One of the pleasures of an author’s life is to have the opportunity to speak about their work and I’ve been doing that lately, at Gatton and Laidley Libraries in the Lockyer Valley on Friday 3rd November and now today at the Indie Author Expo at Ipswich Central Library.
What a great resource the public library network is in Australia …. I invariably find the libraries are run by outstanding, dedicated professionals who are conscious of serving their reading public. Top marks from me.
If you look closely at my new banner you’ll see the prominent position still to be filled in my Belleville trilogy – that’s the book that will truly make it a trilogy. So I will have to get my head down very soon to finish the writing.
I so enjoy immersing myself in the lives of the Belleville family – there is still much to write about. They are real to me and, I hope, real to my readers ….. #realwomen
To Love, Honour & Betray Book 2 of the Belleville Family saga
ISBN 9780994327611 A$24.95 print paperback – pre-order & special price now available at www.pmabooks.com
ISBN 9780994327628 – ebook (except Kindle) – available soon
Kindle edition will be uploaded in the next couple of days
Well, I’ve finished the book …. no more tweaking now. The cover has been finalised. Just doing the final production phase heading towards printing and the e-book version being available.
What can I tell you about To Love, Honour & Betray that won’t be a spoiler?
It’s 10 years since the end of book 1, The House of Secrets: Julia’s Story and the stresses are beginning to show in two marriages.
Julia Belleville, now Fitzroy, continues to mourn the daughter she was forced to give up, while her husband James begins to look elsewhere.
And Catherine, Richard’s wife, restless and unimpressed by her life in Australia, embraces the unexpected events in her family that draw her back to her English life.
Hundreds of miles from the Belleville family’s grand home, a terrible accident robs a young girl of her parents. It is only later that the consequences of this tragedy become known.
And what of Alistair McGovern, the late Francis Belleville’s bastard son? Now a young adult, he demands his share of the Belleville fortune but he is spurned by the two brothers, Richard and William, who will do anything to ensure that this terrible secret never reaches their mother. When he is finally rejected, his anger and disappointment can only lead him in one direction.
And what of Philippe Duval, the man Julia loved and lost. What news from the past brings him back to Australia, a country he thought he would never visit again.
I hope this is a page turner for you. I think there may even be some tears …….
No pictures, just a quick few words to say that my second book, following on from The House of Secrets: Julia’s Story is well under way. It will contain a few surprises, I’m sure. I will let everyone know as soon as it is close to being published ……. a couple of months at most!
What’s next? Well I’ve been busy writing Book 2 of my Belleville family series.
It will be entitled ‘To Love, Honour & Betray’ ……… but that’s all I am saying at this stage.
Sometimes I find writing just flows, other times it’s a challenge, but I remember that old adage about just getting it written. It’s always possible to revise pedestrian prose but it’s impossible to revise a blank page. When I finish a chapter, I tend to print it out and read it in bed, with a pencil to mark up the obvious bloopers.
Last week I was surprised by my colleagues at my day job giving me a framed copy of the cover of my first novel (see picture), for my birthday. Not saying which birthday, by the way. That was a nice surprise, totally unexpected and a lovely gesture.
I hear so many stories about difficult and unrewarding workplaces, it’s nice to be able to say that my small office in Brisbane is very friendly with good people to work with.
That’s all from me for now ….. back to the grindstone.
Part of the audience at Laidley. Nic is in the blue shirt at the back.
The author making a point! Note the cheat sheet so I don’t forget key points.
So it’s Sunday and I’m back in Brisbane and reflecting on my author talks atLaidley and Gatton on Friday. Click on the links to find out where these towns are. Gatton is best known for its agricultural college. As we drove through the area we were impressed by the neat rows and rows of beautiful healthy vegetables.
First of all a big ‘thank you’ to Nic in Laidleyand Sue in Gatton – who made me feel very welcome. I was so impressed by the service these women and their colleagues provide their communities through their work in the public libraries, and by their friendliness and professionalism. Outstanding!
Having been to quite a few author events over the years – some well-known names with very big audiences – I had some idea what I should say – I found the best way was to have a few dot points that reminded me of what I should say, if I got off the track.
That seemed to work well but inevitably, afterwards, I thought about one or two other important points that I should have spoken about, but didn’t.
I can’t yet pack out a big auditorium but from my perspective the people who came along to hear me were warm, friendly and engaged, and asked some really good questions about writing, plot development, and the whole business of publishing.
My day job makes me much more qualified to talk about magazine publishing than book publishing so occasionally I did get off the track and wandered away from the topic.
The big thrill for me, as a first time author, was that readers liked my book and are waiting impatiently for the second one in the series. I resisted the temptation to give too many hints about where I am headed with the Belleville family ….. the fun of fiction writing is that they are my characters and I can decide how the story unfolds. (The arrogance of the author? Not really, but it’s fun to be in control.)
Thank you, Laidley and Gatton, for such a warm welcome …. and since I was widely expected to the have the draft of my second novel in my handbag, I’d better get on with it and stop writing this blog instead of writing my book!!
The problem when you have a busy and intellectually demanding day job is that the writing life you’ve also committed to gets scant attention at times.
Do I have the headspace to progress my writing career and steer a traditional print media magazine group through the challenging transition phase we’re currently seeing in the print media sector as well give my attention to my first love?
Frustrated and confused, I went on holidays instead of facing up to this dilemma.
Ten days in New Zealand was very nice. It’s an easy flight in an A380 – Brisbane-Auckland – picking up the Emirates Dubai-originating aircraft.
New Zealand seems more English in its culture than Australia does now – although the indigenous Maori people do have a strong stake in contemporary society, more visible I would say than the corresponding indigenous population of Australia.
We went far south in the south island to Dunedin – its Scottish heritage very obvious. It sits on the 45 degrees latitude south, which makes it a more southerly point than any point in Australia. Next stop, Antarctica – but not for us.
At this southern outpost of European settlement in the 19th century, New Zealand established its first university and today the population of the city is 25% students. The city has nurtured its early educational advantage, it seems. Students of course would include international students. New Zealand’s population is only 4.6 million.
The earthquake-ravaged city of Christchurch is still that – but trying to recover from the events of 5 years ago. The beautiful botanic gardens (in the picture) were largely untouched and acted as a haven for the distressed locals.
There were some wonderful second-hand book shops – a step back in time almost – we found them in Christchurch, Oamaru, Dunedin, Auckland and Devonport (across the harbour from Auckland). Auckland is New Zealand’s major city, but Wellington at the south end of the north island is the capital.
All this waffle of course is delaying me getting back into writing the second novel in my Belleville family series. I’ve just done a Kindle countdown deal for the next couple of weeks to make the ebook cheaper (starting at $0.99) of the first in the series. The House of Secrets: Julia’s Story – link here of Amazon
And what have I committed to?
Well, during the week the conversation went something like this between me and my other half – long suffering husband of many years’ standing.
Him: You said you wanted to go to the London Book Fair next year. Do you know it’s on in March?
Me: No, I thought it was April. It’s always April.
Him: Not in 2017 it isn’t. Oh, and Qantas have just released some discounted fares on premium economy. I’ll check the dates.
Me: OK, good idea.
Half an hour later we were booked.
So I’m off to the London Book Fair in 2017 and the realisation that I will need a lot more under my belt in the finished manuscript/published book category than I currently have, in the hope I can sell international rights.
If you head west of Brisbane (Qld, Australia) on the highway, past Ipswich, for an hour or so, you’ll soon find yourself in the heart of the Lockyer Valley, which is where my career as a ‘speaking’ author begins on Friday 29 April 2016 – 10.00am at the Laidley Library (pictured) and 12.00 noon at the Gatton Library, which is close by.
The Lockyer Valley is an area of rich farmland. It is intensively cultivated, growing the most diverse range of commercial fruit and vegetables of any area in Australia.
The regional council (local government) runs the Library service. There are literally thousands of small libraries throughout Australia, supported by local government. I’m thrilled to be asked to speak to the locals about my book.
I’ve created a new FREE link for THE HOUSE OF SECRETS: Julia’s Story
for anyone who may be interested in dipping into the book. It’s probably hard to read the entire book this way (we use this method to create digital copies of our magazines in my day job) but it’s a good way to see if it is of interest.
I’m beavering away on Book 2 ….. more on that soon.