Friday, 22 August 2008

Chapter 4 is finished

I have just finished writing Chapter 4 of Allie, and made it an interesting day for her. As well as giving her a new helper, she had to cope with another teacher being manipulated by her unknown enemy, which made the Head decide to hold a power meeting between her teachers, so she now has teachers on her side. She has just worked out who her mystery emailer is and has vowed to beat her new enemy come what may. Oh yes, and to get the school involved in her campaign to help the enviroment she has planned a food swapping scheme and 2 competitions, which she will announce to everyone in Chapter 5. I am enjoying writing this book very much but realise I will have to tighten some of it up as Chapters 2 - 4 are over 20 pages long each and that is too long for one chapter and teen's to read, if I want to keep them reading the book. I also think I can make it more entertaining and have ideas how to put that in when I get round to revising it.

Watch this space.

Wednesday, 20 August 2008


Have you ever felt disspleased with service you've got from staff in a shop but was afraid to complain? Well, if you feel so angry about it then do so, as it might get results. My mum did and this is what happened.
My mum and I usually buy fresh roast turkey from our local Sainsbury's every Sunday and over the last month the deli staff have been coming out to serve customers a few minutes after 11am, when they are meant to start at 11. Anyway, 2 Sundays ago, they outdid themselves and came out at 11.08 and we were served at 11.10. My mum asked the main deli woman why she was out so late and the woman said that she's always out on time and didn't apologise to us. Mum was outraged as she knew that was a lie. So in the end, after we had got home and unpacked, she phoned the store and spoke to the manager and complained about the member of staff. He said he would check the clock in times of all the deli staff and speak to them. It worked. Last Sunday we went to the deli counter at 10.55am and the woman who we complained about was there already and she served a customer at 11am on the dot without a smile. So it must've worked. We shall see if she is on time again this week.

Tuesday, 19 August 2008


I don't normally take much notice of the my stars in the papers but the last week I have because they have been so appropriate for my recent circumstances with my writing. Most of them have read that I have a decision to make and I will work it out and it will be good for me. One star said that I was turning away a choice which would be easier and more successful for me than the one I was thinking of. At first I thought it could mean I was ignoring the choice of self publishing so I started looking into that and seriously thinking of that but now I think it probably meant I was ignoring the choice I had already been offered, which I will probably go with in the end. Yesterdays stars in the London Lite said that other people were advising me to not go with my decision but I was looking at it in all angles (or something to that effect) and gathering information as I proceed. That was so right. People have been advising me not to go ahead with a choice I have agreed to and I have been investigating websites and links about this choice. And I will say that what I have read I am satisfied with enough to go ahead with my decision, just as long as the Society of Authors are fine with the contract.

Saturday, 16 August 2008

My good news

Yesterday I put a message up on all 3 email writer’s loops I belong to about my good news regarding accepting a publisher’s agreement, and made the mistake of revealing that I had agreed to pay them. I got a backlash of replies to this and this is my response.


I appreciate your concern about my message that I’ve agreed to pay the publisher and understand that you might have thought I didn’t know what I was getting into. I can assure you that I do know and have put a lot of thought into it (esp at 2.45am Wednesday morning). I did seriously think about the money side of it and I know that I shouldn’t have to pay to get my book published but I feel that, as the person I am it’s the way forward for me. I did win some money on the lottery in June, and I work full-time, am still at home, don’t drink or smoke and don’t go out that much. My only vice being is buying books and more books, and if I was someone who had a house and family to support it’d be different but that’s not me.

I can assure you that the publisher is not a vanity publisher, as some of you may have thought and told me, but they are an independent and traditional publisher. To me vanity publishers are people who ask for you to pay and nothing else. They praise your work, don’t ask for edits, don’t register it with anyone and don’t do anything else to help you sell it and you don’t get royalties, but this publisher has asked for revisions, and have said in their letter they will print, bind, register, market it and help you promote it and provide royalties. I have asked the editor lots of questions about what they do and am very happy with the answers.

I read everyone’s responses and at first I was angry, then being who I am, got very upset by it all, but know as a writer that I do have to take criticism on the head and people have different opinions. I was upset at first but now all I feel is challenged. In the end, it’s down to me. It’s my money and my decision, and I feel that if it’s what is right for me at this time, which I do, then I might go ahead with it, aware that I don’t have to sign anything yet. I will assure that I have already decided when I get the contract I will read it thoroughly and get it vetted by the Society of Authors for professional advice.
All your responses have made me feel that I want to go ahead and prove to you all that I can do it, be it the wrong way as some of you think.


Friday, 15 August 2008

Sad and happy news

Today is a sad day for me as it is my nan's funeral. None of my family are going. My dad didn't want to go in the end probably because that in the last week he had been admitted to hospital twice, once for a mini stroke (which he believed was brought on by worry about the funeral) and the second he had a fall, and I don't think my brother would have managed to get time off work today to take us anyway. My mum phoned my aunt and wished her all the best and that we were thinking of her.

Happy news is that my quandary is over. After a phone call from a self-publishing company on Wednesday, a lot of thought contact with another Pegasus author and 2 phone calls to Pegasus themselves I have decided that even if I have to pay I will go ahead with their agreement. And I am now waiting to reeceive a contract, which I will get checked out by the Society of Authors. Apparently according to the other author, he says that in recent publishing magazines it reads that authors paying for contribution towards publication is most likely the way forward in the future. I think what made me decide to go ahead was although it is a considerable amount I have to pay, I can pay it over a period of 10 months, which to me doesn't sound too bad when you think about it like that. So watch this space, this time next year I could have a children's book in the shops. Yay!

Monday, 11 August 2008

In a quandary

I am in a quandary now what to do about Rosie. I received a letter from the publisher on Saturday and it has got me rather confused what to do. They say that they like my book but not enough to offer me a normal (non-contributory) contract but one with certain considerations. These considerations are that they are willing to offer me an agreement whereby they do all the work, apart from revisions (I think) but with a financial commitment from me. I have emailed them to ask does it mean they expect me to pay something, how much and what for. I am going to wait to hear from them then decide what to do. Meantime, I have also emailed the other publisher who I emailed back in May querying Rosie as I haven't heard from them. The letter I got has really got me thinking what I want to do and I started looking up self-publishing companies but have decided that I want to try my damnedest to get it accepted by a conventional publisher and I don't get any joy then I will seriously think about the self publishing route, although I do have to pay for some of that.

Friday, 8 August 2008

Agent rejection

I got a rejection from the agent I pitched at the conference. I did wonder if I might because the other woman who pitched her just before I did that day also got one. Mine read very similar to hers in that it read she "liked a lot about it but because of the tough market she had to be bowled over to take it on," and she wasn't. Oh well. I am not giving up on Rosie. I am still waiting to hear from the publisher who has the whole ms, and I have the agents party in September so something might happen there, as I am taking the query with me there. Meantime I am working hard on Allie's story and have just finished writing Chapter 3. Chapter 4 is going to be interesting as she will find out why she is being tested and what she has to do to become a fully fledged member of the school, oh and she has another enemy.

Wednesday, 6 August 2008

I've won a competition!

I have just checked my home emails and found that I have won a recycle bag from an internet eco magazine. I discovered the magazine through Writing Magazine and checked the website out a couple of weeks ago and found a couple of contests that had good prizes. I entered them the other day and now have won a recycle bag. It will be sent to me by the company who produces them in due course. Wahey! Things are looking up for me still.

Tuesday, 5 August 2008

My Nan Ginn

This blog entry is dedicated to my nan Ginn who died on Sunday night. I found out yesterday morning when I went downstairs for breakfast and my mum told me. She shed a few tears saying she had been OK until then, and then I cried a bit over my toast. I couldn't go to work so took the day as compassionate leave. My nan Ginn reached the grand old age of 101 in February this year, so had a good life. She'd been in a home the last few years and the last couple of weeks she was hospitalised as she wasn't eating or drinking and was hanging on to her life. I last saw my nan maybe 4-5 years ago when my aunt, who then lived in Surrey, drove her and my other aunt to see us after seeing my dad. At the time, nan was hard of hearing but could still see and was having trouble walking. My dad cried also yesterday, thankfully he was among other people when he did and not alone. I don't know if I'll be going to the funeral because it's up in Cambridgeshire and will have to rely on my brother to drive us there (I haven't driven long distance in years) and he doesn't know if he'll be allowed the time off. So will have to see. Would like to go though just to say goodbye and see my relatives as it might be the last time I see any of them as they all live far away from me.

Sunday, 3 August 2008

Allie and her dreams

You remember I said that for the first few chapters Allie was going to have dream which would forewarn her about the day ahead's events. Well, I thought I would share something with you. A few weeks ago I bought a new bed and with it came a free sleeping kit which included a book about understanding dreams. I browsed through it and was amazed that the first dream I gave Allie matched what she is about to feel. Her first dream is all about mess sticking to the walls outside making her find it difficult to breathe and she needs air. The book says this about air 'To be aware of air in a dream means freedom at last. It also offers inspirational ideas to solve problems.' How about that for coincidence. She does feel freedom at what she should do and the dream offers her ideas to solve the day's problems. Her 2nd dream is all about darkness when there is no electricity. The book says that darkness can represent that you are being kept in the proverbial dark about something, which is certainly true for Allie. For electricity the books says be aware of those around you who could make sparks fly, which Allie is finding with some of her teachers. And for the 2nd part of the dream about water, the book says that it symbolises the unconscious self. Heartfelt emotions and feelings which run deepare expressed through this element. And I think that is what I am giving Allie, feelings about her self. It all reads rather coincidental to me and rather weird. I shall have to read up what it says about food and waste, which is the theme of the next chapter I have to write.

Well, this is all for now. I am going to print out a letter and article for a magazine in the hope they like it.