Saturday, 12 August 2017

The PINK SOFA meets writer Kelly Florentia



The PINK SOFA has long been a secret admirer of Kelly Florentia. It loves her name, her smiley disposition and the way she frequently posts pictures of what she is eating and drinking. So when the opportunity came to host her in the writer's attic, it jumped at the chance. So, legs polished (the sofa..) and upholstery plumped, it asked Kelly to talk about how she writes. And she did:

My Writing Style

''When I got my book deal, I immediately texted my husband and told him the good news. Naturally, he was over the moon for me. Texts flew between us with the final one, from him, saying he’d bought me a gift to celebrate. I waited anxiously for him to come home, wondering what it could be. I’d been eyeing a Michael Kors wristwatch in the shop window for quite some time. But no, that was too expensive. Maybe it’s a perfume, I thought, or a lovely bottle of something sparkling for us to celebrate with. When he finally walked through the door with a huge whiteboard under his arm, I must admit I was a little underwhelmed. Hmm…I thought, not quite romantic. But I was wrong to think this because it was a very romantic gesture. It proved that he listens to me and cares about my craft. Why? Because I’m a planner not a panster.

I envy authors who start with a blank page and go on to write brilliant novels without any sort of preparation because I can’t get excited about a story until I know the ending. I’ve always been like this, even with my short stories. Once I know what’s happening, created my cast and worked out the plot, then, and only then, will the words flow. Admittedly, the novel does often change as the story unfolds, but I generally stick to the original plan, editing as I go along.

I usually do about three drafts on each book. But while I used to scribble everything down in various notebooks, on post-its and scraps of paper, I now use my whiteboard; and everything is in one neat place. How amazing is that? I still use notepads and post-its but my main story is drafted on the whiteboard, chapter by chapter, scene by scene, which includes dates and times. It rests against the wall behind my desk.  So whenever I’m unsure about anything, instead of rummaging through drawers looking for sheets of paper etc., I simply spin round on my chair and voila, the information I need is right there in front of me. I used it religiously as I penned my second novel, No Way Back, which publishes on 21st September 2017 by Urbane Publications.  I then wiped it clean and used it again to draft the sequel. And I hope to get lots more use out of it in the future!''
Kelly's NEW BOOK (What a fab cover!)

Links:
No Way Back is available to pre-order from Amazon https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0745DM4GR/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_x_EeAEzbPZV64SH

Website: http://www.kellyflorentia.co.uk

Twitter: @kellyflorentia


Spotify Playlist: https://play.spotify.com/user/11135145039/playlist/0IbxzB3L6ZPdbrFiUY5fAI?play=true&utm_source=open.spotify.com&utm_medium=open

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kellyflorentia/?hl=en


Saturday, 5 August 2017

Choosing the Write Name


One of the first big decisions facing any budding author hoping to publish their novel is deciding what to call yourself. There are two options.

Option 1: Be yourself.
Plus points are that it's easy to remember who you are (until dementia takes over, when you have to rely on friends and family). And it stops that look of vague terror crossing your face when being introduced as a guest speaker. Or seeing a poster with your face and stranger's name under it.  It also makes the banking of meagre royalties easier, and stops HMRC from going into meltdown every time you fill in a self-assessment form.

Option 2: Be someone else.
Initially, that's what I was going to do. I wanted a different name for the author of Diamonds & Dust etc. As it was going to be my first 'adult' novel, I thought I'd like to create a new identity to go with it. And I wanted something that would place my books at eye-level on the bookshop shelf - something that not enough writers factor in when choosing their author name. (Think supermarket and bottom shelves). Plus I wanted a name that suggested the book was a historical novel. Thus Victoria Collins was born: Victoria after the Queen; Collins after Wilkie Collins, writer of the first detective novel. Great name! Or so I thought.

Alas, just as I was beginning to develop a split personality and quite enjoying it, the negative aspects of my decision began to surface and niggle at me. To launch as an unknown historical fiction writer seemed a bit risky, didn't it? How would anyone who already knew me, find me? A quick trawl on the internet also threw up a couple of other Victoria Collins. Both established writers, both with blogs. My alter-ego had competition before she'd even started.

However, 'Carol Hedges' existed as a known entity, and had a presence on Amazon, Wikipedia and other sites. It seemed daft to turn my back on what was already set up and running. So sadly, Victoria and I parted company. Purely for commercial reasons. But I like to think that she hasn't completely gone away; that she is still out there, somewhere. A spiky, scatty version of me ... in a bonnet and crinoline. Causing trouble.

So how about you? Do you use your own name to publish your books? Do you prefer books written by 'real' people or doesn't it matter? Please contribute below...

STOP PRESS: The Victorian Detectives will be returning soon. And they've got a brand new mystery to solve!

Thursday, 27 July 2017

Sorry, Who Do You Think You Are?


Another week, another of those 'stranger than fiction' events that dog my footsteps like a small persistent child in wellies. I'm walking to Tesco for the paper: it gets me away from the addictive lure of social media, when I encounter three old men (think extras out of 'Last of the Summer Wine') leaning on the parapet of Batford Bridge, putting the world to rights.

I join them, as you do if you're me. We stare at the River Lea sauntering under the bridge in an insouciant manner, and the shoals of tiny fish butting against the flows and eddies. There is a companionable silence. Then one of the oldsters remarks, 'Saw you in the paper the other week.' I concur. He did. I was. Brief appearance on TV's 'Victoria Live' was covered by the local paper, as they know anything to do with me is a razor blade in the Town Council's candy-floss.

'Didn't know you was a writer,' he continues. His two companions swivel round and study me narrowly. A pause. 'You don't look like a writer,' one of them observes cautiously. See, I bet that never happens to you. I bet you just rock up to wherever you're going, and everybody goes, 'Yup. Writer/teacher/etc..'

Apropos of what a writer looks like, or is supposed to look like, I know there are many people on social media who deliberately choose pictures that resemble their younger selves. Or pet pics.Which must make for interesting times when they have to attend a literary function, or meet a fellow writer for the first time.

Mind, who am I to point the finger? When I joined Twitter, I used the cover of Jigsaw Pieces as my avatar. After a couple of weeks, I had acquired numerous young male followers who flirted with me. Fairly outrageously.

For a while, I remained undecided whether to put them out of their misery, or just go with the flow. Eventually I gave in and replaced the cover with a picture that resembles the ''Real Me''. But it was with some reluctance, because it's quite nice to be thought of as youthful, with attitude and cheekbones you can hang off. And of course inside, that's exactly how I am!

STOP PRESS: The Victorian Detectives will shortly return, with new covers and in a brand new adventure!

Thursday, 13 July 2017

So long, Farewell, Auf Wiedersehen, Goodbye.



On Saturday, I bade a sad au revoir to Annie-Rose, my 1988 customised 2CV6 Charleston. Now that the other Grumpy Old Sod is retired, we can't justify or afford to run two cars, so she has been sold, and is going to France, to live out her days in the Limousin region.

My love affair with these extraordinary French beauties began when I was 15, and a youth leader had a bright yellow one. I loved the shape, the chugging 'gawd-I'm-struggling-here' noise the engine made and the way other drivers' eyes widened in fear as the little car rolled dramatically when cornering.

I never thought I'd actually own one (mainly because I didn't drive), but the serendipitous coming together of passing my test and a local mum wanting to get rid of a red and white Dolly, got me my first 2CV. She had Paris stickers and pictures of the Eiffel Tower, and I bought her outwith asking the GOS, so had to park her in a side street until I plucked up courage and told him.
Red and white Dolly (not mine)

It took me a week of determined effort to master the gears. If you've never driven a vintage Citroen (and they are now vintage cars) this is what the dashboard looks like:


They have so many quirks and oddities (I have started one with the obligatory crank), and they are temperamental to industrial strength, but in a world of boring lookalike grey cars, they stand alone. And you can always locate them in multi-story car parks.

I am a member of 2CVGB, which meant I used to rock up to the local group every now and then. Many of them owned multiple cars, known as 'the fleet' and it was there that I bought a 1988 Plums and Custard Dolly for You Must Be Mad's 18th birthday. It had been 'moddied' by its previous owner, meaning that it could reach scary top speeds of over 90 mph. She used to take on the boy racers at traffic lights, and venture into the outside lanes of motorways, with me clinging onto the seat for dear life.
Plums and Custard Dolly

She learned to drive on it ~ we called the car Tintin, because of the Herge figure on the door, and the noise it made going uphill. It was the nearest I got to a 'fleet', and we brushed off the inevitable 'Are you going to mate them?' comments from passing locals when they were parked out front for cleaning. Eventually, when you could see the road passing under the floor mats, daughter sold Tintin, and I was back to one car again.

Annie-Rose also came from the local group too. Originally, she was light and dark grey, but in a moment of madness that I've never regretted, I had her resprayed pink. She is, I believe, unique, and we have enjoyed so many adventures over the years, turning heads and provoking stories of 2CVs owned by other people in their youth. I have rarely returned from shopping trips without finding someone admiring her, or wanting to ask questions about her.

I shall miss the quirkiness, the stubborn refusal ever to start first time in cold weather, the lack of proper heating meaning your fingers go blue in winter, waving to other 2CV drivers and the cameraderie of owning a car that ignorant people, who've never sat in one, regard as belonging properly in a circus tent.

Most of all, I shall always remember, with great fondness, the many many days when my 2CVs and I have gone bombing along a country road, hood rolled right back, sunshine pouring down from a blue sky and Diana Ross blasting out of the cassette player. You can't get much closer to heaven than that!

Thursday, 6 July 2017

'Twas Brexit ...



Written jointly on Twitter by @WeNeedEU @TheFlyingSirens @carolJhedges
and @DanzierLea (with apologies to Lewis Carroll)

'Twas Brexit, and the slimy Gove
Did lie, dissembling, in the Mail
All flimsy was the case for Leave
And Remainers' wrath prevailed.

Beware the Bozzawock my son,
The stupid smile, the floppy hair
Beware the Davistwat & shun
The Devious Maybot Lair

We took Verhofstadt's blade in hand
Long time the Leadsome foe we sought
So rested we by the magic tree
And stood a while distraught

And while in uffish thought they stood,
The Bozzawock, with wig ablaze,
Came whuffling through the London 'hood
And burbled as it came!

One two, One two and with th'EU
The Brexit bayed and showed a crack
"We want it dead, not white nor red,
Nor blue, but on its back.''

The end (or is it?)

Saturday, 1 July 2017

Once Upon a Nightmare


This is the story of Anna and Stefan. These are not their real names, but they are real people, and their story is all too real. Anna and Stefan come from Hungary and live in the next town to me. Anna works in the local library, which is how I met her, leading 'Baby Rhyme Time' when Little G and I used to rock up every Thursday to sing along.

Anna and Stefan arrived here twelve years ago, moved into a flat and found jobs. Stefan works for an agency in the social care industry, on low wages, visiting elderly people in their homes to help them live an independent life. Anna had a variety of jobs, but the arrival of their 2 lovely children meant that she was not in continuous work, as she took time off to care for her babies.

Neither of them ever thought about returning home outwith family visits. As Anna told me: 'Hungary has an awful despot as a prime minister.' And so their lives pottered on, the kids grew, started school, and Anna gave birth to their third child.

Then Brexit happened and their lives suddenly turned from OK to nightmare. It started with the abuse. Comments and looks if they spoke their mother tongue in the street. Stefan came home to find a group of local men waiting for him. He was threatened, called names and told to 'go back where he came from'. The abuse went on. The family went to the police. The harassment ceased. Then their very  loved cat was poisoned. The family stopped feeling safe, and started to look around for new accommodation.

Eventually, the council found them a small derelict house that had been used by druggies as a base. It was filthy, needles everywhere and nothing 'worked'. Luckily, Stefan is a practical man, and their friends all piled in to make the house habitable again. Once they were settled, they decided to apply for permanent residence. And the nightmare began all over again.

To complete the 86 page documents, Stefan needed 5 years of payslips, bank statements etc. 3 kilograms of documents. They managed to get this together, sent it off, and the Home Office promptly 'lost' some of the documents. Three months later, they were requested to resubmit everything. (This is only the first stage ~ it gets them a permanent residence card, which is compulsory for a nationality application.)

And it isn't free. It will cost Anna and Stefan £1,500 each, plus £1,000 for each child. Did I say that they both work in low-waged jobs? But even if they get the money together, that may well not be the end of their problem. There is worse. Much worse. Because Anna doesn't have 5 years continuous employment, having taken time out to be a stay at home mum, she cannot apply now with Stefan but must wait until next May.

And there is more: Stefan and Anna are not married, so Anna, in the eyes of the government, has to prove she is a family member. She may have no right to remain here. Mistakes and missteps dog the application process. As she says: 'Twelve years, & 3 children doesn't count.'  Once Stefan's application, and that of the children goes through, she could be told to leave. Who knows?

So while our MPs posture and bluff and accuse the EU (from whom WE chose to detach ourselves) of 'bullying' and 'intimidating' the UK, I offer this little (true) story to help get a sense of perspective. Anna and Stefan are just ordinary hard-working, tax-paying people. Like you. Stefan looks after elderly frail people, maybe like someone in your family. Two of their children go to a local school, like yours do. They have made their life here. And this life is being stress-tested and torn apart. Needlessly.




Sunday, 25 June 2017

Inspiration or Perspiration? A Writer's Life.


So here we are, almost the end of June and I am reassured that my Winter fuel payment will still be paid. For now. Last Winter, I probably spent it at least 20 time over. The price of oil is supposed to be lower than at any time over the past few years, yet I was spending every penny I earned on keeping warm enough to earn the money to spend on keeping warm. Paradoxical world.

As writers, we are often asked (well, I am) how the creative process of writing a book happens. What I think people desperately want to hear is the apocryphal Enid Blyton response on the lines of: 'I just wander into my little writing place, and suddenly, all sorts of lovely characters and plots tiptoe through the mental bluebells straight into my mind fully formed, and all I have to do is write them down and hey presto! a book appears.' In other words, writing is easy and you, interested interlocutor, could easily do it too.

Sorry, it doesn't work like that. At least not for this little duck. In another of these paradoxes, I find that creativity only occurs when disciplinary structures are applied. Rigorously. In other words, I have to make myself sit at the keyboard, regularly, and write. I can fantasis
e about the book all I want, imagine the amazing prose that I will write when I get round to it, but until my rear end and the chair are brought into contact, and remain in contact for long periods of time, nothing creative happens.

Sure, there are moments, and flashes of inspiration, when one stares at the screen, and wonders whether the Writing Fairy has just made a house call, but on the whole, these episodes only tend to emerge out of a period of just slogging away at the writing process. And I should know, having just edited 73 thousand words of the next Victorian novel, which I wrote purely by dint of making myself sit down at the eMac every day and write it.

An article in the Guardian some time ago lifted the lid on how to be a successful author. No secret, sadly. A lot of labour and a bit of luck. Heavy on the former. As Wm Blake remarked: Without contraries is no progression. Ain't that the truth!

Saturday, 10 June 2017

Sleepwalking Towards Gilead



Margaret Atwood's Dystopian novel The Handmaid's Tale, written over a 2 year period from 1984-5, is based upon the 'unlikely' premise that a far-right religious extremist group overthrows the US government, suspends the constitution and forms an authoritarian regime, the Republic of Gilead, in which women are not allowed to work, read, or write and are only valued by their fertility.

At the time she was writing it, the scenario seemed utterly far-fetched. As Atwood commented recently: ''Back in 1984 the main premise seemed ~ even to me fairly outrageous. Would I be able to persuade readers that the United States had suffered a coup that had transformed an erstwhile liberal democracy into a literal-minded theocratic dictatorship?'' (New York Times Book Review)

Unlikely as her concept seemed then, the history of Gilead and the 'herstory' of Offred resonates  strongly today. I believe, personally, that we are sleepwalking towards Gilead, although we are as yet unaware that we have embarked upon the journey. My view is founded upon the way that certain rights are under threat in this country (UK) in a way they have never been before. This is how the journey is unfolding.

*  Control of Language 
Without our conscious awareness, we are subtly being fed new meanings to words that alter our perception of the people to whom they apply. Take the word immigrant for instance: do you not find yourself adding 'illegal' to it? How about Benefit ~ applicant or scrounger? This demonization of certain groups in society has been validated by the government and numerous TV reality programmes, where selective cutting creates a picture of people outside mainstream society.

* Control of the Streets
In the wake of the London/Manchester attacks, how many times have we walked past men in body armour carrying guns? When did this become normal? At what point do we tacitly accept that our 'freedom' is dependant upon men with guns patrolling our streets? Men who are trained to shoot and kill.

*Control of Rights
Theresa May has made it quite clear that she is prepared to 'rip up human rights laws to fight terror'. It sounds 'strong and stable', but behind the rhetoric is a frightening prospect. Consider what human rights consist of:
Right to life
Freedom from torture
Freedom from slavery
Freedom of speech
Freedom of thought, conscience and religion
Freedom of movement


Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states: “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.”

Which right are you happy to be ripped up? And if one, why not two, three, or more? It is a slippery slope. Currently, we stand at the top of it looking down.

*Control of Conscience
We live in a pluralistic multi-culture, where 'citizens of the world' rub shoulders. Many diverse faiths, beliefs exist side by side. I would never question your deity (or none), but when religion and politics shake hands, it makes me uneasy. Theresa May's power-hunger decision to hold on to her job at all cost, has led her to seek support from the DUP, a strict Protestant group that holds strong views on women's rights and marriage. Is this another step on the road to Gilead? In agreeing to prop up her party in the House of Commons, what will they want in return? 

*Control of Nationality
We are beginning to glimpse the forces behind Brexit: the vast sums poured into campaigns, the outright and manipulative lies peddled, the use of analytics and 'bots' to influence the outcome. The dismissal of any 'experts' speaking against the project, even in the face of overwhelming evidence that they are correct, are dismissed. We 'want our sovereignty back', we 'want to be in control of our borders'. We are continually told that we will have greater freedom post Brexit. In Gilead, Aunt Lydia spoke of 'freedom to and freedom from. In the days of anarchy it was freedom to. Now you are being given freedom from.' My question is: how can you be 'given' freedom? (see section on human rights)

None of this has happened suddenly, it has been slowly creeping into our national subconscious, aided and abetted by the popular press that peddles its faux outrage, or attacks with vicious venom, any individual or institution that it does not want us to like. As each shock event occurs, here or elsewhere, it seems that fear is used as a pretext to tighten rules and regulations, suspend laws and restrict freedoms. Anybody who speaks out is branded a traitor.



The cry 'it couldn't possibly happen here' echoes hollowly down the ages. It was said by my German Jewish grandparents as the Nuremberg Race Laws were drawn up. The belief that people would come to their senses, and reject what those in government were proposing to do, stopped them from leaving Berlin, and ended with their deportation and deaths in Auschwitz concentration camp. 

As Offred, the heroine of Atwood's novel says: ''We didn't look up from our phones until it was too late.'' We need collectively to wake up, look up, and understand the current direction of travel, before we forget where we started out from.

Sources:
'We have to speak up now' (Jane Mulkerrins. Guardian 10th June 2017)
The Handmaid's Tale (Margaret Atwood. publ. Vintage 1966)
No is not enough: Defeating the New Shock Politics (Naomi Klein. publ. Allen Lane June 2017)

The PINK SOFA meets writer, life-coach Shelley Wilson


When THE PINK SOFA, itself no slouch at the writing game (its latest epic: Sofa So Good is currently at number 2 in the Amazon 'No, seriously?' chart) heard that its very good friend Shelley Wilson had a new book out, an instant invitation, with cake, was dispatched! Shelley is a multi-stranded writer of non-fiction, and YA, a blogger and reviewer. So much to discover ...

''I am thrilled to be sitting on the Pink Sofa! To languish in such a well-known spot surrounded by tea and cakes has been on my bucket list for some time so thank you, Carol, for inviting me. I’ll make sure to clear up the crumbs before I leave.
I thought I’d talk about a quirky process I have when writing my books. As you know, I’m a Jekyll and Hyde writer. I pen non-fiction books for the personal development/self-help genre, and I also write young adult (YA) fantasy fiction. The two themes do occasionally overlap, and this is what I believe the gurus call ‘balance.'
In my YA Guardians trilogy, I explored the chakras and working with energy, something I used to do every day in the day job as a Holistic Therapist. To incorporate this into my fantasy books was fun and those readers who understood the law of the universe, energy, and magic could relate to the books on another level.
One of my favourite personal development tools is the vision board. This is a simple process of sticking images and quotes to a notice board and setting the intention to be, do, or have a representation of the pictures in real life. For example, if I wanted to live by the sea I would cover my board in coastal images, seaside cottages, the beach, etc.
With my fantasy fiction, I use the vision board process in a completely different way. I’ll use it as inspiration and motivation to write my novel. I choose images that represent my setting and characters, and I might add pictures of specific outfits or hairstyles.
Here are some of the pictures I added to my board for character inspiration in my new release, Oath Breaker.
Mia



Zak


Sebastian






Seeing their pictures on the wall as I write brings them to life for me. I can look into their eyes and imagine what they would say or how they might act in a certain scene.
I chose Nottinghamshire as the setting for Oath Breaker and even took my children for a camping holiday to Sherwood Forest so I could get a feel for living in the woods. I added some of the photographs I took to my board.
As a visual learner, I find this part of the writing process to be the most helpful. As I write, the book plays out like a movie in my mind and so having the images to hand keeps that film reel going until ‘The End.’
I wonder if anyone else uses a similar process. I’d love to find out, or perhaps your wonderful blog readers have other ways to inspire and motivate their work.

My latest book Oath Breaker is available now in paperback and eBook.
Book Blurb:
Will she follow the pack
Or will she destroy them?
A dead mother.
A violent father.
A missing brother.
When Mia’s father is murdered, it’s her estranged uncle that comes to the rescue, but what he offers her in return for his help could be worse than the life she is leaving behind.
Taken to Hood Academy, a unique school deep in the forest, she discovers friendships, love, and the courage to stand on her own.
As she trains hard, Mia takes the oath that seals her future as a werewolf hunter, but not everyone wants Mia to succeed.
Screams in the night. Secret rooms. Hidden letters. Mia becomes an important piece in a game she doesn’t want to play.
Will the truth set her free, or will it destroy her?
Excerpt:
(Opening scene from Oath Breaker)
The blue flashing lights pulsed through the fractured front window, illuminating the blood splatter on the walls. The click-click of the forensic team’s camera ate into the sterile silence as the officers combed through the living room.
Like something out of a macabre horror show the blood covered everything, coating the threadbare rug in front of the fireplace with its crimson wash. The splintered remains of the coffee table littered the overturned chair, and the smell of death clung to the walls.
I lifted my eyes to look at the police officer who knelt in front of me, his face a mask of professionalism even though he must be wishing he was anywhere but here.
‘Did you see who killed your dad?’ I slowly shook my head as the officer tried to determine what had happened.
‘Someone tried to kill you, miss. I want to help. Did you see who broke in and attacked you?’
I couldn’t answer. The words were stuck in my throat. How could I tell him that my dad was the one who tried to kill me and that a wolf had jumped through the window and ripped out his throat? Who would believe me?
The paramedic dropped a medical kit at my feet and began wiping the blood from my face, the sudden cold of the antiseptic wipe causing an involuntary shudder to run through my bones. The police officer and paramedic exchanged a look. The same kind of look that my teacher and headmaster used to give each other when I tried to cover up the bruises down my arms.
I slumped a little further into the kitchen chair, letting my long dark hair fall around my face.
‘Anything you can give us by way of a description will help.’ The police officer clicked the end of his pen and poised it over the clean sheet of notepaper.
‘Big,’ I managed to say. My lips cracked as I spoke, and I could feel a trickle of blood slide down the side of my mouth. The paramedic wiped it up before moving to the gash on my forehead.
‘It … he was big. Dark hair. Brown eyes.’
The officer noted it down and let out a deep sigh. Not the best description for them to go on, but it was all I could give him. If I’d told him the attacker was hairy, with sharp claws and fangs, the paramedic would have had me committed. I didn’t need to escape from one prison to then find myself in another.
Buying Links:
You can find out about all my titles (non-fiction & YA) on my website http://www.shelleywilsonauthor.co.uk or via my publisher http://www.bhcpress.com
I can also be found lurking with regularity on Twitter http://www.twitter.com/ShelleyWilson72 and Facebook http://www.facebook.com/FantasyAuthorSLWilson
Or you can find me on my blog at http://www.shelleywilsonauthor.com
Thank you so much for having me, Carol. I’ll just finish this last slice of Victoria Sponge, and then I’ll be off. Xxx

Saturday, 20 May 2017

The PINK SOFA meets writer Ian Wilfred



The PINK SOFA is delighted, chuffed and generally over the moon to welcome writer and all-round good egg Ian Wilfred to the Writing Attic. Ian is a total sweetie. If ever there was a thoroughly nice person who deserves all the lovely things in the world, it is he. (And not just because he arrived bringing coffee and a selection of delicious Norfolk delicacies!)

Ian describes himself on Twitter as: ''a 50+ fella that writes female fiction - new book March 2017 - Love my books, garden, westie, husband and Norfolk beaches not necessary in that order.'' So of course the PINK SOFA wanted to know all about the new book, and how Ian felt to be a twice-published author!

''Thank you very much for inviting me onto the pink sofa. As you know my new book The Little Terrace Of Friendships has been out over a month now, and I have talked about it on a few blogs and don't want to repeat myself.


I thought today I would share with you the excitement of my publishing day, but first I must say what an enjoyable time I had getting my book out into the world. Working with Rebecca Emin was so enjoyable: so many laughs and that's just in emails to and fro. The book came out in March, but I had not told anyone, family, friends, or work colleagues, apart from my other half, and to be honest that's the way I was going to keep it. I had ordered a couple of copies of the paperback as a surprise for my sister and step daughter. I wanted it to be very low key as when my first book came out, I told everyone and there was a lot of pressure on me

My publishing day started at 5am on the old Twitter. I could not get over how many people tweeted mentions of it throughout the day. I felt so overwhelmed with the kindness. When the other half was up he asked how things were going, and I said if it got into the top 500 holiday chart and the top 5000 romantic comedy chart on Amazon, I would be over the moon. I kept telling him how it was doing, and we spent the day giggling as at four o'clock in the afternoon it was top 20 holiday reads and 190 romantic comedy. But the biggest shock was when it got into the top 2000 Kindle chart. This was insane ~ way way past anything I could have ever hoped for! We went off and celebrated with fish and chips, sitting looking out to sea on the beautiful Norfolk coast. The perfect end to a funny, strange day 



Moving on a few weeks: the excitement hasn't really died down. The book is doing far better than I could ever have dreamed it would, and I've started telling friends and family about it. I will never make anything near a living from my books and I will be doing the day job way past my retirement age, but earning money from writing was never the aim. I just love writing creating my characters, bringing them to life. Also I have so much pleasure chatting on Twitter to such lovely authors, bloggers and readers. I look at The Little Terrace of Friendships as the icing on my cake. I live five minutes walk from the beach, which I go on every morning with the dog before I settle down to a bit of writing and Twitter, and then in the afternoon I go off to work. I'm so very blessed

As for the future, there will be book three out. This time it's set on the stunning Norfolk coast, and the main character is another strong female! Thank you again for having me on the PINK SOFA: it been so lovely talking to you about one of the happiest days I've ever had my publishing day for The Little Terrace of Friendships.''

Links:

The Little Terrace of Friendships: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B06XWKKC71
Putting Right the Past: https://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Ddigital-text&field-keywords=Putting+right+the+past

Twitter: @Ianwilfred39