Afternoon tea with author Jacqueline Ward

I thoroughly enjoyed yesterday’s ‘Afternoon Tea with author Jacqueline Ward’ event. It was held in the perfect setting of Alexandra Park’s Conservatory in Oldham. Jacqueline gave a reading from her psychological thriller, Perfect Ten, then enthralled the audience with an informative talk about her career and the publishing industry. I’m looking forward to reading my signed copy of Perfect Ten.

It was lovely to meet Jacqueline for the first time and to reacquaint myself with Phaedra Patrick and Dan Forrester. (Thanks for the lift home, Phaedra. Much appreciated.)

The event was part of Oldham Library’s annual Bookmark Festival. A perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

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A fun Friday evening in Manchester

I had a wonderful time at HOME in Manchester on Friday evening. My daughter and I enjoyed the Q and A with author Paul Auster, trying out the intriguing Virtual Reality stand, then watching the innovative theatrical performance of Auster’s City of Glass. The production values were excellent, even though Zoe and I emerged scratching our heads over the story itself. I also had my copy of his new 900-page book, 4321, signed by the author. And there was I worrying my book, The Lying Scotsman, might be too long at 400 pages.

I also had my copy of his new 900-page book, 4321, signed by the author. And there was I worrying my book, The Lying Scotsman, might be too long at 400 pages.

Better than expected

My meet-the-author event at Oldham Coliseum on 24th January went even better than I’d hoped. There were about fifteen Full Circle members in the audience, which was a perfect number, as I wanted my talk to be informal. I was less nervous than I’d expected to be, probably because I’m passionate about writing and talk about books every chance I get. Selling a few of my signed books was a bonus.

Most of the photographs were taken by Jenny, one of the organisers, shortly after my hour-long talk. I gave my talk next to the small table but sat with the audience for the group photos. I notice I’m wearing the same outfit I wore for another meet-the-author event at Oldham Library in November. I really must wear something different if I’m ever asked to give another talk about my books. People will think I only own one set of clothes, which is far from the truth.

 

 

Thanks to Rose Sergent at Oldham Coliseum for organising today’s event. I really enjoyed myself and would happily have talked for two hours, not just the one hour I’d been allocated. It’s now back to writing book ten for me, the third book in The Hostile series.The Hostile series.

Tomorrow’s meet-the-author event

Looking forward to speaking for an hour or so at my meet-the-author event at Oldham Coliseum tomorrow. I hope my voice holds out for that long, as I don’t use it very often. I’ve thoroughly prepared my speech and am not too nervous … yet. I’ll be the only author talking at tomorrow’s event, as far as I’m aware.

My talk will be about my nine books and life as a full-time indie author, although I’ll be concentrating on my non-fiction book, Living with Postcards, as the organiser requested. I’m bringing about 50 of my 2,000 postcards along to illustrate the talk. I could have put together a powerpoint presentation, but I reckon holding the actual postcards will be more satisfying for the audience, and feel less formal. I’ll be handing out my own book promotion postcards too, whether the audience wants them or not, ha! They can turn them into paper airplanes and launch them at me if they get bored.

This’ll be the second meet-the-author event I’ve spoken at in the past six months. Maybe that’s why I’m not too nervous, although my first talk was only 15 minutes long, and there were four other authors speaking then. Wish me luck.

An interesting turn of events

Not wishing to tempt fate, but 2017 has kicked off encouragingly for me. In early January, I was contacted on social media by a publisher of crime thrillers who asked me if I’d be interested in proofreading three books a month for them. They publish six books a month. I’ve already read and proofread three edited books for them over the past two weeks. I found many errors in the three edited books, and have been swiftly paid for my work. I am now free to write my own books for the next two weeks before I receive three more books in February to proofread. I’m currently writing the third book of The Hostile series. I’m looking forward to enjoying the three crime thrillers a month that the publisher will hopefully be sending me to proofread. They seem happy with my work.

The books the publisher has recently sent me to proofread are all on the brink of publication and were all five-star reads. I would have happily purchased them, as I enjoy reading crime thrillers more than any other genre. This new dream job as proofreader came about because of my recent habit of marking typos on my kindle while reading books I’ve purchased on Amazon. If I know the author on social media, I’ve sent them a list of the errors, so they can make their books as perfect as possible. I don’t set out to find errors but can’t ignore them if they spring out at me. Each author I’ve approached has been grateful I sent them the list of errors the editor had missed. One author happened to be the publisher of crime thrillers who now uses my services.

Only one book out of the scores of books I’ve read in 2016 had no typos. Most had well over a dozen errors, several had over a hundred and one had more than 450! All had been ‘professionally’ edited, which makes my blood boil. Aren’t editors supposed to eliminate typos? I suspect some editors had merely run a spellcheck through the document. There is no excuse for such negligence. Yes, I’m sure there are meticulous editors out there, but they seem to be few and far between. It’s one reason I am happy to continue self-editing my books. I no longer trust editors to do a perfect job.

This new dream job came about because of my habit of marking typos on my Kindle while reading books I have purchased. If I know the author on social media, I send them a list of the errors, so they can make their books as perfect as possible. I know hundreds of authors on social media, some in the real world, so I have spent a great deal of time sending free lists of typos in books that have been professionally edited. Two of the books had hundreds of errors in them, even though the authors had paid hundreds of pounds to the editor. One editor apologised and reimbursed the author after my list of errors was sent to them by the author. I ended up editing his book, despite never having edited a book for payment before, and despite being busy with my own writing and marketing. I didn’t set out to be an editor or paid proofreader as well as being an author; it was a happy accident.

I’m not saying I’m perfect, far from it. As I’ve self-edited my own nine books, I dare say there may be the odd typo in one or two of them. If there is an error, I would hope that some kind reader would tell me about it, as I can easily rectify the problem. As an indie author, I can swiftly amend and republish on Amazon.

In other news. Two weeks from now, I’ll be at Oldham Coliseum talking about my books, particularly my non-fiction Living with Postcards, in front of an over-fifties group. I’ll be the only author talking at this event, unlike my talk at Oldham Library a few months ago where I shared the platform with four other local authors. I am not too nervous because I’ve prepared my speech. What’s the worst that could happen? Don’t answer that.

Remember, remember the fifth of November

Remember, remember the fifth of November. I certainly will always remember that date as it was my first time sharing a platform with four other local authors at Oldham Library as part of last week’s ‘Love to Read’ events. I was as interested to hear what the other authors had to say as I was in speaking myself.

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Suzanne Hudson, the lady who recently agreed to place six of my eight books on the shelves of Oldham Library, introduced us all to the audience and then we were up and running. I was going to speak off the cuff, but I’m glad I finally opted to write down all I wanted to say. As the first author considerably overran his allotted fifteen minutes, I was then able to discard a few paragraphs on the hoof when it was my turn so the other authors would all have enough time to speak.

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This photo depicts me rummaging in my handbag for change whilst talking the hind legs off the lady buying Random Bullets from me. She also took a copy of Her demonic Angel as she told me that she enjoys reading short stories.

 

 

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The photo on the left is of me being forced to hold a prop fan by the library admin, but at least it was marginally more sensible than the pink cardboard hat author Helen Durrant ended up with.

 

 

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I’d only brought six of my eight books to the event. Delighted that Random Bullets was the book of choice bought by a few members of the audience. I had a gut feeling that it would be as big a favourite with the audience as it is for me. I had been toying with the idea of only bringing Random Bullets paperbacks to the event, but at least people could see the evidence that I’ve written a number of books and my other seven books aren’t mere figments of my overactive imagination. They looked great splayed out on the table in front of me. The last photo makes me look like a giant compared to Helen Durrant, but it is mostly due to perspective … I think. I’ll have several copies of my books left over from Oldham Libraries event to bring to my solo author event at Oldham Coliseum on 24th January 2017 at 1.15p.m. By then, I’ll hopefully be able to also bring along paperbacks of book nine, my current book, Holiday for The Hostile.

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