Lit festivals – but where is the literature?

CEjWv8uWMAAtSW4Literature festivals seem to be increasingly popular in the UK – big ones attracting thousands of punters, little ones popping up like mushrooms.

Over the last few years, as an author with a couple of books out, I’ve appeared at both kinds – and the first thing I want to say is that I think they are a force for good. Anything which encourages people to cherish books is on the side of the angels in my view. And the ones I have attended have allowed me to flog a few copies of my own books – what author wouldn’t like that?

But something has struck me about literature festivals in this country which is that, increasingly, they don’t bother too much with literature.

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Three ways it’s different with your second book

Emoji_u270c.svgLet’s face it – things are always special the first time. But hey, the second time can be pretty good too. It’s fair to say nothing beats the thrill of getting your first book published. A publisher finally saying yes, the first time you hold a copy in your hand, seeing it in a store. It’s all very lovely for those of us who have dreamed of being published authors. But – there’s something to be said for the second time around too.

Here are three ways it’s different with your second book:

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Writing’s more fun than being a writer

800px-Skrifmaskin,_Smith_Premier-maskin,_Nordisk_familjebokWriting’s great – it’s being a writer which can be a bit of a nuisance. The part where you look at a blank page and make up stories is essentially a positive experience. It can be frustrating of course, if the stories do not come when bidden, but it is what writers choose to do, what they feel they need to do.

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Why follow other authors on social media?

twtterAn old mate, and fellow author, who’s dipping his toe into Twitter got me thinking this week when he asked my advice on whether it’s worth following fellow writers on social media?

After all, he pointed out, they are not likely to buy your books are they? They are just going to want to promote their own.

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Can a novelist work in more than one genre?

pua1People have been asking me recently about the differences between my current book The Pick-Up Artist and my previous one Song of the Sea God. Specifically, they want to know if it is easy to switch between literary fiction which I did in Sea God, and a more light-hearted, more or less rom-com style which I adopt in Pick-Up Artist.


Song of the Sea GodWell, readers will be the judge of whether I managed to make that transition, though the early Amazon reviews have been positive thankfully, but I would say, I didn’t find switching styles, or genres, to be too much of a stretch.


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How to help a writer

puacoverOkay, so I know I run the risk of being a bit presumptuous here but, let’s just say you’ve read my latest book The Pick-Up Artist (available from all good book stores and, you know, Amazon) and you rather liked it.

Let’s further presume that you would like to help it on its way a little. What can you, the reader, do for the book? Doesn’t have to be my book of course – any book.

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The perils of publicity for authors

photo 3It’s publicity time for The Pick-Up Artist at the moment, which means I have to do various interviews etc for the media. Being a literary small fry this mostly means local press and radio, local mags, that sort of thing.

The first problem for me is having my photo taken. This is something you become gradually more allergic to as you get older I think.

When I was in my 20s it didn’t bother me one bit having my picture in the papers. I was a newspaper reporter back then and I remember one occasion when I was writing a series of features on a body-building competition they printed a full length picture of me on the front page wearing just a pair of budgie-smugglers. Did I mind? Did I heck – such are the joys of youth.

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The Pick-Up Artist – what’s it all about?

9781910094167-front-lores2It’s only a week until the launch of my next novel The Pick-Up Artist, so I thought I’d better write a little on what the book is about and what my intentions were in writing it.

It should be quite easy to say what your book is about but I find it surprisingly tough.

I can do the ‘elevator pitch’ of course. The Pick-Up Artist is a romantic comedy about a young man’s inept attempt to find love using the PUA system which claims to use psychological techniques to attract women.

And I can of course summarise the plot, though my publisher Magic Oxygen has already kindly done that for me in the blurb on their website click here.

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A book cover for The Pick-Up Artist

9781910094167-front-lores2Great news for me this week – the publisher sent me the cover for my new book The Pick-Up Artist which will be published on Valentine’s Day February 14th and can already be ordered online on the website of publisher Magic Oxygen click here.

I was delighted to see the cover, it’s a great moment for any author I think – suddenly your book, which has previously been an idea and some words on a laptop, seems real. It has an identity, an image to go with the words.

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Is Crowdfunding Just eBegging?

US_Dollar_banknotesSurprise – I’ve found something new not to like! One of the ideas which seems to be taking greater hold among some authors at the moment is ‘Crowdfunding’

If you are not aware of this concept it’s like this: there are websites where you set up a page asking the public for money in order to achieve a certain goal. This could be to publish your next book, for example, or a print version of your e-book, or an audio version.

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