What can be more excruciating than contacting your favourite reviewers and writers in advance of publication to beg them, not only to read, but to like, a proof version your forthcoming novel, and declare so publicly for all the world to see? Well, quite a lot, as it happens, but please indulge a first-time novelist’s egocentrism, if you can, for the duration of this post!
Outside self-publishing, it’s rare for writers to have a say in the covers adorning their books. Even, I’m told, authors whose profits match the GDP of a small nation have to take what they’re given. On the one hand, it makes sense to leave it to the experts. On the other hand, I’d hate to have to tout around a book with a cover that didn't fit. (And some can be ugly – just have a browse through my reviews.) Fortunately, for my novelistic debut, I’ve landed myself a publisher who endeavours to put authors at the centre of the process.
Much as I loved the spoof cover kindly created for me by writer and traveller, Lori Schafer showing a couple of snails making their way across a landscape of granulated sugar, I’ve been itching to share the real thing. I hope you can see why. My thanks to Vince Haig for creating such a beautiful package for my words.
After lots of back and forth, including a panic from me when I realised I’d totally misrepresented it, we’ve also finalised the blurb:
Alice’s husband is becoming increasingly critical and his excuses for his absences from the home more and more lame; is she right to suspect he’s having an affair? Vic, managing the hotel in Madeira previously owned by her parents, is delighted when her old friend Michael returns to work on the island; should she share her doubts about the honesty of his new girlfriend, Estella? Kaya dreams of studying philosophy at university but for now, having fled her feckless mother and her mother’s druggie boyfriend, she’s capitalising on her good looks as a stripper; can she leave this life behind? Three women at different stages of the lifespan, seemingly unconnected at the beginning of the novel, find their fates disturbingly intertwined.
This is the last of the four novels published on 6th November (although the hardback of Strange Girls has been out since July) I’m reviewing this month. I was eager to read it after coming across a couple of reviews by bloggers who found this novel much more engaging than they’d expected. Having nothing original to say about the plot without stumbling into spoilers, I’d love to refer you to those reviews but I have to confess I’ve forgotten where I found them, so if you’ve come across anything about this novel that might be of interest to other readers, do please paste the link in the comments section below.
We’ve had some interesting chat about appearance on this blog recently: how much, as readers, do we want to know what characters look like and, as writers, whether it’s okay to allow our characters to check their appearance in the mirror.
This week, I’m continuing the theme from a different angle over on the Black Fox Literary Magazine blog. Do pop across and share your views on whether the clothes we wear to tap at our keyboards can impact on the fiction we produce.
Staying with matters sartorial, who can say they’ve never felt anxious about choosing the outfit for an important event? As I explore in my short story, A Dress for the Address, even prize-winning physicists aren’t immune.
Don’t you love connecting through the internet? It’s great fun peering into other people’s shop windows and, if we’re really lucky, being invited inside. I get quite excited about the way we feed off each other’s ideas (with appropriate credits, of course) and can visit places we wouldn’t otherwise go. I’m just back from a virtual flight to Australia to pontificate on Norah Colvin’s blog. My post, exploring the psychoanalyst’s Stephen Grosz’s thoughts on praise, blossomed out of <140-character interactions with Norah on Twitter. Why not climb aboard your own magic carpet¹ to have a look at what our creative dialogue has spawned? Thanks to Norah for the invitation and the lovely way she has presented my post.
I didn’t have to travel quite so far when I did my other g**st² blog post at This Itch of Writing. The theme of that was writer’s block, with a bit of psychoanalytic theory thrown in, and, if you’ve avoided my plugs so far, you’d better have a look now!
Since Annecdotal’s inception, I’d wondered about playing host to other writers, but my attempts to persuade friends who weren’t already blogging didn’t work out. But it’s time to cast the net a bit wider and think about recruiting other voices to vary the tone. There’s so much knowledge and talent around, it’s hard to know where to start, but I want to keep the focus on reading and writing. Let’s see how it goes.
What’s your experience of fruitful connections in the blogosphere? If you’ve played host on your own blog or been invited to appear on another, do you have any tips for the novice?
My next post will (probably) be on writing is the second person – do come back this weekend to share your thoughts on the ‘you’ narrator.
¹ Apologies for the whimsy, I’m dancing back and forth between this post and one I’m drafting for International Women’s Day next month, where Scheherazade gets an honourable mention.
² If you’re wondering why I’m nervous about the g**st word, I read somewhere that Google was very snotty about it. It might be a myth, but don’t want to mess up those SEO’s.
How concerned should you be when you fall out of love with your work in progress? Is writer's block a genuine affliction or an affectation dreamed up to convince the world we're sensitive souls? Are there any lessons for writers of fiction in the research of a long-deceased English psychoanalyst and paediatrician?
My post is up this weekend on This Itch of Writing. Love it or loathe it, I'm sure you'll agree it's an honour and privilege to have my work on so illustrious a site.
finding truth through fiction
Annecdotal is where real life brushes up against the fictional.
Annecdotist is the blogging persona of Anne Goodwin:
slug-slayer, tramper of moors,
author of two novels.
LATEST POSTS HERE
I don't post to a schedule, but average around ten reviews a month (see here for an alphabetical list),
some linked to a weekly flash fiction, plus posts on writing and my journey to publication and beyond.
Your comments are welcome any time any where.
Get new posts direct to your inbox ...
or click here …
Subscribe to my newsletter for updates 3-4 times a year.
Read “Her Knight in Shining Armour”
my latest short story hot off the press.
Looking for something in particular? Sorry the blog has no search facility, but typing Annecdotal plus the keyword into Google usually works.
Or try one of these:
I'm honoured to receive these blog awards:
but no more, thanks, your comments are awesome enough