping what few words you have written off the page, and throwing them at you...  


Monday, May 16, 2016

So... here’s an experiment. It’s Monday – traditionally the most dreaded day of the week. And what else is dreaded? The blank page

So... here’s an experiment.

It’s  Monday – traditionally the most dreaded day of the week. And what else is dreaded? The blank page – so I’ve opened a new file without a title or even a clue of what I’m going to write, with the intension of publishing the piece before the end of the afternoon... arghhhh!

So, what have I come up with so far...? Well, the first thing I wrote got deleted, then I looked around for inspiration and noticed that there was something navy and white in my  extra hot whites wash – oh no a stowaway sock had somehow  hidden in the corner of a round drum... how does that even work? Who knows, but it obviously needed sorting out immediately – disaster averted and a cup of tea made, right let’s get to work... I’ve changed the font and the size, there, that’s better.

So maybe the title should be procrastination...  oh... I don’t know how to tell you this but there’s another stripy sock in the hot wash – I don’t know how that happened, I never miss odd things in the washing machine, or have I stumbled upon an answer to the universal problem of the odd sock? It seems that socks have a will of their own and stowaway in the washing machine to add themselves to other washes.

Ok this is past a joke now – there was a third stripy sock in the whites wash... and what has all this taught me? Well apart from that I need to check the washing machine better when I empty it, I think I need to stop looking around for inspiration, all I seem to find is stuff to do.  

On reflection maybe daydreaming would have been a more productive way to spend the afternoon, delving around in my own imagination where hopefully I won’t find any stripy socks, although now they seem to be getting everywhere, so you never know, maybe it’s a sign that I should write a story about stowaway socks – oh dear the more I think about it... so if I end up writing about socks I shall blame it on this experiment that I decided was a good idea on a Monday afternoon in May, when I was probably in denial that I should either do some promotional work for my books, or start writing a new one.

Hang on a minute – the main character in my new book has odd socks on, so although they’re not stripy, maybe I could pass this off as a promotional piece, and pretend that that was my intention all along, but in truth I find it a bit weird that events and my imagination have conspired to come full circle and all seem interwoven. I wonder what was whirling around in the washing machine when I decided to put odd socks on my character in the first place, and looking around me now, I can see other things that could have inspired my story, but I’m not giving them away today – that’s for another day.  

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Book promotion for the clueless... but I'll get there in the end!

Book promotion for the clueless... but I’ll get there in the end!

I’ve done it, I’ve finished my book, and requested a print quote to have my files magically transformed into a beautiful book... so now what do I do...?

This is the part I find the hardest, the part where I need to promote my book – but it doesn’t exist in a physical form yet. I’ve researched on line about the next step, but in truth most of the articles are full of buzz words about tried and tested ways of getting a book noticed. Most of these involve a massive investment in money, and sending out emails or letters asking for a piece of the spotlight across the media. This does seem a bit reminiscent of sending out pitches to publishers to add to their slush pile... So what I usually do is take my books out into the world at book signings, but this only generates enough sales to fund the next print run and keep me ticking over.

So how hard can it be to get a book noticed? Harder than writing the book it would appear. But wait a minute, what did I have to overcome to write a book in the first place...?

 I had to learn to type for a start off – I trained as a chef, back in the days when a chef would never need to use a computer, and I never expected to need to type. But I have always loved reading and making up stories, and as my children grew out of picture books - I didn’t.

 About this time my daughter would sometimes ask me to tell her a story instead (or probably as well) as reading one. This got my imagination stirring, and I started to write the stories down – pen and paper at that stage. When I graduated to the computer, writing was very slow, as I had to stop and search for the letters a lot of the time, and I found I made spelling mistakes on a keyboard that I would never have made with a pen...

 I had a deep mistrust of the computer, and liked to print things out in case they were lost. I’ll never forget the first time I used the printer on my own – the printer seemed to know it had the upper hand and started spitting paper out at me like an unruly child, until I had to stop it in the only way that made sense at the time – I pulled the plug out of the wall – that’ll teach it I thought! Of course it later had a tantrum about not being turned off in the correct way, but it only had itself to blame.

So, when I come to think about it, I’ve come a long way, so I will absolutely NOT allow a little thing like not knowing where to start, get in the way of getting my books noticed...!

So if anyone is interested I’ll write a series of these articles and share my journey and if anyone cares to add comments along the way please feel free to do so.

#LostinaBook    Lost in a Book is the name of my imprint. I’m self published and proud of it.

Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Pom pom bookmarks from Lost in a Book

Just back form another lovely morning at the library, I sold a sheep...

And what new ideas do I have this spring...? Well there's my lovely new range of bookmarks..

Here is one of my books elegantly modeling a ribbon and bead bookmark... and here is the fun pom pom bookmark...
 in a variety of colours.