I love this time of year with the change of seasons, as the trees start to change colour and we sometimes have crisp clear days as in this (yet another canal photo) picture I took during my walk on the first day of October.
A year has passed quickly with many personal milestones. On 1st October 2014, my debut novel was published. Along with the thrill of seeing my work in print, came a whole new set of things to worry about:
Would anyone buy my book?
Would readers like it?
Would reviewers like it?
The sales for Starting Over went well but I quickly got caught up in the newbie author habit of checking my Amazon ranking every day. I’ve now weaned myself off this – down to once a week. The book currently has 19 reviews on Amazon US and 11 on Amazon UK. I’m incredibly grateful to all who took the time to put reviews there and for the book to have a star rating of 4.8 and 4.4 respectively.
There were many ‘firsts’ for me during the months that followed publication. Having the book nominated in two Golden Crown Literary Award categories – Debut Author and Traditional Contemporary Romance; writing my first guest blogs for Women and Words and UK Lesfic websites with book giveaways, signing my first book, attending the GCLS Conference in New Orleans – meeting the Affinity team, including many of their other authors; two public readings, one at GCLS and one nearer home in Manchester; and taking part in a radio-style interview with Clare Lydon (which has had at the time of posting this, 727 plays).
My second book was published in May 2015 – Arc Over Time, a sequel to the first. Sales-wise it hasn’t been as successful as the first book, but all the reviewers and also readers who have contacted me via Facebook, have loved it. With a 4.8 star rating on both the US and UK Amazon sites, it seems to have hit the spot with those who have read it.
So, with the above questions answered, I have managed to keep writing – with two books scheduled to come out next year and the first draft of another book coming along nicely.
And I haven’t mentioned the two short stories that were published last year – another first was the publication of There Was A Time which came out a month before Starting Over, and then there was my contribution to the Affinity 2014 Christmas Collection – some fun in space with The Christmas Sweepstake –and possibly a third story coming up in the next Affinity anthology.
Along with these other firsts – the pleasure of seeing my book on the shelf of our local independent bookstore, The Book Case in Hebden Bridge. (And they’ve even sold a few copies!)
When I retired two years ago, I couldn’t have imagined any of this. I thought I would be spending most of my time playing golf, shooting arrows and going on holidays with my lovely wife. I am, just about, managing to fit these activities in as my writing life continues to expand. Retirement, it seems, it just another word for finally getting to do what I’ve always wanted to do – be a full time author.
I’ll keep writing – and I hope you will keep reading!
There Was a Time and The Christmas Sweepstake – both available FREE on the Affinity website