Yesterday I drove down to Middlesborough and the Berwick Hills library for their annual Girls Night In.
The directions at one point had me turning left rather than right or maybe it was how my daughter read them. Anyway, a very kind gentleman pointed me in the right direction and we got there. The event seemed to be well attend and there was a buzz in the air.
Unfortunately, none of my books had arrived for a signing so I felt like a fraud, an author without books out rather than a multi-published international bestselling one. But oh well.
The other authors -- a self published author (Emma Martin) and a debut bonkbusting writer who was also the deputy editor of Heat, Jo Carnegie were there with lots of books.
Emma Martin was interesting and my fingers are crossed for her as her book has done well through her own efforts in Yorkshire. The unfortunate truth about self publishing and commercial fiction is that the exception that makes it rather than the rule. The amount of handselling she has done for the book is truly phenomenal but then she has a background in sales. But she has an agent interested and so it may be the start of a career. And I hope that the agent is one who will be right for her.
Jo Carnegie was also intriguing. But I had to keep reminding myself that she was a debut author and so perspectives were a bit different. Her first completed novel, Country Pursuits has done well enough that Transworld have offer a further 3 book deal beyond her two book one. They are hoping to build it into a series.
We had different points of view on series and aspiring authors. I have seen so many crushed through the rejection of the first book in a planned series. But I also do see the lure and why they can be great. It is a little matter of making sure all the books are standalone, even though you may have recurring characters. Also when do you tout the series. In the query letter? Or when the agent takes you on. My view is that the time for saying -- hey there are possibilities for a series is when you and your agent are having your first proper conversation.
And after a conversation with my senior editor, I am firmly of the view that all planned series should be either of a multiple of two or three for ease in printing of omnibus editions.
Anyway, I suddenly realised as she was talking that I am not a debut author but a mid-career/mid list author who has seen authors being dropped, series cancelled etc etc. and who worries. And who is making a comfortable living off my earnings thank you very much.
But the shock was -- hey, I am no longer new. 14 books is really not new but multi published.
But the only way to keep being published is to write and writers write. Every day.