When Study Goes Wrong is available for free download this weekend on Kindle. 2 days only – get in quick to take advantage of the offer. Happy reading!


What I’ve learned about writing

Writing is both easy and hard. It’s a constant learning process filled with opportunities to create and dream. It can be cathartic, ease stress and allows you to focus your energies. It can be frustrating, exhausting and rewarding all at once. It has its ups and downs – one day you love your writing, the next you’re screwing up pieces of paper and tossing them on the floor, deleting entire sections of work, wracking your brain for that idea that sounded perfect yesterday. Your fingers curl with a persistent anger over the keyboard, waiting for that perfect sentence to write itself. Other times a flurry of activity has taken over, the creative juices flowing.

Writing is just one element of many. There’s research and fact checking, a tedious yet necessary task. There’s editing and rewriting which for me tends to take longer than the actual writing part! Then you have to let go and allow an editor to read your work and work with them to take your writing to the next level.

I’ve learned the importance of rich descriptions which allow a reader to picture the scene in their head, feel the character’s emotions and want to follow their journey.

A writer builds their own world, their own escape, they put a part of themselves onto the page.

Writing is a solitary act that requires patience, dedication and hard work. Writers are all different – some need silence to write, others need some activity around them, others crank up the music. We are all individuals.

Yet a writer also needs to know their work is being read, build up a following and interact with their readers. I’d wager most writers don’t write for the money – short of being lucky enough to write the next bestseller, money may be negligible or a nice on the side income.

If putting pen to paper comes from that desire, the passion is lacking. The passion is for the craft of writing, the love of creation and wanting to share your work with others. From that passion comes writing that can inform, entertain, provide support, understanding and stir up feelings and emotions in the reader.

Writing is a constant learning process, a process that I cannot wait to immerse myself in again as I work on book 2 and a process that allows me to remember memories, make new ones and create scenes that come alive.


My book is now available on Kindle as well as in paperback.

I chose to also become part of KDP Select, giving exclusivity of my book to Amazon/KDP for 90 days. I had to research it to find out how it worked and it looks like a good option for a new author who needs to find readers. I’ll see how it goes. I still need to work out the best ways to utilise it but so far I’m just glad I can share my work both in paperback and digitally through Kindle. I don’t own an e-reader or Kindle but I have worked out that all you need to do is download the free Amazon Kindle app and it worked even on my phone!

Let me introduce…

I now have a foreword and the beginnings of a first chapter of my new book. It requires a lot of research and fact checking and I have found some great quotes to use also as chapter openers.

I am not rushing into a second book, just writing whenever inspiration hits and letting the ideas take shape. Yesterday, I was reading a non-fiction book about comets would you believe (written by David Levy, for anyone interested), and suddenly I had an idea that simply had to be written down. Thus more of my first chapter took shape.

That is the life of a writer. You always need to be ready to write, to allow the ideas to take you where they want to go and put them into a pleasing order as you write.

This book will be different in that the same emotions and experiences are not behind its reason for existence. ‘When Study Goes Wrong’ was borne out of challenging and difficult times in my life that I share with readers, with the other graduates I interviewed who shared their stories and who had been through the same challenges and emotions. We all found solutions – through retraining, doing extensive periods of work experience, through choosing a new career to simply gaining experience in a different field and working our way up. Throughout this process ideas had to change, the sense of identity relating to what one ‘does’ had to change and each person had their own methods for coping. What I hope readers take away from it is that if they are also a graduate struggling with unemployment and underemployment – there are solutions, they can cope and they are not alone.

While book 2, as I’m calling it for the moment, delves into none of that, it comes from a passion of mine – travel, which has to do with a love of travel, a love of life and a return to one’s roots, traveling paths generally not traveled by tourists unfamiliar with the country and language.

I hope this brief sharing of information on book 2 has engaged your interest and I will be able to share more once I move further into writing and research.

Book launch!

I had my book launch yesterday, it was held at a local library. I invited everyone I knew, my parents invited some people too and while it was a small turn-out, we still had fun. It was a nice, casual event, which is what I wanted. I would have liked everyone who had RSVP’ed to actually turn up but I was still happy with those who did come.

I sold books, signed them, made a speech and mingled with everyone. Most guests were interested in how I went about writing the book and the time it took to do so which I was happy to talk about.

Other than that, I’ve struggled a bit as a new author – without connections – to get word out about my book.

I have a possible radio interview at a community radio station coming up so hopefully that helps a bit. I am going to do guest blog interviews also and I did get my book to the bookstore last week but unfortunately the person responsible for that side of things was ill so I didn’t get to speak to her, but I did leave my book for her to look at.

My next focus is on having ‘When Study Goes Wrong’ converted into a Kindle/e-book version and continuing to try to get the word out about my book.

Here’s a photo of me from the launch:


Onto book 2?

‘When Study Goes Wrong’ has only been sitting in Amazon’s virtual shelves for just over a week and I am already thinking about and have written a foreword for book 2! This one will be a travel book. I expected I wouldn’t want to even think about writing a book again at the present time and maybe it’s only temporary madness. Time will tell!

So far it’s been difficult being a published author, I’ve been frustrated with friends who say they’ll buy and then don’t seem to get around to it. If it was me, I’d support my friend, even if I had no intention whatsoever of reading the book. But that’s me. Clearly, I shouldn’t expect the same from others.

I do have plenty of pre-orders offline for the book launch I am having next week. It’s a bit nerve-wracking to think that I’ll have to somehow entertain the family and friends that turn up, make a speech perhaps and talk about the book, sign some copies for those who request it. I may even bring along some light refreshments. I could only book the library for a 2 hour slot – right in the middle of lunch time so I am considering getting some light refreshments for guests.

I am preparing myself mentally for meeting with the bookstore who might take on some books tomorrow. I don’t want to get my hopes up but I am hoping for the best.

Keep writing!

First few days as a published author

It doesn’t feel all that different to before. Very happy and excited of course and now have to focus more on marketing and selling my book. My book has been published since 12th March, all my friends know about it, but I don’t yet see any sales. Early days! I am having a book launch at the end of the month and will sell some there, some people have requested signed copies. I’ll need to practice my ‘author’ signature!

Those who have self-published with CreateSpace, how long did it take to see sales? I am not well-connected and short of saying ‘congrats’, I doubt my friends would even think to buy a book online. They would probably be put off by having to do something as onerous as signing up to Amazon or CreateSpace!

I hope I get some books into a bookstore on consignment, I have an appointment coming up with a bookstore to sell them the book. I will go prepared to sell and see how I go!

Overall it’s an exciting time and I’m already thinking up ideas for a second book. I enjoy the writing part, the creativity, the flow of ideas. Seeing it in print is simply the icing on the cake!…/dp/1494862875