In my last post, I looked at ways of trying to improve my luck. The main action points were to grasp opportunities, stay positive and do something out of the ordinary each week. Here’s an update on how I’ve been doing.
Last night I attended my first ever author talk in a local library. David Nolan, previously a journalist and TV producer, told us the story behind his crime novel Black Moor. It is named after a nearby reservoir in a bleak spot, the sort of spot Vera might trek to in order to view the body.
This was my ‘do something out of the ordinary’ thing for this week.
David is an entertaining speaker who claimed (tongue in cheek) he was so lucky that luck oozed from him. Hence, every time he told us about his next bit of luck, he held out his hand for me, as the nearest member of the audience, to touch him to rub off some luck. Perfect for my luck improving quest! (I may never wash my right hand again.)
Obviously, I bought his book and got him to sign it. He added ‘sorry for the touching’ to the dedication which I then had to explain to my husband. I’ve added Black Moss to my reading pile and look forward to it.
Last weeks’ out of the ordinary activity was a trip to London for The People’s Friend first Serial Writing Workshop. This provided many opportunities. First, a rare meeting with my sister and brother who live a lot close to London than I do. (I had totally forgotten about my dad folding up the clingfilm on his sarnies for Mum to reuse. Does anyone still do that?) Second, I had a challenging and informative day which left me more enlightened about what a People’s Friend serial looks like. Third, and perhaps best of all, I met an online writing friend (Fran Tracey, hellooo) and put names to lots of faces such as Jenny Worstall, whose book Three Hundred Bridesmaids is in my reading pile, Alison Carter, prolific WOMAG author, and Francesca Capaldi who was a fellow short-lister in the People’s Friend serial-writing competition some years back. And there was a great sunset over the city viewed from Waterloo Bridge on the way home.
A week or two before that I grasped an opportunity. Marguerite Kaye, a romance author who I follow on Twitter for her weather updates on Argyll (I kid you not) asked for volunteers to honestly review her latest book in return for a free copy. My virtual hand shot straight up and the book duly arrived. My review of An Invitation to a Cornish Christmas is now up on Goodreads and Amazon. And I’ve decided to add a review page to this blog.
So, what has all this done for my luck? Are the acceptances rolling in? When is my book due out?
Ha! If only it was that easy. I have done a lot of useful networking, something I’m useless at generally. At David’s book talk, for example, I met Carmen Walton, a local WOMAG writer whose workshop was instrumental in getting me my first sale, and she bounced an idea off me for another workshop. I picked up a brochure for the Manchester lit festival (it’s hopeless to decide anything from the website) and I also found a flyer for a local writer’s group.
Reading Marguerite’s book, and another Mills & Boon which I picked up at the RNA conference, has convinced me that historical romance is where my heart lies.
And the trip to London? That was just magical. Who knew The People’s Friend offices look like this? Or you could get a handmade sandwich (salmon and dill) and a coffee with significant change from a fiver right in the heart of London? So many little experiences that will no doubt come in useful for a story somewhere. And a chap tried to chat me up on the train home!
So I might not have been lucky, but there have been a lot of positives which I think illustrates why we writers must get out from behind the computer and do stuff we wouldn’t normally to make things happen.
I just have to think up an unusual (for me) activity for next week now.
What are you doing?