The Unread Copy

I’ve started and deleted this post so many times. It’s hard to put into words the heavy sadness that I’m trying to describe. One of the good things about writing is the pride that your family feel about your achievements; one person who was especially proud was my Auntie Jenny. She excitedly messaged me when my local paper ran a piece on my book and eagerly tracked down a copy. She downloaded a copy of Tiger Tiger and said she would save it to read during her recovery from a kidney stone operation; tragically she had the operation and never recovered. On the 28th of August my Auntie, Jenny Healey passed away, even though she never got to read it I know that she’s proud and I’m determined to make her even more proud. I’d like to think that her and her mum, my much missed Nanny, are together now and laughing at all of the willy words, and maybe adding a few more to the mix.

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Tiger Tiger is available to download from Amazon: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Tiger-ebook/dp/B00D5EYHAM

Text and Submission

I love writing. Love it. It’s all I ever wanted to do; the tricky thing is if you are ever going to make any money from it then you really need a literary agent and to get a literary agent you have to tackle the thing that I hate more than anything: submissions.

It’s like writing an uber CV. Sell, sell, sell. It’s not enough to go ‘here are a couple of chapters, let me know what you think’ you need to include a punchy synopsis, you need to pick out a USP, you need to let them know why your book is the one out of the piles that they receive that they need to take onto their books. And it’s hard.

The rejections are even harder, the ‘I liked it, I just didn’t LOVE it.’s hurt more than the standard rejection letters.

But it has to be done. I believe in myself, I believe in the praise that Tiger Tiger has received and I believe that one day a submission will be successful. In the meantime I’ve just got to do a Dory.

Just keep swimming, just keep swimming…

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

My name is Nicola Sheehan and I’m in love with my bed…

It’s crept up on me over the last few years, I used to get up early, hop out of bed all perky as soon as my alarm went off. I used to find myself getting leg cramps or backache if I stayed in bed whilst not sleeping. I’m not sure when it changed, when the snooze button became my best friend or when the duvet suddenly became the softest, warmest and let’s face it the most wonderful thing ever, but it has undoubtably happened.

Maybe it’s single motherhood, that great loss you encounter of any time actually belonging to just you, where you can’t even have a poo in private, maybe then your bed beca your fortress of solitude. Or maybe it’s because some of the best things ever happen in bed: sleep, sex, the occasional fry up bought to you with love.

No, I’m not sure what it is but I love my bed. I’m writing this from bed now. Bed is awesome.

If I’m honest it’s not just my bed I’m in love with. Don’t get me wrong I am fairly confident that my bed with it’s feather mattress cover and super soft downy duvet would win competitions for comfynes but I’m not that fussy. Gimme pillows and a mattress and just enough room to starfish and I’m happy.

I don’t really get why John and Yoko made the news with their ‘bed-in’, how is staying in the comfiest most awesome place in the world a protest? I would happily do that for no cause. It makes me wonder though, perhaps I should adopt it as a marketing scheme. Rebecca, in Tiger Tiger, likes her hibernation:

I had been deeply ensconced in my new hermit-esque lifestyle for the best part of a fortnight; it was treating my state of incapacitation pretty well actually. I wasn’t having to do some crazy acrobatics to have a shower and I wasn’t having to develop racing driver type skills to negotiate the hairpins and straights of my flat, instead I was hibernating in my own little pit stop. I was more than happy to stay in my bedroom until my cast comes off in another 3 weeks.

Maybe I should emulate her (and John and Yoko) and have a bed in until I’ve sold my next hundred copies. Just don’t tell anyone that I actually like it…

Tiger Tiger is available from the Kindle Store for just £3: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Tiger-ebook/dp/B00D5EYHAM

Pixels to Paper

I’m currently embarking on a very exciting project. Thanks to the support of a friend I can self publish copies of Tiger Tiger. Actual books I can hold and smell and hopefully sell.

That’s the scary bit, what if they don’t sell, what if I’m left with a pile of books that no one wants? A mere vanity project.

I have people supporting me who think that won’t be the case; my backer, the manager of my local Harris + Hoole who wants me to do a book launch there, the people who have bought the eBook and left a trail of 5 star reviews. It’s still scary though, the switch from pixels to paper and the possibility I’ll have a product that will please no one but me. Guess I just need to take a leap of faith…

 

The electronic version of Tiger Tiger is available for £1.99 in the Kindle Store 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.

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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

‘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