A-Z Challenge – One Two Buckle My Shoe

I’m subdued. I’ve been wrangling on LinkedIn with a stubborn and opinionated published author who says all ebooks are rubbish and the relentless marketing of them is offensive and while I’ve been arguing re general ebook success stories  and not at all tooting my own tiny horn, I’m now faced with putting out today’s blog and it’s just that – a toot, a plug, yet another offensive marketing irritation. Still. Busy busy busy, don’t have time to prepare another blog so move along folks, nothing to see here.   This is the A to Z challenge and I have to find an O.

This was the book that started out being about octogenarians (check out the Mother entry) and has been rewritten, gee, about twenty times?  Feels like, anyway.  I’ve reached the point where I have read it now more often than I’ve read Pride & Prejudice, and Jane Austen I’m not.  But the reviews on Amazon.co.uk have been okay, and if enough people like it, and look out for the next, he can – in the local parlance – awa and bile his heid.  Pick a windae, mate, yer leavin.  (I do love Scots, it is the most heavenly language when you want to be rude to someone)

Long story short – an unpopular resident at a retirement village gets murdered, but not before phoning the police to say she wants to report a murder.  Whodunit?  And that of course is the whole point.  It’s a whodunit.  Police never turn down inside information and in this particular case they’ve got Sergeant Kirsty Cameron’s slightly eccentric aunt right on the spot.  It’s the foundation book for the series so it lays a bit of groundwork, and feedback has been good.  It’s a holiday read, novella length, (40K words) and you will love it and become addicted to my breezy style.

I can only hope, eh?

One Two Buckle My Shoe – http://viewBook.at/B00AVQDKXC

A-Z challenge – M is for mother, and muse

My indomitable mother stubbornly clung to independence until her early eighties when an illness scare made her finally feel vulnerable. She sold her house to move into a retirement village in Johannesburg which – to her surprise – she loved.  Always gregarious, she had lived quietly and alone for too long and blossomed in the village.  Sadly the illness was more serious than anyone had realised and she died early in 2008.  Everyone copes with things in their own way – I wrote a private book giving her a proper shot at her new l2010-12-28 16.52.20ife.  The story supplied a generic female friend, a lovely big Scottish flirt safely behind a zimmer, a bitchy gay man from her own opera background for fun (she adored gay men, and they her) and, as a friendship accelerator, a couple of murders to solve.   It was soothing for me to place her somewhere she could be telling her hilarious stories and enjoying herself – well, forever.

About a year later I re-read the book and liked it enough (I’m a great fan of my own work) to re-work it a bit and send it to my agent for her opinion.  She suggested a script instead – make it a bit more Rosemary & Thyme, she said – but as I knew nothing about scriptwriting I shelved it again.  In 2012 – as part of my No Regrets sabbatical – I wrote a version in which the friend is the protagonist and all the characters twenty years younger, and moved it to Scotland, the home of her heart, and where I myself now live.  I published on Kindle on 1st January 2013 – one New Year resolution swiftly completed – and found, as all writers do, that publishing isn’t the end of the journey, just the beginning.  The learning curve since then has pretty much looped the loop and continues to do so.

I have no idea how many writers write for specific readers. I have a few volunteer readers (a cheer for our long-suffering readers) and find it really helps my perspective to edit it ready for them – one gets a bit lost in plot, have I been clear? One gets enthusiastic about current references, have I included some of those?  And so on. First reader, in my head, is my mother, and I have before now blushed and amended something after suddenly realising what her pithy input would have been.

If that has you wondering when I’m going to be locked up, forget I ever said it. Slightly bizarre family project it may be, but I enjoy it very much.