Monday, 8 December 2014

It's a Wonderful Life

It’s the 8th December and Christmas is rushing towards us at an alarming rate. I’ve already lost count of the number of feel good seasonal films I’ve watched on the television and what I once found sentimentally cloying I now unashamedly weep at. Mind you, even in the past I cried every time I saw ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ – a feel good production that has stood the test of time, as has ‘Miracle on 34th Street’. There are many others, both recent and not so. ‘The Holiday’ in 2006 and ‘Love Actually’ unbelievably released as long ago as 2003. Do you have a favourite?

This sort of reminded me a bit of Kate Winslet's house in 'The Holiday'

The past two weeks have been about as hectic as the previous two – just in a different way. I was concerned about my first ever guest post here on the blog but I couldn’t really go wrong with Elaine Everest could I. A really good evening at The Write Place Creative Writing School in Dartford on Wednesday, Elaine again, was followed on Saturday by the Romantic Novelists' Association (RNA) London and South East Chapter Christmas Party. I defy anyone not to enjoy themselves at one of these events and it was lovely to ‘catch up’ with people. The warmth inside more than made up for travelling around in the freezing cold weather. Jean Fullerton was given a wonderful send off by Juliet Archer and Linda Chamberlain - no, she's not leaving, just relinquishing the reins after six years. 

One of the things I’ve found quite difficult since publication of Safe Harbour has been to find a balance between over exposing myself (don’t be naughty) and promoting sufficiently to attract attention. If you are a writer reading this blog, what do YOU do in these circumstances? And yes, of course, now that I’ve mentioned it I have to put the link here. There’s still in time to get it before Christmas. Now is THAT being too pushy. I wish I knew.

Next Monday, on 15th December, I hope you can join me again when my guest will be the lovely Wendy Clarke.

In the meantime, please do let me have your comments on any of the above.

If you would like to appear as a guest on my blog please email me on


  1. Promoting your work can in my estimation never be overdone or pushy! But I'm not a writer...
    with love Fxxx

  2. Thank you. It's difficult finding the right balance. Glad you don't think it's over the top

  3. I've found that the 'old school' of authors dont seem to have to promote as much as we do. They came up through the ranks at a time when there were more book shops and they didn't have to prove themselves via ebooks before a publisher takes a chance on putting our words into a 'proper' book. These ladies don't seem to have the urgency about them to use social media like we are expected to do. However, look at the experience we've had and the people we've met whilst biting the bullet and facing our public.

  4. I have to agree, Elaine. Instead of remaining in my ivory tower I've had to go out and 'meet' people as I might otherwise not have done. For every downside there is an up and in writing I'm happy to say the ups far outweigh the downs.

  5. I wish I had the magic answer to the 'how much is too much?' question, Natalie. There is such a lot of conflicting advice out there and I agree with Elaine that it was a lot easier in days gone by when publishers did not expect their authors to do all their self-promotion. Times have changed, though and marketing is now part and parcel of the author's role, as you've found out. Very difficult if you're not naturally pushy. Oh, and I love Polar Express!

  6. My instinctive feeling, Wendy, is that it's other writers we risk alienating rather than our readers, maybe because it is a constant in our everyday lives. I shall continue striving to find a happy medium. And yes, I completely forgot about Polar Express!

  7. Oooo - there are too many Christmassy films to pick just one, Natalie. I am such a big softy when it comes to Christmas. I do love the Muppet's Christmas Carol :) and White Christmas with Bing Crosby. They both give me that gooey, must drink sherry and eat mince pies, kind of feeling.
    With regards to promoting yourself - I'm not in that position yet, but I think the most important thing is to remain true to yourself and do as much as you are comfortably able to handle. There is no point in achieving your dream of being published and then becoming miserable due to over stretching your public events. Finding the right balance and being ultra organised is probably the way to go and most of all - have fun and relish in the limelight. You deserve it. All the best.

  8. Ah yes, White Christmas. I fear I have missed Muppet's Christmas Carol along the way. I shall rectify the omission when opportunity presents itself.
    Good advice, Nicola, on striving to find one's comfort zone. I haven't quite made it yet but I shall keep trying. I hope you find yourself with a similar problem in the near future.