Life in progress


An open letter to the writer who told me I’d likely NEVER be published

Inspiration. Congratulations, Louise, for being able to write this letter.

fabricating fiction

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Hello,

While I was going through some papers I found a report you’d written on my first novel and as I read it I felt incredibly sad. You probably won’t remember it, or me, but in 2015 you almost crushed my dreams.

Almost.

I’d longed to be a writer much of my life but, always lacking in confidence, being published seemed unachievable. I didn’t have a degree, any A Levels. I didn’t have the courage to sign up for a writing course.

In my 30’s an accident left me with a disability and my life radically changed. I then spent several years struggling with chronic pain, and my mood until I started writing a story, then entitled ‘Dear Grace’ about best friends, Grace, and Charlie.

For the first time in a long time, I felt I had something to get up for. A purpose. Often I was awake throughout the…

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6 Things I Learned from my First Book Signing

As you might be aware, I had my first ever book signing event last weekend in Kingston, Ontario–the city where The Magician’s Curse takes place. The lady in the shop where I bought my rose asked me if I was nervous. I said without hesitation that I wasn’t. And I really wasn’t–I’ve worked in retail many times throughout my life, and selling my own book didn’t seem that different. Besides that, I feel at home in a book store. I lurve them.

But like most things, the first time we do something is usually a learning experience. Right? Here are the things I learned:

  1. Smile at people and don’t be afraid to take the initiative to speak to them first. Otherwise, chances are they’ll just pass you by.
  2. Chocolate Kisses™ may seem like a good idea to have on the same table as a romance novel, but make sure to stress the “chocolate” part when offering one to a man who’s standing beside his wife.
  3. Bring something to take the lint off of a black top hat.
  4. Do what you can to advertise ahead of time. This is particularly difficult when you’re signing books in a store that’s a long way away from where you live: be inventive.
  5. Don’t do a book signing when there’s another major event in town that features a bunch of authors whose names are more popular than yours. (I’m looking at you, Kathy Reichs.)
  6. If you’re going to spend hours sitting beside a book written by an offspring of Stephen King, make sure it’s Joe Hill (particularly if your last name is Hill).

By the time this post goes live, I’ll be getting ready for my second ever book signing event. If you’re in the area of Belleville, Ontario today (October 8th, 2017), please stop by Chapters between noon and 3pm. And get a Kiss. A chocolate one.