Right now I feel as if I have as many books as this library! We've sold our house and will soon be moving — which means we have to sort through all our books and decide which ones to keep and which ones to sell or give away.
And we have THOUSANDS of books! They're piled in virtually every room of the house. There are bookshelves wherever you look. My husband even built our bed so that it incorporated bookshelves around the base!
But, we have decided that we are going to part with most of them. Increasingly, we're leaning towards a more minimalist lifestyle, with less 'stuff'. And while books are, of course, right at the top of my list of 'important stuff', they are still 'stuff'. It's simply not feasible for us to transport all of them to our new home.
So, I've developed two key questions as I sort through the shelves:
1. Do I love this book?
2. Will I read it again? (There are some I love that, for whatever reason, I know I won't read again.)
It it's not a 'yes' to both, then that book is moved to the 'set free to be enjoyed by others' room. It's a long and exhausting process, and I'll be very glad when I've finished.
This week I had to have my photograph taken, so that I could send through a media shot for my new book that's being released early next year.
Ideally, as the book is about happiness and features teapots, the publicity team wanted the pic to include me — looking 'happy and natural' – and a red teapot.
Well, my friend took several pics of me with a red teapot in shot, but they didn't come out nearly as well as this one. And while there might be no teapot, the gorgeous Dalmatian, owned by my friend, is appropriately enough named 'Happy'!
I have a new book coming out next year. It's due to be released in March 2018, and while I can't give away all the details yet, let's just say that it's about happiness and involves teapots — specifically, red ones.
Book production is a pretty long and involved process, so the design and layout of the book is already well advanced. And this week I got the call from publicity — 'We're soon going to be preparing our next catalogue; we need a pic of you, preferably with a red teapot.'
As someone who is much more comfortable behind a camera than in front of it, this is not a request I wanted to hear. I've managed to use the same 'media shot' of me for the last four years, and I guess I'd hoped to get a few more years out of it yet. But no, it seems the time for an update has come!
So, I have lined up a friend with a good camera, with whom I know I can relax and hopefully enjoy the process. Her brief is to capture me looking 'happy and natural'. She's got a tough job ahead of her as my 'natural' look in photographs tends more towards 'rabbit in headlights'. I will, of course, share what we come up with …
Just a short post for today, but it's on a subject that I've been pondering a lot lately. How can I get better at switching roles so that I can give my personal creativity and writing goals a chance to flourish?
You see, during my work day as a publisher and editor, I'm generally working with other people's text. When I'm assessing a manuscript, I'm immersing myself in the author's voice and style. When I'm editing or proofreading a manuscript, I'm intent on maintaining that same authorial voice and style, simply polishing it a little. The end result is that when I get to the end of the day and it's time for me to pursue some of my own book ideas, my head is full of other people's voices that tend to drown out my own!
So far, the only way I've been able to get my own writing done is in short intensive bursts over the Christmas/New Year period or when I'm on holiday. It's not ideal and it certainly doesn't make for consistent writing. I'm hoping that more regular blogging will help me to learn to flick the switch more easily, but if you've got any suggestions for me, I'd love to hear them!
It was such a wonderful thrill to receive an advance copy of my new book, Spirit, this week!
It's the third title in my series of books of animal quotes. First came Meow (for cat lovers), then came Woof (for dog lovers), and now there's Spirit, for all the horse lovers out there.
Collecting the quotes — by both famous and non-famous people — takes a while, but the real challenge is pairing each quote with a photograph to create the perfect match. That takes hours and days and weeks, but it's always such a great feeling to scroll through the final print-ready file and see how it's all come together.
Spirit will be available from bookshops, online stores, and the Exisle Publishing website from October — just in time for Christmas!
It was such a joy to officially launch The Sugar and Spice Collection yesterday at Wallsend District Library. The lovely Penny Harrison flew up from Melbourne for the occasion, so the entire 'Team Sugar and Spice' was together for the first time! Talented author Deborah Kelly was a superb MC, and MacLean's Booksellers were on hand to sell books.
Susan Whelan, Gwynneth Jones, Penny Harrison and myself chose hot pink and orange as our colour scheme, to match the slipcase design, and then we went to town with decorations! There was hot pink and orange food, hot pink and orange craft, and hot pink and orange balloons, pom poms and streamers! The perfect backdrop to a wonderful day of fun and laughter.
Thanks so much to everyone who came along to make our launch such a success, and to Luke Arms for these great pics!
I'm a publisher, editor, author and reviewer. Here's where I tell you about my latest news and events!