This Sunday, September 18th, I will be giving away TWO FREE copies of my most recent memoir, An English Teacher in Mexico.
For your chance to win, all you have to do is ask me a question or two. That’s right! I will be in the hotseat ALL DAY to answer your questions, starting at 11:00am MDT. If you are not yet a member of the fabulous Facebook group, We Love Memoirs, who are promoting this Spotlight Sunday event, be sure to join today so you can participate. You’ll be glad you did.
Recently someone left a 1-star ranking for my book and it’s affected me more than I care to admit. It was not even a proper review, just 1-star, with no explanation given whatsoever.
To continue writing or give it up altogether? That is the question many authors face. One day, someone who probably never should have picked up your years of blood, sweat and tears in the form of a published book, glibly awards you a 1-star rating. But the next, someone who has actually read and enjoyed said book, leaves a glowing 5-star review, explaining exactly what it was that kept them turning the pages.
Such is the life of a writer. A pendulum swinging back and forth – to write or not to write? A yo-yo of emotions, going up only to come crashing down. We have spent many hours (and in some cases, years!) perfecting our craft. We have pored over the manuscript, self-edited, wrote and re-wrote our manuscript, agonized over the perfect cover, and did our best to market our product.
Depending on our skill set, we probably hired professionals to assist us with formatting, editing, proofreading, cover design and marketing.
Some of us writers sent out dozens of manuscripts to traditional publishers, only to be rejected time and time again. We wrote query letter after query letter hoping an agent would represent us. Others took a deep breath and went the self-publishing route.
Why? Because we love what we do! We are storytellers and we want to share our stories with you, the reader. Our reward is your enjoyment of our craft. OK, making a few dollars in sales is nice too! So when our reward is a stinky 1-star carelessly posted somewhere out there in cyberspace for millions to see, it greatly impacts us in a negative way.
I’ll end this rant by saying, if you read any of my work and enjoyed it, consider leaving a review. Even one or two sentences makes a BIG difference. If, however, you didn’t, send me a private message and tell me what I could have done better.
As an indie author, getting book reviews is very important. So when a book club in Ontario asked for a video conference with me at their monthly meeting, I was delighted to participate. Receiving honest feedback from these women helps me to grow as an author and I feel as if I’ve made some new friends in the process.
Looking for that perfect Christmas gift? How about a book to go with that holiday eggnog? My narrative non-fiction paperback, A Squatter in London, is temporarily available on Amazon for a reduced price. It’s also available as an e-book but the paperback has vintage photos for you to laugh at. Here’s an excerpt to bring a smile to your face:
“This will be my first ‘black’ Christmas. It’s a few days prior to the holiday and I’m nostalgic for the magical, snow-filled Canadian winter wonderland. I’m homesick, cold, lonely and depressed…
Lainey and Bryce’s parents, the Collinses, have invited me over for Christmas dinner today. Because of the holiday, though, trains and buses aren’t running. So, as instructed by the Collins children, I ring a car hire service…
‘Your place smells very Christmas-y,’ I quip as I enter the Collins home, instantly offending my hosts. There’s an almost overpowering pine-like scent in the air and I assume that it’s coming from the newly-decorated live tree. It’s not.
‘What a thing to say,’ replies Mrs. Collins in a hushed voice. ‘Our cat just wet the rug.’”
For the children on your list, there’s an awesome children’s reader/coloring book written and illustrated with whimsical little characters by Robert Laurie Leslie called They Love Us: A World Without Fear.
A Squatter in London (image shows author revisiting the squat in 2001) is also available internationally in the US, UK, Mexico and other countries. See, I just made your Christmas buying experience a whole lot less stressful!