A Turn Up For the Books, as The Books Turn Up

One day last week a parcel arrived and I opened it in a distracted way and when I spotted what was inside, I yelled, “Oh my God!” and closed the box flap again and composed myself for a few seconds before daring to look properly.

It was, quite out of the blue, the author copies of the paperback version of A Wartime Secret. My book! In physical form, for the first time! And, ahem, which is available to pre-order from you-know-where, should you so desire.

I knew the publishers had my address but I received the books without any fanfare or warning, which is probably the way of these things but as it’s the first time it’s ever happened to me, who knew?

So, I got 10 copies. That’s it. I’m not complaining, because it’s what I expected but I know some people are surprised that authors get so few of their books. (And it might explain why they don’t have tons to hand out to family and friends). If I want any more – for events or to give to people (!) – then I will have to buy them, at a reduced rate, from the publisher.

I will be running a giveaway on the blog and probably on Twitter too, to give away a couple of copies, a little closer to the launch of the paperback, which is 17th March (“St Patrick’s Day!”, as my mum keeps pointing out. Which is lovely, of course, but has absolutely no relevance to the book whatsoever 🙂 ).

What’s the Best Age to Write a Novel?
In my last post I mentioned an event that Jane Bettany and I are doing at the Evesham Festival of Words in July. “It’s never too late…” (‘to be what you might have been’, to complete the George Eliot quote). It seemed appropriate, as both Jane and I, having beavered away at short stories and other types of writing for many years, were only published as novelists quite recently.

And if you find yourself in a similar situation, you might be interested in this blogpost by author Deborah Klee in which she writes how there’s no right time to write but ‘being older has its advantages’. Hurrah to that.

‘What’s the best age to write a novel?’ is a question that literary agents Curtis Brown ask – and answer – here. . In addition to the late Mary Wesley, who was first published for adults (having already written for children) in her 70s and who is always trotted out when people talk about ‘late starters’, I think they should have mentioned Anne Youngson, who published her first novel of any kind, aged 70 (‘Meet Me At The Museum‘ which I really enjoyed).

Evesham Festival Short Story Competition
Just time to give another quick plug to the Evesham Festival short story competition. I am usually involved with this but they’ve given me the year off, for good behaviour, so I have nothing to do with the reading or judging this time.

Simon Whaley is head judge (if you scroll to the last pages of the rules, you’ll find out more about him and also what he’s looking for in a short story) but before your precious story reaches him, it has to impress two readers, who will be sifting through all the entries (and reading and discussing them very carefully) and he will then judge the longlist of 15. All the details are here and you’ve got until 11th March (at 5pm, note!) to get your entry in.

Good luck!

This entry was posted in Bonnie, Books, Competitions, Novels, West Midlands and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to A Turn Up For the Books, as The Books Turn Up

  1. pennywrite says:

    Your very own paperbacks – lovely! Congratulations!

  2. Yay! Lovely to see your smiling face – Wow! Must be a great feeling to hold your own novel in your hand. Well done you.

  3. Eirin Thompson says:

    How exciting! I have now read and thoroughly enjoyed A Wartime Secret and have left a review on Amazon – however, as I am not used to leaving such reviews, I failed to notice that I could choose how my name appeared, and it has come up as the rather impersonal E Thompson; sorry about that. Wishing you every success.

  4. Kate Hogan says:

    How exciting! Bonnie looks well pleased with his author mum, too.Well done, Helen. I have asked two of our libraries to order copies and bought the kindle version but not read it yet – lot on at the moment, but looking forward to reading it soon. Good wishes Kate Hogan

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