Blogs from my Joy Mutter, author profile

Two BBC Radio 4 producers are travelling from London to Oldham to interview me on Wednesday !

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17.1.2016

I am still in shock after being contacted on Twitter last week by a BBC Radio 4 journalist. He said that he and a colleague would like to travel from London to my house in Oldham to interview me. He phoned me and told me that Radio 4 are making a radio programme on the subject of disinheritance. I have written on the subject of disinheritance in my autobiographical Mug Trilogy and rejection through disinheritance figures large in my fictional contemporary thriller Random Bullets.

I was disinherited by my own father, who had also been disinherited by his own father, so I know exactly how painful it feels to be effectively disowned by a parent with mental issues. He had always singled me out for persecution for as long as I can remember. Naming only my younger brother and sister in his Will without a single mention of me was his way to create trouble for me from beyond the grave as he did in life. I had effectively been disowned, rejected, insulted, wounded and angered by the injustice.

I was too upset at the time to challenge his Will on the grounds of his insanity. In September 2002, a month after the end of my long marriage, my mother informed me by phone that my father had disinherited me . In 2002, I was newly single, totally alone in the world, confused and on top of everything my father had disinherited me. It was unexpected, despite our terrible relationship because a few weeks before he died, we had both said, ‘I love you’ to each other. This had never been said before by either of us. He had always been the devil in my life. After my mother’s phone call, I had never been at a lower point in my life. I had not an ounce of fight left in me to challenge my father’s Will. It has taken me ten years to feel strong enough to try to take any action at all. It was only the injustice and unfairness to my daughter that spurred me on to try to remedy the malicious damage done by my father.

In 2012, with support from my sister, I paid £800 for a solicitor to draw up a Deed of Assignment of Reversionary Interest, more for my daughter’s sake than mine. As my deceased father’s Will is subject to Jersey law it has complicated matters and I won’t bore you with all of the intricacies. My account of events are all detailed within the the pages of The Mug Trilogy. You might be shocked to read my perhaps too honest account of many unusual events in my life, but I saw no point in writing a dishonest autobiography.

My sister and mother know that I did not deserve to be disinherited and support me in trying to achieve some fairness. My mother even reimbursed me for the £800 solicitor’s bill, knowing that it is unfair that I should pay to put right what has been callously inflicted on me by my mischief-making, adulterous, bullying, physically, verbally, emotionally abusive father. These last words are not insults, they are facts.

I have wondered for years what made him do such a thing to me, his eldest child and not to my two siblings. I had not expected him to leave a penny to any of his children as he had remarried and had no other children. It was the fact that he had singled me out for this punishment that has caused the most pain to me and everyone else concerned.  Whether I am successful in gaining some justice for my daughter and for me is uncertain. Only time will tell.

Since 2012 when my full-time writing career began, I have been attempting to turn a negative, painful experience into a positive one by occasionally using my knowledge about the subject of disinheritance within my books, although I naturally also touch on many other very different themes. Although being disinherited has been a major hurtful complication in my life, I have refused to allow it to destroy me, far from it. I have never been happier than I am today, writing and publishing books and singlehandedly doing my best to market them.

I am really looking forward to my BBC Radio 4 interview on Wednesday. My daughter is a journalist who works on a magazine, so I know how tiring a job it can be. I will probably fuss around the Radio 4 show producers making cups of tea and offering cake and sandwiches. It’s a long train journey from London to Manchester, so they will probably be in need of a rest when they arrive. As I am usually shut indoors writing books most days, it will make a pleasant change to have some visitors.

I don’t yet know when the programme on disinheritance will be aired, but I will publish the date and time of the broadcast on my blog and on other social media sites when the producers inform me.

My fictional contemporary thriller Random Bullets has disinheritance at the root of the story. Edward is the main character and was disinherited twice. I have only recently realised that, in effect, so was I.

Random Bullets is available in both paperback and Kindle editions on Amazon at: http://amzn.to/1QLrDZP

If you are in Great Britain, all of my books can be found on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle editions at: http://amzn.to/1MdXFtz

If you are in America, all of my books can be found on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle editions at: https://www.amazon.com/author/joymutter.com

 

1000 Postcards

15.1.2016

Just received a delivery of 1000 postcards that I designed to publicise one of my non-fiction books called Living with Postcards. I thought it appropriate to have some made. I already have a ton of postcards with all 5 of my fiction books on but thought I’d design one especially for this book as it has so far been my best seller. As postage is expensive, I will have to be very selective who I post them to. I’m guessing that I’ll be dropping most of them through letterboxes around the area. People of Oldham beware!

Phew!

12.1.2016

After checking my book sales report for 2016, perhaps the heading should have read Few not Phew, ha! At the end of 2015, I was feeling excited and naively hopeful that 2016 would be wonderful as far as my book sales are concerned. I had to wait anxiously until 10th January before a single copy of my books was sold in 2016. Thankfully, an unknown American purchased a paperback edition of Living with Postcards ten days into this year. I can now breathe normally again instead of hyperventilating from panic. Until my book sale of the year, I had started to suffer the recurring nightmare again, the one where I had turned invisible.

As well as continuing with the writing of books seven and eight, I have been diligently marketing the first six as best I could, to no avail. I have also been busy writing 180 pages of my latest thriller, Hostile and am encouraged by how it is turning out. I also need to edit my short story collection before that too is published on Amazon. Although I have been writing books since 2007, I am an unknown author with nothing but author forums and online articles to glean information regarding the best ways to market all of my books.

As a single, southern woman living alone in the north of England, I have a very limited budget for marketing. I don’t receive a penny of income from anyone. With scarce spare funds, it is hard to raise my author profile above all of the millions of other authors who are also intent on raising their profiles. If my author profile is not prominent enough, I will quickly be passed over by book  buyers. At the risk of sounding arrogant, I am confident that each of my books is worth reading after having receiving several five and four star reviews from readers. There has never been anything lower than a four star review for any of my books, although I am certain that it will happen at some point. A lower star rating is perfectly acceptable to me because I only want to receive honest reviews. Poor Straws has not received any reviews so far, but as the third book in my autobiographical Mug Trilogy, it might be some time before anybody finishes reading the first two books in the series and finally reads Straws.

By the way, if anybody is on Goodreads, I would really appreciate you adding me as a friend. I have only had my author profile on Goodreads for a few months and so I am feeling like Billy no mates on there, ha! My official Joy Mutter website is at https://www.joymutter.com. I am @joyster2012 on Twitter, so please feel free to add me. I have also been a very keen Viner for over three years and it is my favourite app. From my experience, Viners are the most wonderfully supportive, inspiring collection of people. My name is Joy Mutter  on Vine. Also, if you fancy it, feel free to like my Joy Mutter – author page at https://www.facebook.com/JoyMutterAuthor/. Like the rest of the world, I am also on various other sites like Instagram and Tumblr.

It is surprising how I manage to write books from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. for seven days each week, what with all of the demands of social media and marketing to attend to. Somehow I manage it. However, I admit that today I have been forced to market all day, although I would have much preferred to have been writing. During the past four or five years, it has been rare for me to not write creatively at all in the day. Tomorrow, I hope to make up for my shameful neglect. After a day of marketing, I can’t wait to return to writing Hostile!

Happy New Year everyone!

1.1.2016

2015 was one of my best years on earth due to the fact that I rather surprised myself. A year ago today, I could never have guessed that I would have self-published six books in both Kindle and paperback format. I may have mentioned this before about a million times but I am still in shock!

I wrote two of the books from scratch in 2015, but the other four had been written over the past ten years. I decided not to mess around wasting any more time waiting to be discovered by a literary agent but opted instead to become my own publisher through Createspace and Kindle Direct Publishing. It was an uplifting experience and I recommend it to any writer. Before you ask, no, I do not have any shares in Amazon, ha!

It is now a month since all of my books were self-published on Amazon. Although my book sales could have been better, I have received several four and five star reviews for each book from the people who took a leap of faith and bought one or all of my books. I have posted their wonderful reviews onto my website to encourage me further in my endeavours. Living with Postcards, my non-fiction book has sold the best out of the six, with Random Bullets also doing well, followed by Potholes and Magic Carpets, then A Slice of the Seventies. When readers have finished reading my autobiographical A Slice of the Seventies, as it is the first book in The Mug Trilogy they hopefully might consider buying the other two books, The Lying Scotsman and then Straws. I live in hope.

My plan for 2016 is to continue my disciplined but enjoyable regime of writing from 11am to 6pm each day including weekends. In the first half of 2016, I will hopefully finish writing and then publish my contemporary  thriller fantasy called Hostile. This will be followed by me publishing my almost completed collection of short stories. I am thinking of calling this short story collection, each written in different genres, Joy’s Shorts, but I might reconsider.

During the past few months, I have been somewhat reluctantly marketing all of my books more than I thought I would. However, I need to try even harder to spread the word about my books because the competition is so great. At least I now have my 500 printed colour postcards advertising all of my books to hand out to anyone that I meet who asks me about my books. I am also going to order new printed postcards solely for my non-fiction Living with Postcards paperback book. As it is a totally different type of book to my five fiction books, it needs different marketing and targeting. I must aim it towards anyone that is interested in looking at or collectiong old postcards, those interested in nostalgia, ephemera, history and beautiful objects in general.

If 2016 is as exciting and emotionally rewarding as 2015 has been then I will feel as happy and enthused as I am feeling today. I must resolve to try to make 2016 just as emotionally rewarding. However, I need to be realistic and also try to make it more financially rewarding by marketing better. That will be easier said than done because the skill in marketing books is very different to the skill in writing them. Having written, designed and produced the interior and covers and published all of the books myself, at least there are no costs for me to recoup.

My motivation to write more books has never been higher, so I am entering 2016 bubbling over with hope and enthusiasm. I even have an interesting idea for another thriller to write after Hostile and Her demonic Angel are published, but more of that later.

Happy New Year to one and all!

 

Anything for a neighbour

My next door neighbour knocked on my front door this afternoon to ask if I had a copy of my book ‘Living with Postcards’ that he could buy to give as a Christmas present to his mum. Luckily I had a spare copy. He asked me if I would sign it. I naturally was happy to oblige. I guess that counts as my first book signing and I didn’t even have to leave the house! If my lovely neighbour had been better prepared for Christmas, he could have bought my book or one of my five other books from Amazon at http://amzn.to/1Jl0Org

 

Living with Postcards by Joy Mutter – a perfect present from the past

7.12.2015

When my mother told me that she thought that my Kindle version of Living with Postcards deserved to be available in print as well as for Kindle, her remark set in motion a string of events. Making a reality of her suggestion kept me occupied for all of my waking hours over the past month or so. I have chewed my lips with concentration for twelve hours a day and I am now paying the price as they are sore and swollen. All of the hard work and pain were well worth it.

After working endlessly on my laptop organising the print publication for all six books, a few days ago I managed to organise for Amazon to deliver a copy of the fully illustrated printed book into her very appreciative hands. She is honest to a fault and a woman who has never avoided giving criticism when needed. To have her shower me with high praise for my book was very rewarding.

My mother told me that she has been showing my Living with Postcards to all and sundry ever since she received it as an early Christmas gift from me. Hopefully some of those people will eventually buy it. As my marketing seems to be showing poor results in the week since all of my books progressed to paperback editions, it would certainly encourage me to gain one or two sales of the book. I know that I am biased, but I agree with her when she said that it would make an ideal gift, especially at Christmas.

If a person of any age appreciates beauty, charm, art and quirkiness mixed in with a little slice of postcard history then they could not fail to enjoy Living with Postcards.

All six of my books are now available in PAPERBACK on Amazon!

27.11.2015

MY SIX BOOK COVER PHOTO

Yesterday was a very special day for me. I self-published all six of my books as paperback editions. They went live on Amazon in the evening. The speed of publication took me by surprise because I was told that it would take a few weeks before they went on sale, but no, it was immediate. As soon as I pressed the ‘Approved’ button they went on sale.

I was so impressed that I even bought a copy of one of my own books, ‘Living with Postcards’ and had it delivered to my mother over in Jersey. I hope that she approves of my dedication to her in the front of the book.

Last week was frantic for me. I was working on my own for twelve hours a day, seven days a week in order to achieve my publishing goal. I almost fainted with excitement as the first printed proofs were delivered into my trembling hands. The Kindle versions are fine, but every author knows that nothing compares to holding your own printed books in your hands.

I amended each proof, changed the size of each book and made the covers myself. Still, all that is behind me now and I can continue working on books seven and eight. One book is another  thriller with an even bigger fantasy twist than in Random Bullets and the other book is a collection of short stories in various genres.

The first delivery has arrived of the printed proofs for three of my six books!

25.11.2015

I was so excited to receive the first three printed proofs of the six books that I sent to CreateSpace to be proof printed. The thrill of holding my first printed paperback book in my hand last week was indescribable. Another two books swiftly followed. Apart from them being too large, with only a few minor changes to the covers, I will soon be telling CreateSpace to print them and offer them on Amazon. I designed them as 6 x 9 books as that is the most popular book size according to Amazon, but I think that is too cumbersome.

I designed the interiors and the covers of all of my books. As an ex-graphic designer, I have so far thoroughly enjoyed the entire book publishing process. I can’t wait to publish books seven and eight hopefully in 2016. I already have the covers prepared!

The next three completed printed proofs should be delivered to my house on Monday. I can’t wait to see them! I’m delighted with the first three proofs.

 

Gadgets and gizmos

 20.11.2015
For decades, I used to get up at 6.15 a.m. every weekday for work until I was medically discharged in 2012 with a chronic back problem. Today I was downstairs in my living room at the same time in order not to miss delivery of the first copy of any of my six books. It could be delivered any time after 7 a.m. but, knowing my luck probably won’t arrive until much later, or not at all.
Since becoming a full-time writer in 2011, I have climbed out of bed at around 9 a.m. every day of the week, so it was a shock to the system for it to still be dark outside when I greeted the day today. I have not missed the early rising. I make up for rising late by working much longer hours each day than when I had bosses. Last week I was working 12 hours each day to ensure that all my books were ready to be proof printed. My eyes were stinging from looking at the laptop screen for so long. I did not have to work such long hours, but I was fired up with enthusiasm and adrenaline at the prospect of being able to hold the first printed copies of the books that I have worked so hard to write. I cannot wait to see how each of the covers look that I designed. Having been a graphic designer for over twenty years, I loved being able to produce all of my own covers plus layout all of my own books, instead of designing some other author’s book like I used to.
Yesterday afternoon, I received delivery of a professional microphone and pop filter in preparation for producing my own audiobooks. I think the first book that I will turn into an audiobook will be Random Bullets, as I think it is my best work thus far. I have obviously read it several times before publishing it. The reason that I think it is my best book is because I am looking forward to reading it for the umpteenth time, this time out loud for others to enjoy. A couple of people have read the Kindle version and were kind enough to remark that they could not put it down.
Just as I had to learn how to self-publish all of my books, first as Kindle books and then as paperbacks, I will have to learn how to produce my own audiobooks. I am looking forward to the challenge. People have often told me that they like my voice and so there will be no need to hire anyone to read my books aloud as I can narrate it myself. I am a huge fan of audiobooks, choosing to purchase them  over printed books in order to save my eyes for the task of writing rather than reading. I use my poor old eyes to write for so many hours each day that to read books afterwards would be a strain. I mostly enjoy listening to my large collection of audiobooks when I am sunbathing or working in the kitchen.
I must break off from writing this blog to release a new scanner from its packaging after it was delivered yesterday along with the new microphone. I will then scan in all of my postcards used in my Living with Postcards book. This book was released on Kindle where the quality of my scans was adequate for the purpose. However, for me to produce the paperback version the dpi must be higher, hence my purchase of a scanner. My mother in particular is looking forward to receiving a printed copy of Living with Postcards. She bought the Kindle version and thought it deserved to be converted into paperback. It would have been rude of me not to oblige.

Anticipation

20.11.2015
The tension is palpable in my home at present. There is a strong possibility that I will be holding my first printed proof copy of one of my books, Random Bullets by bedtime tomorrow. The rest of my books will be delivered before next weekend. If I approve the printing, then all of the paperbacks will soon be available for sale on Amazon. I can then return to writing my thriller and my collection of short stories.

Exciting times

11.11.2015

I ordered printed proof copies of Random Bullets today. I am thrilled at the prospect of soon being able to hold a printed book that I have written in my hands. It should arrive next week. If I approve the proof, then Amazon will distribute Random Bullets to the world. I am now going to do the same for Potholes and Magic Carpets and my other books.

The next step

10.11.2015

I decided to break off from writing for a day or so in order to organise the printing of my latest book, Random Bullets. I think it is my best book thus far and two reviews stated that the readers could not put it down. I need to provide paperback versions for folk that dislike eBooks, for book signings and for sale on Amazon.  I hope to then organise the printing of Potholes and Magic Carpets and the rest of my books. As usual, I am tackling everything single-handed. Wish me luck!

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