Don’t Use The P Word!

I’m not talking about racist slang or words for what dwells in men’s underpants, the P word in question here is politics.

Now, I’m not an activist, far from it; I’ve only ever been to one march and if I’m perfectly honest I left part way through to go to a pub. It’s not that I don’t have a political viewpoint, I do, quite a strong one, I just don’t usually have the energy or inclination to argue about it.

(FWIW I’d say I’m a left leaning liberal with some socialist ideology)

The other day I broke my ‘don’t use the P word’ rule and tweeted in a slightly less than complementary way about the Unintelligent Kill Immigration Party (you know the ones, they like real ale and dislike accurate figures), I *might* have even retweeted the suggestion that people book tickets to the public meetings and not go. And I *will* admit that I might have said that I, myself, have done this. I got a couple of negative tweets, blocked a couple of people and thought nothing else of it.

A couple days later I was reminded of my tweets. My book got 10 one star reviews within a minute or so of each other, all of them not verified purchases. Some of them were boggling. some of them just meant to upset, almost all of them badly written.

My favourites are this angry yet somehow poetic description of my chick lit as some sort of Marxist propaganda:

DO NOT BY (sic) THIS FOR THE SAKE OF YOUR RESPECT FOR HUMANITY. Absolute disgrace to literature. The left wing propaganda is just a whole other plane of madness. A true leftist hates freedom.

and this one which, if it is an ironic mis-spelling, could be pure genius.

What tripe. Honestly couldn’t believe I paid money (um…you didn’t) for the intelligible (well, thank you.) ramblings of some socially and politically illiterate dolt. Don’t even bither (sic) (snigger)

And I was linked by a friend to an infamous internet forum that is the technological equivalent of the underneath of the bridge that the Billy Goats Gruff liked to clip clop over. I was being torn to pieces as leftie scum and there was a link to my book. Mystery solved.

So I had an idea. As I don’t really do the p word thing I thought that rather than a flaming war of words I do something good. Let’s show the trolls that they make no difference, go to Amazon (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Tiger-Nicola-Sheehan-ebook/dp/B00D5EYHAM), buy my book and I’ll donate my next two weeks profits to charity.

I did wonder if I could find the ‘Eastern European Builders Who Want Your Jobs LGBT Division’ to really make their troll blood boil, but instead have decided on a charity that is very dear to me, the Albert Kennedy Trust who help displaced LGBT teenagers to find help and support.

So please, buy into my ‘left wing propaganda’, let’s show the trolls and make a bit of money for an awesome charity.

http://www.akt.org.uk/

Anti-Valentine’s. An extract from Tiger Tiger by Nicola Sheehan

Sunday 18th January 10am
I’ve had such a busy few days; Ana and I decided to spend a bit more time together than we have done over the last couple of weeks. We talked about Postroom Pete (a lot), we talked about the party (always nice to bask in past glories), we discussed my plans for an anti-valentines party (a concept that Ana quite sweetly supported even though she’s all loved up) and we discussed my New Year’s resolutions. Ana agrees that the novel writing should definitely be my priority and also shared Jemima’s opinion that undertaking extra writing might help get the creative juices flowing. So she’s letting me do extra features for the magazine on a freelance type basis. We’ve decided, given both my New Year’s resolutions that I should do my first piece on anti-Valentinism and I’ve been super busy researching it.
It turns out that the whole Valentine’s thing is, as I suspected, a big fat con. You see ‘Saint Valentine’ had nothing to do with romantic love (although there were so many of them one of them must have had a bit of an eye for the ladies) and it was only when Geoffrey Chaucer talked about sending love on Valentine’s Day that the horny courtiers thoughts perhaps they should follow. It’s really nonsensical, Chaucer talked about the time that birds mated, how many birds mate in February? It’s too cold for hanky panky, which is why Valentine’s Day leaves me cold. And it’s not just me who thinks it’s a load of old claptrap. In Norfolk apparently a character called Jack Valentine knocks on your back door and leaves sweets and presents for the children…. for the children? On Valentine’s Day? Talk about stranger danger! Understandably Jack Valentine strikes fear into the hearts of many of the Norfolk kids who probably never get over the trauma and end up screaming and fighting on one of those morning chat shows “My Fiancé won’t buy me a Valentine’s card because of his fear of Jack”. It’s all very unnecessary. There are actually groups of people who are anti valentines’ activists, they’re mainly in south east Asia but I’ve found one in North London, they’re called “lovers go dead” and their spokesperson is a guy called Spike. They seem a bit ominous but I’m trying to pin down a meeting next week.

Read all of Tiger Tiger by downloading the book for your kindle or kindle app here: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/aw/d/B00D5EYHAM

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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