A thoroughly enjoyable evening in fascinating company

I mistakenly thought yesterday was Hug an Author Day, which is why I can be seen invading authors Elizabeth Haynes and Rachel Abbott’s personal space in this photo. They each signed a copy of one of their books for me after giving a riveting talk about crime writing to an audience at Oldham Library yesterday evening. They shared a platform with author Daniel Cole, but he wisely avoided a photo opportunity with me. He probably feared I’d crack his ribs. I once hugged Val McDermid at the same venue. She’s never been the same since.

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.

In the words of Roger Daltrey, Giving it all away

Revised Potholes and Magic CarpetsThe Kindle edition of Potholes and Magic Carpets is FREE on Amazon today, 19th December and also on the 20th.

The main action in Potholes and Magic Carpets takes place in rural Kent and London. Published on Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions in 2015, my contemporary, character-driven novel looks at the dramatic incidents, challenges and temptations in the lives of four couples of varying ages, professions and sexual persuasions, all linked by either blood or friendship. The negative, selfish, sometimes violent natures of several characters in Potholes and Magic Carpets wreak havoc on the innocent. A tale of not so simple folk.

Here’s a review of Potholes and Magic Carpets on Amazon. Thank you to whoever wrote it. I think they’re American because of the way they spell humour.
“I absolutely LOVE Ms. Mutter’s writing style. Her descriptions are captivating to me, as a lifelong fan of all things “British”, I enjoy her humor and the clarity with which she delivers her characters. I feel like I know them well by the time I’m well into each chapter. This title is on my Christmas list for myself! MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ME! Thanks for sharing your wonderful talents!”

The Kindle edition on Amazon.co.uk: http://amzn.to/29gA3bE
The Kindle edition on Amazon.com: http://amzn.to/29Bawbi
The paperback edition on Amazon.co.uk: http://amzn.to/299FSV3
The paperback edition on Amazon.com: http://amzn.to/29dnSxj

Until 31st January 2017, Kindle editions of all my books are reduced to £0.99 or equivalent currencies on Amazon. They are always free to Kindle Unlimited subscribers. The paperback versions of my nine books won’t break the bank either. On 1st February 2017, my Kindles prices will return to £2.25. If you enjoy audiobooks, two of my books, The Hostile and Her demonic Angel, are available on Amazon, Audible and iTunes as audiobooks. The audiobook of Potholes and Magic Carpets is in production.

Please feel free to sneak a peek at Potholes and Magic Carpets here http://amzn.to/2bHkrQI

lying-scotsman-fingers-crossed-print-plus-textIn other news, I changed the cover of The Lying Scotsman today and have spent the last week shortening the book, although it still is 400 pages long. My writing style has naturally evolved since I started writing The Lying Scotsman, my first book despite being book 2 of The Mug trilogy. It’s the book that first made me want to concentrate full-time on writing.

I wanted to revise the entire book, so I did; one of the benefits of self-publishing. I also used a greyscale image of the original cover, without the text, inside the book, as it would be a shame to waste it. The changes I’ve made will probably go live on Amazon in a few days. It took a while before my improved cover of Random Bullets showed on Amazon, but today I noticed the new cover is up there. I’ve also revised the cover and text of the paperback version of The Lying Scotsman and hopefully the new version will also soon be on Amazon.

lying-scotsman-fingers-crossed-print-back-cover-plus-textI have to put the finishing touches to my hour-long talk about my books that I’m giving on 24th January at Oldham Coliseum.  My daughter is arriving for Christmas on 21st December before she and her husband fly off to New York on Boxing Day to relive when he proposed to her two years ago on the lake in Central Park. Who says romance is dead? Her husband could teach The Lying Scotsman a thing or two, ha!

Merry Christmas and a Happy 2017 to everyone!

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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My fifteen minutes will be expanding into an hour

I enjoyed speaking at Oldham Library’s local author event yesterday morning alongside four other local authors. I’m always happy talking about my books and my experiences living as an indie author. My daughter, Zoe, took these photographs and a few videos. I even sold some books after the four other authors and I answered audience questions. I was surprised and delighted to be invited by a lady in the audience to be interviewed on a Manchester radio station about my books. My 15-minute talk at the library was good practice for the hour-long solo talk I’m booked to give on January 24th 1.15-2.15 at Oldham Coliseum.

When shall we three meet again?

oldham-libraryThis was the question authors Helen Durant, Carol Talbot and I asked yesterday as we sat having lunch in The Naked Bean, although we already knew the answer … 11a.m. on November 5th at Oldham Library to be precise. We three, plus Jo Harthan who couldn’t make it yesterday, will be strutting our stuff in the performance area of Oldham library next Saturday, talking about the many aspects of living our lives as authors. When I say strutting our stuff, I can’t promise any dancing, but who knows what might happen if the mood takes us? We will each be allocated fifteen minutes each, with questions from the audience afterwards.

I’ve changed my mind about winging it as I originally planned to do. As the time draws ever closer, the fear is edging in. Having now decided to plan my speech, I’ve written seven pages which I will either read out or use bullet points and freestyle around those bullet points. My freestyling could lead to my fifteen minutes allocated stretching to an hour, so I need to rein in my over-excitable side. I’m so passionate about my books and the writing and publishing process, I tend not to know when to shut up. I know I could gallop off at a tangent when ideas start firing off, so I might be safer just to read it out. I don’t want to be kicking myself afterwards because I missed something crucial out of my talk. At least I can talk more freely if I’m asked a question. I don’t want the first question from the audience to be, ‘Do you think you should be allowed out in public?’

oldham-coliseum-exteriorI’ve also been invited to give AN HOUR solo talk about my book, Living with Postcards at Oldham Coliseum sometime in the New Year. It will be for a Full Circle group of over 50s, so I’ll be in good company. They are even offering a small fee to give the talk. I’d have done it for free. I hope I can also mention my seven fiction books at some point.

 

coliseum-interior-2Apparently, it would be a forty-five-minute talk followed by fifteen minutes of questions. What with also being told on Thursday  that six of my books will soon be on the shelves of Oldham Library, I’ve had an amazing week. Once my books are safely on Oldham Library’s bookshelves, I’ll approach other libraries to see whether they’d also like my books to be included. I’m not entirely convinced that there won’t be a hitch, but if there is, I will battle to make it happen.

Unexpected fantastic news

28th October 2016

book-promo-postcard-scanI’m thrilled to have just received an email from Oldham Library to say they want to stock six of my eight books. I only sent them six. Maybe I should have sent all eight. I’ve been waiting for several months to hear their decision. I thought I would end up being disappointed, but instead, I’ve just received wonderful news; they want my books. They say they will buy a copy of each paperback and then see how they go with the readers. Fingers crossed that the readers of Oldham will love them.

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This great news couldn’t have come at a better time as I’ll be talking at a ‘Meet your Local Authors’ event at 11am on 5th November at Oldham Library. Helen Durrant, Carol Talbot and Jo Harthan are the other authors who will be sharing a platform with me. I am having lunch with the other three tomorrow in The Naked Bean inside Oldham Library to discuss the event. I am still planning to wing it as I could talk all day about my books, not just the fifteen minutes allocated to me. Just ask the local taxi drivers and Tesco delivery men whether or not I can talk about my books. I will probably have to be dragged off the stage when my fifteen minutes (of fame?) are up. You see, I don’t get to talk to many people these days. I’m too busy writing books.

Update: Less than an hour after writing this post, I looked on my main blog at http://joymutter.com  and discovered a message hidden amidst the spam asking me if I’d be interested in speaking on my own for an hour about my only non-fiction book, Living with Postcards, at Oldham Coliseum. It’ll be for a Full Circle over 50s event to be held sometime in early 2017. They’d even pay me to speak! Of course, I’d be interested. I can’t get used to all this excitement.

I’m an accidental editor

It’s been a funny old week. On Monday, I was busy working on the final chapters of Holiday for The Hostile, sequel to my recently published paranormal thriller, The Hostile, and also narrating my third audiobook, Potholes and Magic Carpets.

I had started reading a book by an author, who shall remain nameless, as I had volunteered to be part of his Launch Team on Facebook. He had paid to have it edited. I was concerned to find eight errors in the first thirteen pages. I messaged him on Facebook to alert him to this worrying fact, whereupon the distressed author asked me to please consider editing his already edited book. I was reluctant at first, as I’m busy with my own work, but I knew he’d not meet his deadline of November 1st if he didn’t rapidly sort out his edit problem.

I initially said I’d edit the book for free because I felt sorry for his predicament, but as he’d been reimbursed by the original editor for shoddy services, he said he’d pay me what she’d been paid. He said he was sure I’d make a better job of it, which wouldn’t be hard. I discovered to my horror that the file he’d paid to have edited was littered with double words, missed or wrong punctuation, typos of every kind, etc etc. It took me four full days to edit his book. I found literally hundreds of errors in this already professionally edited book and amended each one, plus offered suggestions for improvement. When I say professionally edited, money had been exchanged between the first ‘editor’ and the author. It appeared all that had been done was for a spellcheck to have been run through it when diligent line editing had been required.

The author is delighted with the end result and I’ve just submitted my first Paypal invoice for editing services. I usually receive Paypal invoices, not send them, so sending an invoice was a novel experience. I’m guessing he might ask me to edit the next book in the series, rather than the first editor. Now to return to working on my own projects, primarily finishing off writing Holiday for The Hostile.

Update: I received payment from the author for my editing work today, so it’s official. I’m an editor as well as an author. Whether I end up editing any other author’s books in the future remains to be seen as there are many editors out there, although I thoroughly enjoy editing, so I’d certainly consider it.

In other news: Yesterday, I had my hair sorted out at my local hairdressers, not before time. My locks were preened in preparation for my ‘meet the authors’ event taking place at 11am inside Oldham Library on 5th November. I will be sharing the platform with three other female published writers who live in the Oldham area, all of whom I know personally. Helen Durrant is also speaking. She has written many successful crime thrillers. She and I have told each other we intend to wing it, but I bet we will end up panicking last minute and work out what we’re going to say to the audience. She and I occasionally meet up for a highly enjoyable catch-up.

As you can see from the video I made yesterday and stuck on YouTube for everyone to ignore, my lovely hairdresser is tiny. She is also the best hairdresser who has ever had the pleasure of working on my unexceptional hair.