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

In My Hometown

ImageI’m back in my hometown, Stamford in Lincolnshire this weekend. Taking advantage of the sunny weather, looking at all of the beautiful stone architecture, feeding baby ducks down on the water meadows and tinkering about in all of the independent boutique stores that this quaint town has to offer. This isn’t all I’ve done though; Stamford has a rife coffee shop culture and many of these coffee shops are now adorned with posters promoting my book, I even had a little chat with a fellow Stamfordian who assures me she’ll be downloading it as soon as she gets home. Let’s hope that this ancient town that has been the backdrop for literary adaptations such as Middlemarch can get behind something a little more modern and embrace a year in the life of Rebecca Somersby.

Tiger Tiger is available in the Kindle Store. http://www.amazon.co.uk/Tiger-ebook/dp/B00D5EYHAM

 

The Difficult Second Novel…

I’ve been writing my follow up to Tiger Tiger for a while. It’s not a sequel, I decided that Rebecca Somersby was best off as a one diary kind of gal (I’m still reeling from the disappointment that came with ‘Edge of Reason’). It’s called ‘Fidelity Wars’, it looks at five characters and how they bend the rules of fidelity to allow for their individual indiscretions.

I know each of the characters inside out. I’ve plotted out their story arcs chapter by chapter. I’ve even completely finished two of the five ‘heroines’ tales. It was all going quite well. It excited me. It felt fresh and exhilarating. Then I decided to publish Tiger Tiger (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Tiger-ebook/dp/B00D5EYHAM/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1372865918&sr=1-1&keywords=tiger+tiger+nicola+sheehan) almost as a precursor to the completion and subsequent promotion of ‘Fidelity Wars’. And it’s got awesome feedback.

And there’s the catch, ‘Tiger Tiger’ has been so well received and ‘Fidelity Wars’ is really very different and so I’m suddenly struck with rather crippling writer’s block at the thought that I’m writing something that might disappoint.

I see camping in a coffee shop and lots of frustrated screen gazing in my near future…

Pretty Posters, Promotion & Persuasion

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This is out of my domain. I’m a single mum, I can knock up a dinosaur shaped birthday cake whilst playing Connect 4, vacuuming the lounge and singing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. That kind of multitasking I can do, this is a whole new world. You’d think that writing the book was the hardest part, compared to all of this it is easy.

I’m having to learn quickly; Twitter, Facebook, Hashtags, Key Words. I’m calling in favours from friends, asking for help from strangers.

Luckily this week two things came together for me: firstly a graphic designer friend of mine, Aimée Davies at aimeecreative.com, put together some amazing artwork for me to distribute to the coffee shops of North London and secondly I chatted to Rae Earl (author of My Mad Fat Teenage Diary) on Twitter as we are both alumni of Stamford High School For Girls and she has agreed to read and review Tiger Tiger. Not a bad week. And not a hashtag in sight…