Wednesday, 27 June 2018

National Writing Day

Today is National Writing Day, a collaborative initiative between First Story and partner arts and literacy organisations across the UK. It is supported by Old Possum’s Practical Trust and Arts Council England.

I didn't hear about this until it was too late to get involved in any events (maybe next year?). However, there is some good stuff on the website - for example, under the 'Resources' tab there are ideas for students of all ages. There is also 'Write Away', which invites us to write freely for seven minutes from the prompt:

'I feel most free when I...'

OK? Off you go.

Saturday, 16 June 2018

Reflections on recent 'appearances'

While they're still fresh in my mind, here are my reflections on the 'writerly events' I mentioned on Sunday.

The bookstall at the garden centre taught me some valuable lessons:
  • I need to be more assertive when it comes to promoting my books
  • While it is always lovely to meet new people, you can waste an awful lot of time listening to someone drone on about their own ambitions when you know full well they have no intention of buying a book
I'm undecided whether this was a worthwhile use of my time. I did meet some interesting passers-by and all of us sold some books (and we made a donation to Marie Curie from our takings), but it was a very long afternoon. The jury is out.

Holding forth
I have no such qualms about the talk I did at Towcester Library this afternoon. Certainly the audience was on the small side, since many of the library's regulars had chosen to celebrate Father's Day early. No matter. After a sticky start, I ended up with an audience of ten, which was fine. After all, they had no idea what to expect!

Milena, who had arranged the event, was the perfect host and made me feel very welcome. I should love to go back and do another talk, if she'll have me. I sold some books, made some useful contacts and discovered connections with people I didn't know before today. I'd definitely chalk this up as a success.

Sunday, 10 June 2018

Publication day is getting closer!

Here it is: the cover of my forthcoming book. What do you think? The painting was done by Malcom Parnell, who is an author as well as an artist. I'm so pleased with it. I shall try not to bombard you with nothing but marketing ploys in the coming weeks, but I am a bit excited, as this yoga book has been in the making for quite a while. This is the blurb: 

If you’re a fan of yoga with animals, this book might annoy you.
There’s a lot of yoga about these days. Most of it is wonderful; some of it is not. Long-time yoga teacher Julia Thorley has collected her thoughts on what she has learned on her mat. Some of the pieces are about practical aspects of yoga and others are a bit ranty, because there’s a lot about the modern yoga world that rubs her fur the wrong way. Her opinions are not always humble and may well make you cross, but some should raise a smile and might give you pause for thought.
Take a comfy seat – it doesn’t have to be in the Lotus position – and make up your own mind.

I've got a couple of writerly events this week. On Thursday, I'm sitting on a stall with other members of Northants Authors at a garden centre in Northampton (bet J K Rowling has never done that), where we shall talk to 'our public' and, it is to be hoped, sell some books. Then on Saturday, I'm guest speaker at Towcester Library, talking about writing and stuff.

Interesting times.