Help! My editor is reading my book!

‘Six Months to Get a Life’ is virtually written. I am really proud of myself. The book currently has a 100% 5* rating. Ok, I am the only one to have read it so far but let’s not dwell on small irrelevancies.

Someone else is reading it now though. I have just sent my tome off to an editor.

I am now feeling as insecure as my principal character, Graham Hope. Will the editor like it or will they pan it as the worst piece of ‘literature’ they have ever had the misfortune to read?

I am of course hoping they report back that they love the book. That it is the best debut novel they have come across. It is certainly the best debut novel I have ever written.

But as a still wet behind the ears author, I am also hoping that my editor adds value to the plot and to my writing style. I don’t just want a pat on the back. I could get that from my mother.

On second thoughts, no I couldn’t. My mother would probably tell me there is too much swearing in it.

I was hoping to publish my book in the autumn but I want it to come out with a bang rather than a whimper so I am going to work with some lovely people to get it properly produced, marketed and promoted. This means publishing in early 2015.

The more I read about other authors’ experiences, the more I realise how much of a novice I am. I love writing but I need to get to love all the crap that goes with it if you want your book to be a success.

I am putting time into developing my ‘author platform’, whatever that means.

I am tweeting regularly but as far as I can tell, everyone on twitter talks but few listen.

I am reading about SEO and other three letter acronyms. FFS.

And ‘pay per click’ advertising is on my list of things to think about for this week.

I just hope that all this extra stuff doesn’t suck the creative energy out of me. Get me. As Ray, Graham Hope’s best mate in ‘Six Months to Get a Life’ would say, “Get a grip you tart. Don’t go all arty-farty on me.”

I would love to hear others’ thoughts on the whole process.

Ben

New extract, new author, new writing tips

I think I need to hone my response when someone comments on the lack of my wedding ring as today’s conversation with Sarah at work didn’t go swimmingly.

“Oh Graham, what’s happened to your wedding ring?”

“Sarah, I took it off because I have been officially divorced for two days now, I am single and living with my parents and seeing my kids at weekends.”

Sarah finished making her cup of tea rather quickly and left me alone in the kitchen.

I guess my response was a bit overpowering; in the same way as an innocent ‘how are you’ enquiry at the tea point might not be anticipating a ‘I have got cancer and only 4 weeks to live’ response…

Divorce does tend to dominate your life for a while. I have lost a lot of confidence in myself, in my ability to communicate and in my expectation that others will be interested in what I have to say.

My social life has suffered as a result. Confident people have more friends. Fact.

My social life has also suffered because, when we divorced, most of our ‘mutual’ friends took sides with my ex and are now giving me the cold shoulder. Or is that just my imagination? My lack of confidence is making me paranoid.

I remember when I used to be in with the drinking crowd at work. Every Friday night, most Friday lunchtimes and other nights too, I would get invited to various drinks to celebrate Fred’s leaving, Emily’s engagement, John’s promotion, Gemma’s new hairdo or Eamon’s ‘coming out party’. I am now considered too old to receive such invites, or maybe too married. We will see if they start flooding in to my inbox again now that I’m divorced.

 

Graham Hope is a fictional character who makes his entrance into the world in my forthcoming book ‘Six Months to Get a Life’.

I am thoroughly enjoying writing this book. In a short period of time I have learnt a lot about the whole process, from picking up valuable writing and editing tips through to information on how to promote your book through effective marketing, social media usage and book pricing.

I have been so impressed with other authors’ preparedness to share their secrets. I am going to share some of the valuable tips I have picked up from others in the coming weeks via this blog.

This week I stumbled across a couple of ‘writing process blog tour’ entries that reassured me. Writing isn’t something I do from 9-5, sitting in my study.

Until now I have been worried that I haven’t been systematic enough in my approach to writing. I write at irregular times and often in odd places. Often on the Northern Line. Delia Sherman and William Alexander suggest that I am not alone. Reassuring!