Last week, my first novel was published. I didn't, in all honesty, have any clue what to expect: it's not as though there's a training course called 'How To Be A First-Time Novelist' which lays out what's going to happen... I thought I'd share my top ten things every author needs to know before their first time.
A lot of writers don't only earn less than the national average wage, they earn far less than the minimum wage. I'm not talking about writers who are unpublished or indeed, failed by any measure - I'm talking about people whose books have been taken on by bona fide publishers and whose work is building a steady, if not bestselling following.
Lights in the sky are one thing, near misses quite another, and as much as the MOD is happy to publicise the dubious (and often humorous) reports from members of the public, they aren't nearly as forthcoming as to remind us that the National Air Traffic Control Services detect around one unidentified flying object every month.
The private life of Gore Vidal is what fascinated journalist and author Tim Teeman. In his illuminating new book In Bed with Gore Vidal: Hustlers, Hollywood and the Private World of an American Master, Tim reveals the sexual rollercoaster that was Vidal's life, and how this rollercoaster shaped his views on sex and sexuality in general.
So how will I do this? How will I achieve 50,000 words by late evening on Saturday 30 November? The short answer is, I do not know. I could plan everything to the literal letter, but that would feel too much like a military operation to me. My plan is to write, simply write. I intend to let my imagination run wild and hope to write something every single day of November.
As a coach what I have come to realise is just how little self worth people actually have for themselves. Most people don't even like themselves, let alone love themselves. Maybe it's their shyness, their figure, their behaviour, their looks, their neediness or inability to say no. I think it's fair to say most of us have something we dislike about ourselves.
Mott has written the novel in a way that you expect it to be an account from one of the more educated characters, whom often doubts their dates and so forth. This use of engagement with the reader, allows the mysterious narrator to guide you through the town and the story, with a somewhat effortless ease.
Last year, I think my favourite mother-wanting-to-share-news was to be found in Curry's, I wandered the aisle looking for batteries and spied the lady, hovering, patiently by the wide screen TV's. She caught my eye we exchanged smiles and bang! She practically shouted at me, whilst pointing at the screen, 'Oh BBC!' I gave a small nod. She wasn't done.
Once you start on this path of zero hair tolerance, you have in fact waged war on your follicles and in military terms, they are closely aligned to the Spartans. Now in my late forties... put it this way, if I don't wield the tweezers daily, epilate weekly and wax monthly, I look like Hagrid in lipstick. It's a battle I am losing.
In my own youth; we called everyone in our street, 'aunty or uncle' and could nip into any number of houses in close proximity when we were locked out. It was all about human interaction. And it was lovely. Only last week, when grocery shopping, I found a potato that looked like a womble, I turned to the lady next to me and said, 'look! Madame Cholet!' she ran away.