‘Escape to Perdition’ was published by Urbane Publications earlier this year. I have heard a lot of good things about this book and am really looking forward to reading it. James Silvester has written a wonderful guest post for my blog.
I’ve learned something about myself since I wrote my debut novel, Escape to Perdition, and that’s boy, can I talk about myself.
I mean really, really talk about myself. Every chance I get I talk to anyone who’ll listen (and several who won’t) about my book, what inspired the story, what I wanted to say in the prose, how long it took me, what frustrated me, elated me, had me face-palming in anger or fist pumping with joy. I could tell you about the first time I knew I wanted to write, the reasons I never got around to it, the bad day at work that finally convinced me to sit down and type out that first scene. I could tell you about endless re-writes, discarded characters, crushing self doubt and staggering over confidence. I could even go for the sympathy vote and tell you about the asthma attack I took months to recover from after I’d worked myself into sleepless ill health (violin time). There is, I’ve found, no end to the ways I can turn a conversation with strangers around to books, literature and, “Oh, by the way…” And that’s surprised me.
I’ve always been a bit of an introvert if truth be told, certainly in recent years. I’m the quiet guy at the conference table who sits back in sage consideration, letting others shout over each other before offering a considered opinion at the end. At least, I’d like to think I am. So it was a bit of a shock to discover that I’m actually just as gobby as anyone else. But I have to be, you see? If I’m going to get my book to sell, if I want to be entrusted to write another one, if I’m ever going to realise my aspiration of being a full time writer, then I need to shout about it. I’m a new indie author trying to get noticed in a flooded market; it’s like being a green shoot in a field of flowers, hollering at occasional passers by to glance in my direction. Not always easy.
My publisher, the quite splendid Matthew Smith of Urbane Publications, is phenomenally good at promoting his authors, but I have to play my part and work as hard as possible to get the book ‘out there’, and one of the best ways of doing this, for us indies, is by working with bloggers.
Bloggers are nectar to writers; they ‘Like’ our posts, they re-tweet our thoughts, they push our promotions and they give thoughtful, constructive reviews, all for the pleasure of reading and a new book in their collection. But I’ve a horrible feeling that sometimes writers take bloggers for granted. We don’t mean to of course, but sometimes it can happen. In a writer’s enthusiasm for spreading the word, maybe it can sometimes seem that bloggers become are simply a means to an end; that we’ll be all over them on social media before a review, before instantly forgetting and moving on to the next one, hoping for more of the same to a wider audience.
At Urbane, I am delighted and proud to be fully signed up to the principle of collaboration which underpins the ethos, as, I think it’s fair to say, are all of my writery comrades. On Twitter, Facebook and anywhere else we can think of, we plug each other’s work, recommend each other’s books and offer genuine congratulations when one of us gets picked for a promotion or invited to a festival. We sometimes flippantly call ourselves the ‘Urbane Family’ but there is little flippant about the spirit of that label. And I hope that the bloggers we work with and who promote our work feel every bit as much a part of that family as the rest of us.
I’d like to think that I’m not guilty of under appreciating the support of the blogging community, but hand on heart, I know there are times when I could have done more than just say ‘cheers’ and moved on. That’s why, instead of another post about my book and my motivations (and there’ll be plenty of those in the future, believe me), I wanted to use this opportunity of a guest post to properly acknowledge everyone who has supported me this far and who will do in the future. The blogs you write, the reviews you give, the time you spend giving a leg up to people like me is truly and always will be appreciated. Without your efforts, this really would be like pushing water up a hill in the rain, with no shoes, and a headache, instead of the pleasure it has been. So, on behalf of struggling newbies and established writers everywhere, I’d just like to say that Bloggers, we salute you all.
About James Silvester
James is an HR professional and former Mod DJ for internet radio, with a neglected talent for the harmonica. He first began writing during his University days, re-discovering his passion for storytelling after delving into the rich history of Eastern Europe.
First and foremost he is a proud Dad of two wonderful kids and is likely an infuriating husband. When not writing, James is happiest not acting his age with his children.
I am running a competition to win 1 of 5 x copies of ‘Escape to Perdition’. To enter just leave a comment about James Silvester’s lovely guest post.
Terms and Conditions
This competition is open worldwide.
The closing date is 11:59 p.m. on the 10th November 2015.
The winners will be randomly chosen and notified within 7 days of the closing date. Their details will be passed on to Matthew Smith who will send out the prizes.
Good Luck! 🙂