In what has been my first full year as an author, I have had many exciting, funny and nerve-wracking moments. Suffice to say, its been a blast and these are my Top Ten moments, in no particular order.
1. Escape & Freedom – Books
The success of Escape & Freedom. When people ask me which book was that defining one that finally caught everyone’s attention and lifted me into the realms of a recognisable name within the Lesfic community, I will tell them it was this one!
2. Ellcon – Books
Being invited to attend my first convention was nerve-wracking. I said yes months before the event in a moment of super confidence and then spent the rest of the year terrified. In my mind, I didn’t belong. This was an event for real authors and of course, they were going to be snobs, looking down their nose at me!
I couldn’t have been further from the truth. I met a group of uplifting, funny and supportive women. I had a blast and can’t wait for the next event where we can all meet up again.
3. Gibraltar – Travels
This is one of those bittersweet moments. My friend David wanted to go here to watch the Royal Wedding, but a week before he was unwell and in hospital, which, of course, was the lead up to our losing him a few months later.
I ended up going by myself, which was a first. I have been abroad lots of times, but always with family, wife or friends… this would be just me, in a foreign land for a long weekend. I got there and walked everywhere! I went up the Rock and found the world famous monkeys. It was great. I thought I’d get bored by myself once it got to dinner time but actually, I found I liked my own company. I was content to just sit in the bar with my laptop and write. In the daytime, I wandered around with my camera like everybody else. I ate Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner by myself and enjoyed it. No small talk required! Without knowing it, Dave gave me something I didn’t know I lacked: confidence to do go anywhere.
4. Days out – Framily
I have Two sets of people in my life. Mates: People I see now and then, have fun with but we don’t live in each other’s pockets. Framily: Those people who morph into family. Those people that will be there, no matter what! Who push and cajole and support you in everything you do. I have a fair few in my life and without them, I wouldn’t be here now, doing what I love. We hang out and do silly things that make me laugh till my sides ache. They turn up at my events and pimp my books out to all their friends and family. They know who they are so I won’t embarrass them! haha
5. The Doll Maker – Books
I’ve always loved crime stories. Trying to work it out. Following the clues and just being thoroughly entertained. But, I never thought I’d be able to write one. There just seemed to be so much involved, so much to remember and it had to be plotted, right? Well, no… I gave it a go and I wrote it exactly how I always write; by the seat of my pants!! and I did it one draft! I literally wrote it, and then sent it to be edited. I think I got lucky, but I’ll take that bit of luck because it’s getting some great reviews. Of course, I can’t please everyone haha, I knew when I wrote it that a certain element wouldn’t go down well with those who read books for perfect characters! But, if that’s all anyone can find to dislike about it, then I am happy as a pig in… its sty!! haha
6. Brighton Pride -Books
This had to be the most stressful day of my life! haha I know they have a lot of people coming along, and they need to have their health & Safety top notch, but Oh My God… First aid kit, Fire Extinguishers, Do this, do that.. it was like a military operation with nobody in charge! The person in charge was barely available and as disinterested as could be ( I am sure she was more stressed than I was, But that doesn’t help when I have questions) Oh and did I mention how ridiculously priced it was.. . no way to ever make that money back!
However, once we got there, got set up and spent 5 hours waiting around with not even a kiosk to buy coffee… It was fun! I got to meet a lot of people. Sold some books and enjoyed the atmosphere… I learnt a lot from it. Will I do it next year?! Maybe, but only if I am sharing the space and the cost haha
7. Diva Music Fest 2018
When Kiki Archer says ‘Come to the fest’ you don’t say no!! At least, I don’t! haha I’m trying that thing where you say Yes to everything!
Firstly though, lets remember that Kiki is bloody good fun!! But, secondly, there was a caravan involved and…. to top that off! KT Tunstall, Horse and Gabrielle… along with loads of up and coming singers/bands… it was a lot of fun.
8. Hanging with my buddy!!
There isn’t much that is more fun than having a little one wanna hang out with you! We have so much fun. I get to be 3 again and we make up songs… The lawnmower song is a favourite!! I love him and I can’t wait for the next year and all the fun we are going to have!
9. My Wife – Love
No matter what life throws at me, this woman is there by my side. We’re not perfect, we both have our own issues in life. We argue just like everyone else… but when push comes to shove, she is my rock. Without her, I can’t do this. She supports me in every way possible and always tells me she loves me and how proud she is of me… and I wish I was a lot more like the characters that I write about and could be that romantic, but I guess I have my own ways of showing it. Love ya, Babe.
10. Number One – Books
Hitting top spot for The Doll Maker….nuff said!