Get It Whilst It’s Hot!

Whilst it’s sweltering we need something to read whilst we kick back in our respective gardens; therefore for the duration of this sunny spell Tiger Tiger is down to £1.99. Get it whilst it’s hot!

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00D5EYHAM/ref=cm_cr_mts_prod_img

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“I love my rejection slips. They show me I try.”

Sylvia Plath is somewhat of a heroine of mine. I have an excerpt from ‘Mad Girls’ Love Song’ tattooed on my forearm. I like to lose myself in her words. I also like to look to her for inspirational quotes.

“I love my rejection slips. They show me I try.”

Is one of my favourites, and one that is uppermost in my mind today.

As well as Tiger Tiger I have another completed book, a children’s book titled ‘Grimalkin Grumblepuss and the Case of the Vampire Dentures.’ I recently submitted it to an agent who I felt was looking for books very similar to Grimalkin. I had high hopes. Yesterday I received the rejection:

“Thank you for giving me a shot with this. It has some lovely points, but when I take a new writer on I have to feel sure I can sell their book well, and I’m afraid I’m not quite there with this.

Of course it’s a subjective business, and another agent may well love.

Best of luck with it.”

It’s one of the nicest rejections I’ve received (trust me on this) and I’m trying to just cling to the positives in it. Though if nothing else it shows me I try.

Image

Tiger Tiger is available from the Kindle Store at a promotional price of £1.99 http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00D5EYHAM/ref=cm_cr_mts_prod_img

What’s In A Name..?

When can a writer describe themselves as a writer? Is there certain criteria that you need to hit in order to state that as your profession rather than your hobby? Like how often you write each day? Or how much money it makes you? Or is it like gender or ethnicity? It’s simply down to what you identify as? Though if that is the case perhaps I would like to identify as a supermodel as much as the majority would disagree.

Let’s accept for now an ‘I write, therefore I am a writer’ perspective; then when does a writer become an author? An author is broadly defined as “the person who originated or gave existence to anything” and whose authorship determines responsibility for what was created. Narrowly defined, an author is the originator of any written work.

So by definition I can describe myself as not merely a writer, but an author. Awesome.

So when does an author become a novelist? In Tiger Tiger the eponomous heroine, Rebecca Somersby describes herself as a novelist before she has written a novel: 

“allows me to indulge in my actual profession, which is being a novelist. I say novelist, I haven’t actually written a novel yet but I definitely intend to soon therefore that is who I am and what I do…”

 

Is this fraudulant representation on Rebecca’s behalf or are we allowed to call ourselves what we feel inside?

My name is Nicola Sheehan. I am a writer, an author, a novelist, a burlesque superstar, a Man Booker prize winner and I am going to rule the world!

One step at a time, eh..?

 

In the meantime Tiger Tiger is available for the Kindle Store on a summer promotional price of £1.99, go, read it…

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00D5EYHAM/ref=cm_cr_mts_prod_img

Sunny Days…

What better to do then to read a book in the sunshine? I know the perfect book…

Don’t just take my word for it, one review for Tiger Tiger reads: 

“A great book – easy to read and lots of fun. Characters you wanted to root for, and I’m a sucker for any book set in an area I know (this case, North London).

Rebecca and her exploits take you through a whole whirlwind year in her life. In a style that sits somewhere between Bridget Jones and Shopaholic, Rebecca tries to be a good, responsible and successful adult, fails, then picks herself up (with the help of her friends) and tries again.

Perfect holiday reading – recommend you download a copy too!”

ImageTiger Tiger is available in the Kindle Store: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00D5EYHAM/ref=cm_cr_mts_prod_img

‘Bro’motion.

Ok, ok, it’s a tenuous pun, I have a higher ratio of female to male friends and even then I don’t think I’d ever refer to my male friends as ‘bro’s’ but I’m in a bad pun kinda mood so suck it up.

What I am talking about, of course, is the priceless support of my friends in helping to promote my first book, Tiger Tiger. They really have been above and beyond. Though my friends I have had advice on setting up web pages, I’ve had my gorgeous graphic design for my cover and my posters (by the beautiful Aimee Davies at aimeecreative.com), I’ve had a piece written in both my old girl’s newsletter and in my hometown paper the Stamford Mercury. I’ve had great reviews, social media support, posters printed and posted in various locations. All in the name of friendship. Who needs big company marketing when you have awesome friends, eh?ImageTiger Tiger is available in the Kindle Store: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00D5EYHAM/ref=cm_cr_mts_prod_img

An Artistic Temperament?

In June 2011 my life was very different to how it is now. After the breakdown of my marriage in 2009 I had managed to pull myself together and become a successful working single mother. I was a clinical nurse specialist in palliative care at St. Thomas’ Hospital. It was my dream job. All was good.

Well, apart from the increase in anxiety that I’d felt and the panic attacks that started sneaking in.

The panic started to get so bad that at work I would hide in the toilets and pray that no one paged me. I had friends I could talk to, my manager tried to be supportive though obviously she had a service to deliver and my emerging illness was interfering with this. As my health got worse I turned to the Samaritans, when I’m unwell using the phone causes me massive anxiety so I exchanged emails with an anonymous ‘Jo’. I knew that each ‘Jo’ I spoke to was a different person but ‘Jo’ was still a huge support.

Despite me talking my despair through with the ever understanding ‘Jo’ in late June I hit crisis. My head went to the darkest place it has ever gone to. I was terrified. Luckily I had a friend, Emily, who had experienced mental health problems herself and she fought tooth and nail to get me the help that I needed.

I lost my job. Probably for the best. Even with help I had to admit that I was very unwell, years of supressed emotions had come rushing out and my life would never be the same.

I’ve had two years now of not working, of being in constant contact with psychotherapists, psychiatrists, the wonderful people at Mind. I now have a diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder and still struggle with my condition.

One thing that has helped me through has been my writing. Since I’ve been unwell it’s been the thing that has given me an outlet, it’s given me an identity away from motherhood, away from my illness, something to hold up and be proud of.

You read a lot about people with mental health conditions being artistic, hordes of celebrities have regular walks with the black dog; I’m not sure if there is a correlation but a friend of mine who also has BPD suggested recently that the BPD was a tax on being fabulous. I’ll take that.

http://www.samaritans.org/how-we-can-help-you?gclid=CKz9voPIp7gCFQTMtAodcVkAkQ

http://www.mind.org.uk/

Tiger Tiger is available in the Kindle Store: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00D5EYHAM/ref=cm_cr_mts_prod_img

The Secret Handshake of the Old Girls’ Guild

I grew up in the sleepy stone town of Stamford in Lincolnshire; home of 17th and 18th century stone buildings, historical almshouses, equestrian events and medieval churches. It is also home to Stamford High School for Girls of which I am an alumni or as Stamford High would call me an Old Girl.

Whilst I was at school the idea of the Old Girls’ Guild didn’t sit so easily with me. I’d gone to public school on a council scholarship, I viewed myself as fiercely working class and didn’t feel that I fitted in in the very middle class of Stamford High School as it was; to think of myself as an ‘Old Girl’ seemed ludicrous, it felt very jolly hockeysticks with lashings of ginger beer. I wound up a member of the Old Girls’ Guild due to my (typical) forgetfulness regarding the opt out form but it wasn’t ever something that entered my consciousness.

As I wrote and started to promote ‘Tiger Tiger’ someone pointed out the Old Girls’ Guild to me. I exchanged emails with a very lovely lady called Tooty who embraced my work and swiftly put a piece about me and my writing in the Old Girls’ Guild newsletter. No negotiation or secret handshake was needed and I feel a little bit silly that I ever had a chip on my shoulder about it.

So I’ll say it loud and say it proud, I’m a Stamford High School Old Girl, and I always will be.

Image Tiger Tiger is available now at: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00D5EYHAM/ref=cm_cr_mts_prod_img