If you’re just an ordinary person, bragging about yourself is totally alien… If you’re an ordinary British person, it’s even more so. We’re not good at receiving compliments, modesty and self-deprecation are qualities ingrained, so now for me, when I want to reach an audience for my books, it’s tricky to balance overcome my natural unwillingness to blow my own trumpet. I guess that’s where agents come in, agents can promote work, and get it out there in an expert way. However, I don’t have an agent, and in a funny sort of way, now I have been self-publishing and self-promoting for five years, I sort of like it – every success is down to me! Oops, am I blowing my own trumpet?
Why do I want people to read my stories? Why do musicians want an audience? Why do artists want the world to see their work? Why do actors get up on a stage rather than prancing around in front of a mirror? For me, being a story-teller is natural, it’s what I am, in my every day life I’m for ever going on about something or another, something that happened to me, something I saw/did/heard/learnt/took part in. When I was a professional teacher, the kids would always say ‘oh no, not another story’, when I launched into something – I think (hope) they actually liked my ramblings… I did it almost without thought, my mind leaping from the subject in hand to something which happened to me or a friend or a cousin, or something I just randomly made up to entertain.
An example of the ‘made-up’ stories I told my students, apart from ‘the ghost of the fourth floor’ which became a college legend, was about my teaching assistant, Sally. I can’t even now remember how I got onto talking about what we had done in our lives apart from working in schools, when I went into a lengthy description of Sally’s past life growing up in a circus, being a trapeze artist with spangly tights and revealing costume, how in her free time she was exceedingly modest ad wore long dresses, and her future husband fell in love with her when she was looking after the coconut shy and he caught a glimpse of her ankle as she bent down to pick up a fallen coconut…
So back to my trumpet blowing… Yes, I want people to read my stories! yes I actually think they are not too bad – self-deprecation alert – they are quite good! So… if you haven’t read any yet – here is a really brief fanfare for each:
- Radwinter – Thomas finds out more about himself and his own family than about his ancestors… who actually had quite a dramatic time, fleeing 1830’s war-torn Warsaw and jumping ship in Harwich
- Magick (Radwinter 2) – the rather terrifying father of Thomas’s step-son comes in search of ‘his boy’
- Raddy and Syl (Radwinter 3) – mysterious Moroccans preying on an old woman, a disappeared woman who may not have even existed, and shocking truths about his own family – Thomas has quite a difficult series of event to deal with
- Beyond Hope (Radwinter 4) – Thomas meets a dangerous psychopath, and somehow gets involved in people smuggling
- Earthquake -(Radwinter 5) – a haunted hotel, an eighty year old mystery which brings danger to the present… Thomas is really under pressure
- Farholm – who killed young girls on the island of Farholm? Is he still on the loose, or was a recently widowed woman’s dead husband responsible?
- The Stalking of Rosa Czekov – who stalked Rosa to her death… and has s/he moved on to a new victim?
- Loving Judah – can Aislin and her husband Peter ever get over the death of his son Judah?
- night vision – a thirty year old murder is discovered
- Flipside – is a war damaged veteran responsible for a series of dreadful murders… or is he a victim pf more than his war service?
- The Double Act – Don’t think this novel is a romance, this may be a love story… but the other side of love is dark love
- Lucky Portbraddon – perhaps the Portbraddons are not so lucky, murder, drugs, madness, modern slavery… but also unexpected love
Are you tempted? They are all available as e-readers, Radwinter is also available as a paperback