Friday, 22 June 2012

The Millionaire BootCamp for Authors

Recently I attended the Millionaire Bootcamp for Authors.
On occasion it was as silly as its title.
People were sent in to warm us up before each talk.
‘I’m going to make you do things you don’t want to do!’ one woman cried.  
The Black Eyed Peas blasted around the conference room as the woman tried frantically to get us up on stage to dance away our inhibitions.
I love dancing but I was at a loss to see how shaking my booty in front of 500 people was going to help promote my novel.
Perhaps if I’d heard Raymond Aaron earlier I might have run up and initiated a dance off with the less inhibited foreigners already waving their arms about.
Mr Aaron delivered my favourite line of the weekend, ‘If what makes sense to you doesn’t get results, then do what doesn’t make sense to you!’
Along with the energetic line dancing we were also encouraged to massage each other’s shoulders and ‘high five’ at every opportunity.
Inevitably there were grumbles of: ‘We aren’t American.’
So why was I there?
Because experience has taught me that it’s not enough to write a book.
It’s not even enough to get an agent and a publisher.
You have to actually sell your book as well.
I went to the talks because I wanted to improve my chances of earning more than the average writer, which is estimated at £4000 a year.
It was soon obvious that the talks were geared for people writing non-fiction; people who had businesses and people who were in a great hurry to get published and get rich.
The speakers insinuated miracle techniques to write a book in 90 days, or 30 days or in Mr Aaron’s case, just 10 HOURS!
While my new fiction posse rolled their eyes, the rest of the audience jumped up and down with glee.
Speakers offered 60 minutes of great information and then their talks turned to sales pitches which had people sprinting to the back of the room to sign up.
 And every course, however expensive it was at the beginning, was inevitably reduced to £1,997.
I didn’t part with my overdraft that weekend, but I did get a lot out of the talks.
I met some wonderful people, got some great tips and I left with my mind buzzing.
 ‘Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results,’ Einstein said.
Well now I've got a fantastic plan of action.
Unfortunately it’s written on the outside of my box and until I break out I won't be able to read it. 
Perhaps I have to 'high five' my way out... 

Monday, 11 June 2012

My Short Story 'Five Pounds Short' Gets Published!

My husband is forever getting parcels in the post and I, who love getting post, have to content myself with the pizza menus and the dull letters addressed to ‘Dear Homeowner’.
However today, it was my turn.
Someone had sent me a book!
The title excited me, ‘Barcelona to Bihar – stories that travel with you’
It was obviously someone who knew I’d lived in Barcelona and had seen it and thought of me.
But who?
And then I opened the book and discovered my name was printed inside it!
At the beginning of the year my short story ‘Five Pound Short’ made the Top 20 of the Earlyworks Press short story competition and the result is this beautiful anthology in my hands.
It contains 20 short stories that take you across the world and offer you hours of escapism.
This is what the editor said about it:

‘Taking in letters from Africa, from the Solomon Islands and from previous centuries; witnessing potentially murderous mountaintop encounters with goats and even trolls, navigating a European tunnel, an English bell tower and a social divide wider than the Australian outback, the mind of the reader must twist and turn, encompassing many miles and many moods, before coming home with a view from another planet as to what it might mean to be human.’ – Kay Green, editor.   

I only have 20 books to sell so if you would like one for you or perhaps as a gift to someone else, don't leave it too late!  
The anthology costs £8.99 (including post to UK) and you can pay via paypal 

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Thank you!


Tuesday, 5 June 2012

'Waterloo' - a 24hr Short Story Challenge @Stokeylitfest

Over the weekend I took on the 24 hr short story challenge organised by Storytails at Stoke Newington Literary Festival 2012
The criteria was as follows. 
The timeline of the story must be: 1 hour, 1 day or 1 week The relationship must be one of: love, hate, or part of a celebration. The setting must take place entirely in: 1 room, 1 city or 1 train
All stories must include a pen.

I really liked the idea of someone being stuck in a toilet, but who and why? And then I walked down a street adorned with bunting and I had an idea!

LISTEN HERE to my Jubilee inspired comedy 'Waterloo' 

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If you would prefer to read the story, leave a comment and I'll send you a PDF!