The Novel’s Just The Beginning…

Elaine Roberts talks about the next stage of her writing career

As all of you probably know by now, I have written my First World War One saga, The Foyles Bookshop Girls, and have been lucky to be offered a three book contract with Aria Publishing, which was duly signed. I planned my novel in scenes and chapters, tying in the historical timelines with my fictional one. It was all a huge learning curve for me, but I took my time. Sometimes, I moved scenes around, only to realise my characters were then talking about things that hadn’t happened yet. Thank goodness for modern technology and cut and paste. Imagine doing it on a typewriter.

I am now moving on, and I expect you’re all thinking I’m talking about my second novel. However, while I’m writing that, it isn’t it. I’m talking about another huge learning curve; marketing and promotion. This is something I’ve never done in any shape or form. I’ve never pushed myself forward into the limelight, never wanting the attention, but now I’m having to bite the bullet and force myself out there, otherwise people don’t know me, or my book, exists.

I did wonder if I could carve out a mysterious persona like Banksy, the street graffiti artist, but that’s not possible.

So what will my promotion look like? I’m not altogether sure. My publishers are arranging things behind the scenes and I know that includes a blog tour. For the people who don’t know, bloggers do a fantastic job reviewing books, interviewing authors and hosting competitions. They probably do a whole lot more than that, but I am in awe of the time and energy they put into their blogs, mainly because they love to read and to encourage others to do the same. If you are not a writer, please search out the bloggers on the Internet. They do a wonderful job.

Social media is now a big part of the process of marketing and promoting yourself. Do I hear you all scream noooo? Yes, that was me several years ago, when I was at the start of my writing apprenticeship.

I now have a website, and YouTube has also been mentioned.

Doing talks and being part of an event, instead of a spectator, is another new adventure for me. I’m booked to attend my first event, the War and Peace Revival 2018 at Paddock Wood in Kent. I’m sure as that gets nearer, panic will start to take hold!

I also write short stories/articles in the chosen genre/interest, which in my case is historical fiction.

Wherever your career path takes you, think ahead to your marketing strategy. There will be blogs out on the Internet that probably cover every subject you can think of. If not, start your own. Build your social media platforms; it’s how most people find things out these days. Take lots of photos; we all love a photograph.

Above all else, don’t forget to thank the people that helped you to achieve. In my case, there are lots, too many to name but they know who they are. Some will have just offered a word of encouragement, while others will have given me sound advice and critiqued my outpourings, but they’ve all played an important role in my achievement. Thank you for all that you have given me.

Twitter: Elaine Roberts

Facebook: Elaine Roberts Author

Website: https://www.elaineroberts.co.uk

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The Call of The Wild

‘In all things of nature there is something marvellous’. Francesca considers how to do it justice in her writing.

Spring has sprung, and although the weather on some days is better than others, the variety of weather we’ve experienced in the UK recently has been amazing to behold. So far we’ve had warm sun, freezing snow, mysterious fog, and torrential rain. What a mixture. But none of it has held back the inevitable gallop of nature as so many plants and trees blossom and fill the land with colour and texture.

Whenever I’m faced with some marvel of nature and am in a position to do so, I like to jot down my impressions. These can include colours, scents, textures and sounds. The view could be vivid or bleak, close up or distant. The landscape might be muddy, dry, smooth, rough, scraggy or lush, bright or shadowy. Or be a waterscape, whether sea, lake or pond.

When I need to describe a natural scene in a story, whether someone’s walking by the sea, strolling in a wood, sitting on a mountain or resting in the garden, referring back to my notes, made during a firsthand experience, renders it so much easier.

I also find taking endless photographs of all sorts of settings is invaluable. Here are just a few. I hope they’ll inspire you too.

In all things of nature there is something marvellous (Aristotle)

 

Wallflowers are anything but with their colour and scent

Sunshine and shadow

How green was my valley?

Pecked earth, feathers and a bit stinky

Layers, textures and shades of red and yellow

Warm sand, hard rock, cool water and lush greenery on the way to the sea.

 

The rippling, reflective water of a loch

An eerie sky

Peering into the hazy distance

What colour is that sky? Cerulean, azure, ultramarine? What sound does walking over the cobbles produce?

 

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